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.
Earlier Saturday, I offered my snap reactions from the Big Ten’s first four games. With the afternoon games now in the books, it’s time to share what I learned from Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin’s wins. Nebraska and Purdue cruised to victory, however Iowa and Wisconsin both received stiff tests that went down to the wire. See my snap reactions from the afternoon games in this post.
The University of Minnesota’s Class of 2016 gathered at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday for a really cool photo op. An annual tradition, the entire class formed Minnesota’s “M” logo, with “2016” below it, at midfield. To little surprise, 5,500-plus students yield a massive logo. The base of the “M” stretched from one 15-yard line to the other – a total of 70 yards. To put it in perspective, that’s more than two basketball courts.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez never threw more than two touchdowns in any game last season. In Saturday afternoon’s season opener against Southern Miss, the oft-criticized junior doubled that number with four scoring strikes. It was a career day for Martinez, who tied a career-high with five touchdown passes – also did it as a freshman against Oklahoma State – and set personal records for completions (26), completion percentage (76.5 percent) and yards (349). Watch all of Martinez’s scoring strikes now.