Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 1? Find out in this post. Also, watch our network’s Week 1 Sights and Sounds feature now.
AJ McCarron threw two touchdown passes and Alabama’s retooled defense showed it could still dominate as the second-ranked Crimson Tide pounded No. 8 Michigan 41-14 on Saturday night. Even after sending three starting defenders from last year’s national championship team to the NFL as first-round draft picks, the Crimson Tide threw around the Wolverines while stifling and pounding dual-threat quarterback Denard Robinson.
Tre Roberson threw for a career-high 280 yards and one touchdown, ran for another and led Indiana past in-state rival Indiana State 24-17 Saturday night in the season opener for both teams. The win ended the Hoosiers’ nine-game losing streak. Indiana State dropped to 0-4 all-time against the Hoosiers and 0-10 against Big Ten schools. The Sycamores were led by Shakir Bell, who ran 24 times for 192 yards including a 54-yard touchdown run for the game’s first score.
Throughout Saturday’s Week 1 action, I offered my snap reactions to all the Big Ten games. Here are my thoughts from the Big Ten’s early games and the afternoon games. Under the lights, Indiana held off instate foe Indiana State to match its 2011 win total, while Michigan was no match for reigning national champ Alabama. See my snap reactions to Indiana’s victory in this post.
Devin Gardner had a productive quarter for Michigan. He caught a 44-yard touchdown pass, but the Wolverines have closed the gap to 34-14. Alabama expanded its lead to 34-7 thanks to a five-play, 21-yard drive that ended when Cade Foster kicked a 50-yard field goal. Michigan polished off an 86-yard drive when Denard Robinson and Gardner combined for a 44-yard touchdown to make the score 34-14. Vincent Smith’s 22-yard run from the 30-yard line pushed the Wolverines into enemy territory.
Tre Roberson had a productive quarter for Indiana. He threw for 82 yards and ran for nine yards and one touchdown, and the margin is still seven, as the Hoosiers lead 24-17. Indiana opened up the lead, 24-10, after Roberson turned a quarterback sneak into a one-yard touchdown run to end an 11-play, 75-yard drive. Roberson topped 200 yards passing for the game in the quarter, and has plenty of time to add to his 245 total yards through the air.
Alabama’s high-powered offense resulted in 10 points in the second quarter, and the Crimson Tide now lead Michigan 31-7. Alabama racked up 61 passing yards and 66 rushing yards in the quarter. The Crimson Tide opened up the lead, 24-0, after marching down the field for a seven-play, 61-yard drive that ended when Jeremy Shelley kicked a 22-yard field goal. Alabama made the score 31-0 when C.J. Mosley intercepted Denard Robinson’s pass and returned it for a touchdown.