The 2023 Big Ten Season looks like a three-team race out East, while the West as usual looks to be a mess.
The Wildcats are a mess, and their performance at Duke was severely lacking. This team seems destined for the basement of the Big Ten all season.
Nebraska finally recorded a win, although against Northern Illinois. Under Heinrich Haarberg at quarterback, there weren’t as many turnovers, marking an improvement over Jeff Sims.
Defense remains strong, and the run game has picked up. Yet the Huskers must still make progress to compete effectively in Big Ten play. They need to be able to throw the ball.
The defense was a bigger mess than ever, allowing Michael Penix Jr. to throw for 473 yards while the run game for the Huskies amassed 177 yards on the ground.
It turns out wins over Central Michigan and Richmond aren’t indicative of a program on the rise.
The issues with their coach will in the end destroy this team.
Indiana was down 21-0 against undefeated Louisville before scoring 14 unanswered points to make the contest interesting.
The Hoosiers Defense performed well; the run game left much to be desired; but quarterback Tayven Jackson excelled, going 24-for-34 for 299 yards with one touchdown and an interception on Saturday – showing he can hold off Brendan Sorsby, who started both weeks prior (but did not play on Saturday). If the Hoosiers can continue getting performances like that at QB, they could make themselves a tough out in Big Ten play.
Ryan Walters has had an uncertain start as head coach. Hudson Card put up solid numbers, yet the defensive-minded head coach could muster no defense against Syracuse.
The game was competitive until the second half, when the Orange quickly pulled away. It remains uncertain how the Boilermakers will fare against conference play, but I am guessing it won’t be pretty.
Yes, Illinois moved way up after a loss and one that wasn’t a particularly good game for the Illini. But they played the best team of any Big Ten team in Week 3, having had to face No. 7 Penn State.
The defense was actually pretty good, but quarterback Luke Altmyer threw four interceptions to go along with a fumble by Josh McCray. The Illini frequently put their defense in a tough situation and yet the defense did the best it could.
Drake Maye picked the Minnesota defense apart after some solid early showings to begin the season, the Gophers were over-matched in this game. Athan Kaliakmanis was more than pedestrian, and with Big Ten play starting next week, PJ Fleck will need to figure some things out.
Wisconsin showed signs of improvement following their setback against Wazzu in Week 2, though it took until after halftime for it to occur.
The Wisconsin Badgers were impressive on offense, against Georgia Southern; but, it must be said, that their pass defense didn’t look great.
Luke Fickell will need to ensure his team is in better condition before their schedule hits full swing, or there will be growing pains that come into play.
Early struggles gave way to an impressive victory against a Power Five opponent. Taulia Tagovailoa amassed 342 yards passing while taking advantage of Virginia quarterback Thomas Virginia throwing three interceptions.
Let’s be clear: Virginia isn’t great; they have yet to win in three weeks. Yet beating one of the Power Five schools was certainly encouraging and indicates they could potentially make some noise in the Big Ten East on any given Saturday.
The Scarlet Knights prevailed and defeated this once formidable foe Virginia Tech who has seen better days.
Gavin Wimsatt may not have posted impressive statistics, but his run game and defense were spectacular. We’ll gain more insight into Rutgers when they visit Ann Arbor next week.
So many points were scored! And none from the defense!
Cade McNamara had an uninspiring performance Saturday, going 9-for-19 for 103 yards with two touchdown passes against two interceptions – yet his run game flourished and defense stood strong – proving it was indeed an encouraging step in the right direction.
Ohio State finally looked like Ohio State by trouncing Western Kentucky 63-10. While their second quarter performance was spectacular – scoring 35 points! – fans and media had legitimate concerns in the first quarter.
Kyle McCord had an outstanding game, amassing 318 yards and three touchdowns.
Michigan football was victorious against Bowling Green with a 25-point difference, yet their performance should have been assessed accordingly as it appeared vulnerable against an opponent it should have no trouble beating.
Let’s be clear; after Michigan scored their opening touchdown, this game never really became in doubt. Yet mistakes piled up over time; had Michigan not been such an intimidating defensive force, things could have turned out differently.
But it appears Penn State has experienced less growing pains during its first quarter of the season than any other team; therefore, Penn State currently occupies the No. 1 spot reluctantly.
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