Big Ten Postweek: 2012 - Week 3

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Cheez, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Cheez

    Cheez TSO's 1,000,000th Poster

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    As if there hasn't been enough thrills early in this season - Week 3 provided more excitement for those of us who arent currently on heart medication. 9 teams from the Big Ten were in action this week, further preparing us for the conference season which begins in Week 5 for many schools.

    As always, we start with the Big 10 Game of the Week. This week, it was Iowa's turn to steal the spotlight, as they traveled to Lincoln to take on the 0-1 Cornhuskers. After a slow start on offense, Iowa was able to get on the board with a 4 yard run by Hampton. Just 57 seconds later, Hampton (7 carries, 12 yards, 2 TD) would again find the endzone, this time via the pass from Vandenberg (13-21, 164 yards, TD). This score gave the Hawkeyes a 14-3 lead and full control going into the half. Nebraska would cut the lead down to 7 late in the third following a short pass to Bell, however, the ensuing kick would be returned 97 yards for a Hawkeyes score effectively breaking the Huskers back. The Hawkeyes would win this one 38-24. For the Huskers, they need only look at their interceptions and the kick return to see where this game was lost.

    From here, we had southwest down to Champaign where maybe the comeback of the season was seen when the Illini took on the Oregon State Beavers. This game started out looking like a Beavers beatdown of the Illini, especially when Mannion wanted to put the ball in the air. Mannion went 20-24 for 315 yards and a TD, with one of his incompletions being an inexcusable drop by the tight end to open the second half. Oregon would open up a 27-3 lead early in the 3rd quarter, but Coach Cheez's team did not give up in the game or in his system. Cheez ran the "3 yards and a cloud of dust" offense down the field in the middle of the third quarter, capping the drive with a twelve yard pass to NCAA Rushing leader Justin Green, and the two point conversion cut the deficit to 16. After the Illini defense completed their first stop of the Beavers offense, Green broke a big 62 yard sprint off the left tackle cutting the Oregon State lead two ten. A pass from Forcier to Davis on the two point try was caught and just broke the plane, making this a one score ball game. Oregon State was again stopped,giving the Illini the ball back with around 5 minutes to go. The Illini moved the ball again, but were stopped with 2:38 left to go in regulation. Coach Cheez opted to punt facing 4th and 9. When asked why, he had this to say:

    That faith would lead Coach Cheez to the correct call, because on 3rd down from their own 6 yard line, Oregon State would attempt an option to the right. The pitchout to the back was deflected, and the Illini would recover setting up first and goal on what was Oregon State's first turnover of the ball game. 3 plays later, Green got his 3rd score of the game on a 1 yard sweep play. Touchdown Illini.... but Illinois wasn't out of the woods yet. The score was 27-25, it would take a two point conversion to tie it and likely send it to overtime. Forcier called his own number, and scampered in on the QB dive. There would be OT in Champaign.

    Oregon State would start off with the football, and Mannion would make his lone mistake of the day on second down. Attempting a deep corner route to the endzone, Aikens would slide over from his deep coverage and make the pick. Illinois took over needing only a field goal, which Weddle would kick in from 41 yards sealing the biggest comeback of the season.

    No such fireworks were seen at the Big House when Michigan took on FCS Southeast. The Wolverines would score on their first possession of the game when Robinson hit Moore for 28 yards only 1:17 into the contest. That's all Michigan would need, but they still amassed 552 yards of total offense, 351 on the ground in a 41-0 romp of FCS Sotuheast. More disconcerting, the Wolverines only converted on 4 of their 6 red zone trips, meaning that this game was more of a blowout than even the score shows. Leading the rushing attack for the wolverines, Smith gained 221 yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 carries.

    The Wisconsin Badgers faced their second difficult task since being ranked #1 in the country - taking on the Boise State Broncos who have been known to beat a major school every now and again over the last decade. However, most of those wins happen at neutral sites or bowl games, whereas the Broncos would have to square off against a raucous Camp Randall crowd. Boise was able to keep it close with the Badgers, going into the fourth only down by 7. But the Badgers offense was just too prolific for a Boise State squad that has fallen on hard times since the departure of Kellen Moore. The Badgers were led by Phillips, who went 16-28, 260 yards, and a touchdown in the fourth quarter that sealed the win up for the Badgers. Wisconsin wins 34-17, in a game that should prepare them for their top 5 showdown next week against Texas.

    With much of the talk around the Big Ten being centered around the big 3 at the top and the Illini's surprising start, Penn State has been able to quietly hold the best offense in the country. That offense would find itself in trouble early against an upstart Louisiana-Monroe program. At 2 different points in the second quarter, the Warhawks would have the lead in Happy Valley. Kevin Newsome would have him self a, dare I say, Heisman-esque surge after ULM took a 14-7 lead midway into the second quarter. Newsome would throw 5 touchdown passes in the second and third quarters, putting this game way out of reach. Newsome finished the game with 32-48 passing, 423 yards, and 6 touchdowns in the 49-17 rout of UL-M. This type of production led Newsome to be named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.

    Newsome's effort for the Nittany Lions can be considered very comparable to what Hartman did for the Irish in their matchup vs. rival Michigan State. After Sparty jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, the Irish would put up 42 straight points..... before halftime. Hartman would have 4 touchdowns in the game, to go with 140 yards on his 30 carries. 3 of those touchdowns happened in a 35 point 2nd quarter leading in the decimation of Michigan State 45-26. The Spartans were led by a decent passing performance by Boisture, who went 21-38, 246 yards, 2 TDs and 2 picks.

    The Boilermakers, still recovering from a beatdown they had vs. Notre Dame week one and a scare vs. FCS Midwest last week invited a second FCS school to West Lafayette. Once again, however, this FCS school would not go down lightly. They even had a 10-0 lead on Purdue midway through the second quarter. After putting up their first score of the game on a 32 yard pass from TerBush, Purdue would force a turnover on the ensuing series for FCS. This fumble led to a second Purdue score, giving the Boilers a 14-10 lead heading into the break. It only took Purdue 50 seconds to put up a third straight touchdown once they got back from the locker room, as TerBush (22-40, 381 yards, 3 TD) would again connect deep with one of his receivers putting the score at 21-10 and the game out of reach.

    The Golden Gophers would have no such distress with their FCS cupcake, as the #25 Gophers put a beat down on FCS Northwest 38-7. While the completion percentage was low, the Gophers were able to accumulate 274 yards on 13-30 passing, while chewing up clock with 45 carries going for 169 yards and 4 touchdowns. The leading rushes for Minnesota was Edwards, who had 106 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Not to be outdown, Gray had 15 carries for 45 yards and a touch to go with his 13-30 passing.

    Indiana looked to remain unbeaten, facing their first FBS competition of the year: Ball State. The Cardinals provided little challenge for the Hoosiers who were able to put up 17 first quarter points en route to a 31-6 win. IU would strike first on a pick 6 only 29 seconds into the game. When the offense would get the ball, they would control it for long periods of time. Indiana ran 100 offensive plays in this game: 56 rushes and 44 passes. Considering they committed 3 redzone turnovers, you can imagine that this game was more of a blowout than the score shows. They controlled the ball for almost 39 minutes, keeping Ball State's offense off the field. However, when they were on the field, they were fairly inept. The Cardinals would only gain 158 yards of total offense and go 1-15 on 3rd down in this game. They also committed 3 turnovers. A big reason for the lack of production is Indiana LB Lawrence Barrett, who had 1 INT, 1 deflection, 1 forced fumble, 1 tackle, and 1 TD. This earned Mr. Barrett Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

    The win by the badgers and the bye week for the Buckeyes widened the gap between #1 Wisconsin and #2 Ohio State, all be it not by much. Iowa has moved up to 6th following their win against Nebraska, and Michigan has moved up to 13th. Penn State is quietly moving up the boards as well, finding themselves up two spots to 16th, just as Minnesota moves up one from 25th to 24th. Michigan State would fall off the board from 17th, but they are still receiving votes for the poll.

    There is no doubt as to the game of the week for week 4. The #4 Texas Longhorns will travel up to Camp Randall in what assures to be a battle of epic proportions. Bucky's defense has been a little suspect this season, and they are ranked #100 because of it. The Longhorns on the other hand, are 3rd in the country in turnover differential. Will that be enough to upset the Badgers, or will the Camp Randall crowd light a fire under the Badgers defense, sparking them to a win?

    Here's your Week 4 Lineup:

    Week 4: September 15th

    Game of the Week:
    #4 Texas at #1 Wisconsin (ESPN / ABC - 7:00)

    #23 Cincinnati at Illinois (Big Ten Network - 5:00 - 9/14)
    Michigan State at Central Michigan (Big Ten Network - 1:00)
    FCS East at Minnesota (Big Ten Network - 7:00)
    FCS West at Northwestern (Big Ten Network - 11:00)
    Ohio State at Nebraska (ESPN / ABC - 11:30)

    Predictions: (Record to date: 22-5)
    Cincinnati
    Michigan State
    Minnesota
    Northwestern
    Ohio State
    Wisconsin
     

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