Andrew Weber-US Presswire
It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time for my weekly Big Ten Power Rankings. Where does your Big Ten team fall on my list following Week 1 action? See in this post. Disagree with my rankings? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet me @BTNTomDienhart. Read all my Big Ten coverage here, and don’t forget to send me any questions you may have for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.
Big Ten players were responsible for several terrific plays during Week 1 action. Who can forget Devin Smith’s remarkable one-handed touchdown grab or Le’Veon Bell’s ridiculous run where he hurdled a would-be Boise State tackler? Those are just two of the many highlights the Big Ten put on during its 10-2 opening week. See my top 10 plays, plus a memorable official call, in this post. Also, if you like highlights, make your own reel with our video mashup, presented by La Quinta.
Every Sunday during the college football season, BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo hits Twitter to share his thoughts from the previous day’s slate of games. What did DiNardo have to say about the Big Ten after the opening weekend of the season? Read all of his Sunday Ruminations in this post.
With two Big Ten games under my belt from Thursday and Friday, I locked in on the four early Big Ten games Saturday. Here are my Snap Reactions, where I list the three things I learned from each game. What did you learn? Come tell me in the comment section at the bottom of this post.
With quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase injured, Ashante Williams returned an interception 60 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown to help Illinois and new coach Tim Beckman hang on for a 24-7 win Saturday over Western Michigan in the season opener for both teams. The Illini opened up a 17-0 lead but their offense stalled when Scheelhaase left the game with an ankle injury late in the third quarter.
In the third quarter, Alex Carder fought back for Western Michigan. He threw for 124 yards and one touchdown, but the Broncos have closed the gap to 17-7. Western Michigan closed the gap to 17-7 when Carder found Jaime Wilson open for an eight-yard touchdown pass to finish off a 57-yard drive. At first, Wilson appeared to fumble before scoring but the touchdown call on the field was confirmed.
Illinois’ defense held tough in the second quarter, holding Western Michigan to 17 total yards of offense and the Fighting Illini now lead 17-0. Illinois held the Broncos to negative rushing yardage (-4 yards) in the quarter.