Big Ten football excels in first quarter, now the tough part

The Week 5 Big Ten football schedule is jam-packed with an early slate of matchups on Saturday. Harbaugh said while he appreciates the progress of his defense and his team in general, he doesn’t want his team to get ahead of itself or start thinking they have arrived just yet.


The quarterback position is one of the most important in all of sports.

– West Virginia blasted Maryland, 45-6, in Morgantown.

The lopsided score made sense, but not the numbers next to each team.

Rutgers beat quite possibly the worst team in the FBS after beating Kansas 27-14. And while the Scarlet Knights had high expectations on the field, they are struggling to live up to those. Anything less than that could mean a shift in the balance of power in the Big Ten. They’re not flashy; they just win. Now we’ll learn more about Paul Chryst’s first team against resurgent Iowa.

No team in the conference has squeaked by to the extent that the Hoosiers have thus far. Even Indiana and Iowa, albeit without a major test yet, are both 4-0.

Is this team on the rise?

Hackenberg took full advantage of the protection with 296 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-21 victory against San Diego State University.

Unfortunately, not every team in the conference is where they should be. Penn State will try to run its record to 4-1 when the Nittany Lions host the Army Black Knights.

The number of players dismissed is long, and coach Kyle Flood is serving a three-game suspension after an outside investigation determined he violated an athletic compliance policy by initiating impermissible contact with a faculty member about a player’s grade after being told that player would be ruled academically ineligible. But look at how well the rest of the league has played outside of the conference. Minnesota almost upset No. 4 TCU. The Golden Gophers head to Evanston next week. It’s getting close to time for Mitch Leidner to either do something or Jerry Kill will need to start looking for other options.

After a surprising shutout of then-No. Saturday will hopefully reveal a little more about Jim Harbaugh’s group. Thorson went 18-31 for 256 yards and three touchdowns against the Cardinals. The Hawkeyes won 62-16 over North Texas.

Did you get all your jokes in?

In their opener, they got shut out in the fourth quarter and allowed a game-winning Hail Mary touchdown against BYU.

When the Cougars flew into Ann Arbor, Michigan’s defense put them on lockdown, holding them to just 105 yards and eight first downs.

He threw for 288 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 19-of-33 passing. It was nice to see the running game pick up the slack as Joel Stave finally didn’t have to carry the Badgers. A grind it out running game and a defense capable of shutting down good offenses.

The Wolverines could make things interesting for the Buckeyes and the Spartans.

However, the Spartans did lose left tackle Jack Conklin to a leg injury. This two week stretch may help that happen.

That line of thinking, however, could work both ways, as there’s no telling what Michigan will look like in two weeks against Michigan State, let alone two months from now against Ohio State. A lot of the troubles for the Broncos were self-inflicted. Western Michigan missed two kicks on Saturday, including a blocked field goal by redshirt junior Tyvis Powell, the first for OSU since 2012.


Everyone expects Ohio State and Michigan State to battle for supremacy, but there are plenty of spoilers.

Michigan State has been a pleasant surprise to start 2015 under head coach Mark Dantonio