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Here are some observations from Week 1 of college football in the Big Ten and beyond:
1. The Big Ten West isn’t great.
OK, Iowa was good against Indiana. Quite good, 34-6 good.
But Wisconsin lost at home to Penn State and was feeble offensively
Minnesota gave Ohio State a terrific battle in losing 45-31, but lost star running back Mohamed Ibrahim for the season to a knee injury.
Northwestern got thoroughly outplayed at home by Michigan State, 38-21. MSU freshman running back Kenneth Walker was sensational, carrying 23 times for 264 yards and four touchdowns. Northwestern averaged just 3.1 yards per rush itself.
The Wildcats lost a lot on defense to the NFL draft and graduation, and it showed. MSU gained 511 yards.
Purdue edged Alliance nonentity Oregon State, 30-21, to join Iowa and Illinois atop the West at 1-0. Boilermaker receiver David Bell was up to his old tricks with eight catches for 134 yards.
Illinois lost at home to UTSA, 37-30, and the Roadrunners outgained the Illini by 101 yards. UTSA is now 1-0 all-time against the Big Ten.
Roadrunner running back Sincere McCormick had 31 carries for 117 yards. He has 2,567 career yards. Sincerely, he is good.
This wasn’t a big upset. UTSA has a good team and Illinois is a reclamation project that Bret Bielema can’t turn around in one year. The Week 0 win over Nebraska was great, but wasn’t a sign of a winning season to come.
Nebraska beat Fordham, 52-7. The Huskers play a far better team from New York Saturday in Buffalo.
2. The Alliance had a rough Week 1.
The Big Ten played mostly conference games. Illinois’ loss to UTSA of Conference USA wasn’t an Alliance black eye. Maryland beating West Virginia, 30-24, so that was good.
UCLA’s 38-27 win over LSU obviously was good, but the ACC and Pacific-12, though, produced some stink bombs. Like:
Montana 13, Washington 7
Northern Illinois 22, Georgia Tech 21
Kansas State 24, Stanford 7
Nevada 22, California 17
BYU 24, Arizona 16
Utah State 26, Washington State 23
Charlotte 31, Duke 28
Alabama 44, Miami 13
Georgia 10, Clemson 3
None of those Alliance losers were playing in road games.
The Alliance’s Florida State made a gallant comeback against Notre Dame Sunday night, but lost 41-38 in overtime.
3. Iowa’s schedule gets dramatically easier in the two weeks after Saturday’s Iowa State game.
You already knew that, but yikes. Kent State, Iowa’s Week 3 foe, opened 2021 with a 41-10 loss at Texas A&M. Not a surprise, but the Aggies outgained Kent State, 595 yards to 336. The Aggies rushed for 292 yards.
Kent State picked off four A&M passes and still got routed.
In Week 4, Colorado State comes to Kinnick Stadium. The Rams began their season last Friday night with a 42-23 home defeat to South Dakota State, last season’s FCS runner-up.
The Jackrabbits passed for 242 yards against CSU, rushed for 224.
4. Iowa State also gets a lighter load in Week 3.
Take no September game lightly when you’re the Cyclones, but their trip to UNLV on Sept. 18 isn’t to play the king of the Mountain West.
The Rebels lost at home to Eastern Washington last Thursday night, 35-33 in double-overtime.
Sixth-year UNLV running back Charles Williams had 27 carries for 172 yards. Despite that, it was the 38th defeat he has experienced with the Rebels.
The attendance was 21,970 at 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium. The crowd will be a lot bigger for Iowa State, which will probably have more fans there than the home team.
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