Around the Big Ten: Football - Week 2
Week 2 of the college football season is upon us, and the Big Ten is trying to build off of a solid first week. The conference went 12-2 in Week 1 with the only losses coming from Purdue and Northwestern. The competition is a little tougher for some of the Big Ten this week, so it will be interesting to see if the momentum continues.
Let’s take a look at five teams in the Big Ten that have intriguing matchups in Week 2.
Ohio State vs. Cincinnati
On paper, this might be the best game of the week for a Big Ten team. The Buckeyes looked sharp for a quarter and a half against Florida Atlantic last week and, ultimately winning 45-21, but quarterback Justin Fields and the offense slowed down after that. Cincinnati won its 24-14 over UCLA at home last week but will have to play perfectly on the road to steal this one. The Bearcats, led by former Ohio State interim coach/defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, will make the return to Ohio looking for a significant upset.
Michigan vs. Army
The Wolverines’ offense was supposed to change under former Alabama offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, but against Middle Tennessee, it looked like the same offense that Jim Harbaugh has had before. Quarterback Shea Patterson threw for 203 yards and three touchdowns in the 40-21 win over the Blue Raiders last week and will look to build on that this week. Army, on the other hand, disappointed in its season opener, narrowly defeating Rice 14-7, but the Black Knights should get pumped up for the opportunity to upset the seventh-ranked team in the country.
Maryland vs. Syracuse
This is an enormous game for the Terrapins this early on. Maryland routed Howard last week 79-0 but will have to come out even stronger against a top-25 opponent. The Terrapins rushed for 317 yards last week, and their quarterback Josh Jackson tossed four touchdowns through the air. Syracuse blanked Liberty last week 24-0 and has a tough test with this Maryland team on the road. This one could have a significant impact on where these two teams will end up later in the season.
Purdue vs. Vanderbilt
Purdue is desperate for its first win of the season after a hideous performance against Nevada. The Boilermakers were up 24-7 almost midway through the third quarter, but things started to crumble quickly. Nevada tied the score with a touchdown with under a minute to go then knocked in a field goal as time expired to win it 34-31. Look for Purdue to bounce back against a Vanderbilt team that was steamrolled by Georgia 30-6 a week ago.
Penn State vs. Buffalo
The Nittany Lions’ offense was dominant from start to finish against Idaho last Saturday. Penn State racked up 331 yards on the ground, and five different running backs had a touchdown. Defensively, the Nittany Lions caused havoc all game long with seven sacks and an interception. The competition is a little tougher for the Nittany Lions this week, as Buffalo, which beat Robert Morris 38-10 last week, comes to Beaver Stadium. Look for the Nittany Lions to keep the momentum rolling this week on both sides of the ball.
Other Big Ten teams in action:
Nebraska at Colorado
Iowa vs. Rutgers
Illinois at Connecticut
Wisconsin vs. Central Michigan
Michigan State vs. Western Michigan
Minnesota at Fresno State
Indiana vs. Eastern Illinois
Matthew McClure is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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