(We know you can go anywhere to find your typical game recap, so we’re changing things up a bit here at talking10. Each week we will give you a look at the best, the worst and of course the most viral moments of the Big Ten. So let’s take a look at the biggest talking points coming out of each weekend.)
Oh, you thought the Big Ten’s nightmare ended in Week 2 of the 2014 season? Let us introduce you to Week 3. We’re pretty sure things got a whole lot worse for the conference just one week after a humiliating set of losses put them on the couch for the College Football Playoff.
Iowa, Minnesota and Maryland all dropped games to Big 12 opponents, and two of those three managed to snatch a loss from the jaws of victory (sorry Gophers we aren’t talking about you). Minnesota got worked over bad, Iowa couldn’t hold of an Iowa State team that was winless coming in and Maryland botched a huge opportunity to beat West Virginia at home.
Add in Illinois getting stomped on by Washington and there was little redemption had for the Big Ten in Week 3.
Biggest Winner: Wisconsin and Michigan State
At least these two teams didn’t have to be associated with the debacle that was Week 3. While both teams have dropped important games to the SEC and Pac-12 respectively, both actually managed to put up a hell of a fight in those matchups against high-end competition like LSU and Oregon.
These two schools being on a bye week also showed how big of a golf there is between them and the rest of the conference. Not having them play also showed just how important having them win out may be to the faint (if not non-existent) College Football Playoff hopes for the Big Ten.
Biggest Loser: Indiana Hoosiers
First off somehow this game was played at Bowling Green on purpose. Secondly, this team came out of the bye week and got smoked on defense to the tune of 571 yards and 395 yards through the air.
So much for the new defense making a difference, huh? Indiana may be able to put up a boatload of points on offense and has a run game equally as dangerous as its pass game, but it doesn’t matter as they can’t stop anyone.
Standout Player: J.T. Barrett, QB (Ohio State)
When you set a record for touchdown passes (six) and the rest of the conference stunk it up in a major way this was an easy choice. Barrett finished the game 23-of-30 for 312 yards and tied a school record with those six touchdowns. He was massively efficient in the pass game just a week after having some troubles against a top defense in Virginia Tech.
This was an important game for him, because he needs to continue to build his game and Kent State allowed him to do just that.
The one caveat is that Barrett’s impressive performance came against a really bad Kent State defense.
— Drew Robinson (@DrewRob52) September 14, 2014
Biggest surprise: The last two undefeated teams are…
Nebraska and Penn State? Sure, the Huskers’ big win over Fresno State was impressive, but this isn’t the Fresno State of the last few years. The fact is, no one saw the final two undefeated teams being Nebraska and Penn State.
I mean, seriously…these two teams could be dangerous because they seem to find ways to win games they had no business winning. Nebraska beat McNeese State when they should’ve had an embarrassing loss, while Penn State managed to win over UCF and Rutgers when they got outplayed for the most part.
Snatching victory from defeat has a way of galvanizing a team, but one has to wonder how much longer both of these teams can hang on by a thread.
Quotable Coach: Kyle Flood, Rutgers
On Gary Nova turning the ball over five times:
“It’s a concern. You lose the turnover battle, it’s hard to win the game. So there’s no doubt it’s a concern. The first one is a tip. One of them is a shot to a guy who makes a lot of plays for us, No. 4. I know one of them as was a good decision, bad location so, it’s a physical error.
But is it a concern? Yeah, absolutely it’s a concern. You don’t win a lot of games if you turn it over five times.”
Best TD: In a week of not much to celebrate about…Amara