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Golden Nugz: B1G Edition - Ohio State dominates but Week 1 is rough for the rest of the conference

In which several teams try in vain to put the LOLB1G meme to bed once and for all.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

There was actual football in Big Ten country! Here's how it all shook out.


Neither rain nor snow nor Golden Flashes: Just a week after dumping their head coach, Wes Lunt and the Illini overcame a stiff challenge from the weather and a weak challenge from Kent State. In a 52-3 victory, Illinois excelled in all facets of the game, and fans can now turn their attention back to things that matter, i.e. a huge upset victory over Andy Murray at the US Open for former Illini Kevin Anderson.


Phew! Indiana was far less dominant in its opening game against Southern Illinois. The Salukis stood tough and nearly scored a huge win against the Hoosiers' porous defense, racking up 659 yards of total offense. But the onslaught fell short and Indiana held on by a sliver for a 48-47 decision.


If ifs and buts were candy and nuts: Iowa's relatively easy 31-14 win over FCS powerhouse Illinois State answered a lot of questions, especially about quarterback C.J. Beathard, and now it's time for Hawkeye fans to pretend Iowa State is not a real rival.


Don't kick to him! Maryland's Will Likely set a new Big Ten record with 233 punt return yards, as the Terps cruised to a 50-21 victory over Richmond. It's hard to tell from the final score, but Maryland actually trailed 14-13 at one point before reeling off 37 straight points.


Meet the new team, same as the old team: Jim Harbaugh's debut at Michigan got off to an inauspicious start as the Wolverines dropped a third straight game to Utah 24-17. Michigan lost the turnover battle, never really established the ground game and looked pretty much just like Michigan in 2014 (Anthony Broome (of Maize-N-Brew, writing for the Detroit Free Press)). But the team showed effort and there is plenty of upside.

Michigan State

Slow off the starting block: Although Michigan State did not struggle to put Western Michigan away 37-24, the Spartans were slow out of the gate, and also gave up two big returns. The defense was unusually inconsistent, giving up nearly 400 yards and Connor Cook was only 15-31.


HAHAHAHA! Sorry I cannot manage entire sentences about the end of the Nebraska-BYU game.  I'll just leave you with THIS instead.


Even when you win, sometimes you lose: Northwestern was a 12-point underdog against No. 21 Stanford, but stood tall on defense and came away with a 16-6 victory, one of the best performances in the conference this weekend. Afterwards, Pat Fitzgerald expressed disappointment at his team's "very average" performance.

Ohio State

Knowing how to win: There was no way Ohio State was going to lose to Virginia Tech a second time, not if Braxton Miller had any say in it. And boy did he have a lot to say. Miller accounted for two scores, including one with a wicked spin move that will make highlight reels forever. With the Hokies' starting quarterback knocked out early in the third quarter, it was all Ohio State and a dominant 42-24 victory.

Penn State

This is going to get ugly: The folks at Black Shoe Diaries are upset. A 27-10 loss to Temple will do that. How did this happen, you ask? Well, apparently they don't do offensive line stuff in Happy Valley anymore, because Christian Hackenberg was sacked ten times while completing less than 50% of his passes.


Off the rails: Purdue took three quarters to build up a solid lead and then squandered it in the fourth as Marshall rallied for a 41-31 win. Quarterback Austin Appleby racked up nearly 250 yards passing to go with a rushing touchdown, but also had three interceptions on the day, including two pick-sixes.


Running the dang ball: Rutgers looked a bit shaky in the first half, but a strong running game, and a 100+ yard rushing effort from Josh Hicks earned the Scarlet Knights a dominant 63-13 win over FCS team Norfolk State.


No joy in Mudville: Nobody seriously expected Paul Chryst's tenure at Wisconsin to begin with a win, but fans expected better than the 35-17 loss to Alabama. Losing running back Corey Clement and senior safety Michael Caputo to injury meant Wisconsin could not slow the Tide. But quarterback Joel Stave did well in the passing game, with 228 yards and two touchdowns on the night.