Monday Morning Quarterback

After opening the season with a perfect 11-0 mark, several Big Ten teams found themselves in a fight for survival in week No. 2. FightOnState.com takes our weekly stroll around the Big Ten and the Nittany Lion schedule in this edition of Monday Morning Quarterback.

The Big Ten

Central Michigan at Michigan

The Wolverines found themselves in an early battle with both Central Michigan and the weather, as a thunderstorm delayed the game for an hour late in the first quarter. Central Michigan composed itself during the delay to run up 10 second-quarter points to make the halftime tally a respectable 24-10, but in the second half, Michigan had too much depth and talent for the plucky Chippewas and rolled to a 41-17 final before a crowd of 108,712.

Next Up: Michigan takes to the road for the first time this season in a visit to Notre Dame Sept 16. The Fighting Irish battle their second ranked Big Ten team in two weeks under the shadow of Touchdown Jesus.

Illinois at Rutgers

Things started out bad and quickly progressed to worse for the Illini, who were victimized by a 20-point Rutgers' first-quarter outburst. Derrick Roberson fell on a blocked punt for a Scarlet Knight touchdown and Devin McCourty returned an interception for a second score in the opening minutes, and the Knights rolled to a 33-0 shutout that was not as close as the final score indicated.

Next Up: Illinois plays host to 0-2 Big East opponent Syracuse at Memorial Stadium Sept. 16.

Miami (Ohio) at Purdue

The Boilermakers needed every one of Kory Sheets' four touchdowns, including his 11-yard game-winner in overtime to put away a stubborn Miami squad that never quit. Mike Kokal passed for 378 yards and four touchdowns in the losing effort for Miami, as the Purdue defense stopped Miami at the 8-yard line in overtime to end the battle and escape with a 38-31 victory.

Next Up: Ball State travels to West Lafayette for the Boilers' final tuneup before the Big Ten season Sept. 16.

New Hampshire at Northwestern

The absence of Randy Walker was evident in Evanston, as the Wildcats fell victim to Division I-AA opponent New Hampshire before a home opener crowd of 20,108 at Ryan Field. A moment of silence was held before kickoff in Walker's memory and Northwestern's offense remained mostly silent as New Hampshire built a 27-17 halftime lead and shut down the Wildcats in the second half for a 34-17 win. Quarterback Ricky Santos accounted for all the scoring for New Hampshire, rushing for three touchdowns and passing for two more to David Ball, who is close to breaking several of Jerry Rice's I-AA career records.

Next Up: Eastern Michigan invades Ryan Field on Sept. 16.

Western Illinois at Wisconsin

The Badgers had little trouble handling Division I-AA Western Illinois, as quarterback John Stocco tossed for 227 yards in a 15-for-25 performance. Wisconsin scored 20 first-half points then tacked on 14 more in the second half in a 34-10 victory over the Leathernecks.

Next Up: Wisconsin takes on San Diego State at Camp Randall Stadium Sept. 16.

Eastern Michigan at Michigan State

The Spartans withstood a late second-quarter charge by the Eagles, who took advantage of a trick play and a Michigan State fumble to pull within a score at the half. Eastern Michigan pulled within 24-20 early in the third quarter, before the Spartans erupted for 28 points and put the game away 52-20. Drew Stanton accounted for five Michigan State touchdowns before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter following a 254-yard, 24-for-32 performance. Stanton became MSU's sixth quarterback to reach 5,000 career passing yards.

Next Up: Michigan State travels to Heinz Field to take on 2-0 Pitt Sept. 16.

Iowa at Syracuse

It wasn't a a pretty win for the Hawkeyes, who played without injured quarterback Drew Tate. Syracuse place-kicker Patrick Shadle sent the game into overtime with a field goal with six seconds remaining to knot the game at 10-10. The teams exchanged field goals in the first overtime before Albert Young rushed for six in the second overtime and the Hawkeye defense survived two pass interference calls that gave the Orangemen six attempts from the Iowa 2.

Next Up: The Hawkeyes take on arch rival Iowa State at Kinnick Stadium Sept. 16.

Indiana at Ball State

The Hoosiers ran their record to 2-0, but needed 17 unanswered second-half points to do it, as third-string quarterback Kellen Lewis led the team to a stirring come from behind 24-23 win. A missed Cardinal extra point made the difference, as Lewis finished the game with 228 yards and two touchdowns. Marcus Thigpen accounted for another Hoosier score with a 100-yard kickoff return after Ball State had built a 17-0 lead.

Next Up: Southern Illinois visits Indiana as the Hoosiers attempt to open their season 3-0 Sept. 16.

Minnesota at California

The Golden Bears proved to be more golden than the Golden Gophers as they built a 28-17 halftime lead before shutting out the Gophers in the second half en-route to a 42-17 victory. The loss dropped Minnesota to 1-1 on the year as the Gopher offense accounted for just one touchdown and a 34-yard field goal. Minnesota's other points came on a Dominic Jones 99-yard kickoff return in the second quarter to even the scoring at 14-14 before Nate Longshore tossed two quick touchdowns to DeSean Jackson to put the game away for the Golden Bears.

Next Up: Speaking of all things gold, Al Golden brings Temple to the Metrodome on Sept. 16.

Ohio State at Texas

The early hype of a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the second week of the season did not bother the Buckeyes, who exacted revenge for last year's loss to the Longhorns by handing Texas a 24-7 defeat. Troy Smith accounted for 269 passing yards and two touchdowns, while the Ohio State defense held the Longhorns to a single score and Texas saw its 21-game winning streak snapped.

Next Up: The Buckeyes wrap up their non-conference schedule by playing host to Cincinnati Sept. 16 as a final tuneup before taking on Penn State Sept. 23.

Big Ten Record through two weeks: 18-4

Other Penn State Opponents

Akron at N.C. State

The Zips proved to be good enough to beat the Wolfpack — by one play, as Dennis Kennedy rushed for his third touchdown of the day on the last play of the game to give Akron a 20-17 win. Entering the fourth quarter with a 7-3 lead, the Zips had to come from behind twice in the final period, as Marcus Stone passed for two Wolfpack scores. Kennedy proved to be unstoppable in short yardage and accounted for all of Akron's points.

Next Up: The Zips travel to Central Michigan for a MAC matchup with the Chippewas Sept. 16.

Youngstown State at Maine

The Penguins ran their record to 2-0 with a 34-14 victory over Maine.

Next Up: Youngstown State takes on the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium Sept. 16.

Louisville at Temple

Louisville invaded Temple without star tailback Michael Bush, who was lost for the season last week in the Cardinals' opener. It didn't matter as George Stripling and Sergio Spencer each ran for two touchdowns as Louisville piled up 42 first half points and shut out the Owls 62-0. Lousiville accumulated 442 yards of offense — in the first half — and handed Golden his second consecutive defeat.

Next Up: Temple travels to Minneapolis to take on the Golden Gophers Sept. 16.

-30-


Fight On State Top Stories