Around the Conference: Week Two

Big Red Report's Big Ten Correspondent, Kyle Phillippi, examines the second week around the Big Ten, and gives his take on who shined and who disappointed, as well as handing out his weekly game balls

It was an entertaining week around the conference

Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31

Iowa St 44, Iowa 41

Michigan State 44, Florida Atlantic 0

Ohio State 27, Toledo 22

Wisconsin 35, Oregon State 0

Illinois 56, South Dakota State 3

Northwestern 42, Eastern Illinois 21

Nebraska 42, Fresno State 29

New Mexico State 28, Minnesota 21

Alabama 27, Penn State 11

Rice 24, Purdue 22

Virginia 34, Indiana 31

Big Ten's Week Two Record: 7-5 (Season Record: 17-7)

Player of the Week: RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin

It's easy to insert Denard Robinson as the Big Ten's Player of the Week, but I really loved what Wisconsin did this week against a respectable foe in Oregon State. Last week, Russell Wilson played out of his mind; he had yet another solid outing this weekend. But Ball was a major factor in the Badgers' shutout win over their Pac 12 opponent. Ball tallied 118 yards and two touchdowns on 18 attempts, averaging 6.6 yards per rush.

Upset of the Week: Iowa State defeats Iowa

ISU stung Iowa on Saturday

The Hawkeyes, by some, were considered to be a dark horse in the Big Ten. With the continued development of QB James Vandenberg and RB Marcus Coker, Iowa was expected to head into conference play undefeated. Their overtime loss to Iowa State was a major setback in their team's growth and is an indicator that the Big Ten may possibly lack depth behind Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan State.

Phillippi's Game Balls of the Week

QB Denard Robinson, Michigan

There comes a point when having three interceptions means nothing. Robinson proved that it's not how you start, it's how you finish. After a sub-par performance in the first three quarters, Robinson put the Wolverines on his back and guided them to an instant classic win. Robinson dashed for a touchdown with 14:54 left in the game and then followed that up with a 14-yard connection to Jeremy Gallon to cut the lead to three. Robinson went on to throw two more touchdowns in the quarter, including a 16-yard game-winning strike to Roy Roundtree with :02 seconds left.

Michigan State's Defense

I know it's only Florida Atlantic, but their 44-0 shutout wouldn't have been possible without their stellar play on defense. The Spartans surrendered just 48 yards total and just 22 yards rushing. They also forced one turnover and finished with five sacks from five different players.

QB Taylor Martinez/KR Ameer Abdullah

For Nebraska, they received major contributions in their victory over Fresno State from two players: Martinez and Abdullah. The sophomore compiled 173 yards on the ground and two touchdowns to go along with 219 passing yards and one touchdown. The biggest spark of the game came from Abdullah, who took a kick return 100-yards for the score.

There's Always Next Week: Penn State

After an impressive opening drive, the Nittany Lions just didn't have enough talent to upend No. 3 Alabama. The crowd was louder than ever, but with questions surrounding their quarterbacks and a lack of production from Silas Redd – 66 yards on 22 attempts – Penn State just wasn't ready to take out the SEC's king. But there's always next week for the Lions as they try to bounce back with a win over Temple; don't think this will be a cake walk for the Lions, Temple has played quite impressive in their first two games.

- Josh Harvey -

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