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. Purdue 48, Eastern Kentucky 6 1. Moments before the game, Purdue announced that starting quarterback Caleb TerBush was suspended for the game. No problem. Robert Marve took over and looked like an All-American
Damon Bullock ran for 150 yards and scored on a late 23-yard touchdown run to lead Iowa to an 18-17 victory over Northern Illinois in the season opener on Saturday. The Hawkeyes simply got all they could handle from the reigning Mid-American Conference champions but came out on top after trailing most of the way. They were down 17-12 when Bullock ran untouched around the left end to put them ahead by one. That happened after Iowa downed a punt at the NIU 1, pinning the Huskies against the goal line. Rather than take a safety, Northern Illinois punted. Iowa
Northern Illinois picked up 89 yards in the ground game during the third quarter, and the Huskies now lead 17-9. Northern Illinois’ defense held tough in the quarter, holding Iowa to 17 total yards of offense. The Hawkeyes closed the gap to 10-9 when Mike Meyer made a 20-yard field goal to polish off an 11-yard drive. Iowa squandered an opportunity to score a touchdown, missing a chance to score from the Huskies’ three-yard line before settling for the field goal. A fumble recovery by the Hawkeyes set Iowa up at the Northern Illinois 14-yard line to start the drive.
Keith Harris had a productive quarter for Northern Illinois. He ran for seven yards and one touchdown, and the Huskies have taken the lead 10-6. Harris’ seven-yard touchdown run put Northern Illinois on top 7-3, the last of an 11-play, 61-yard drive. The Huskies threw just two times on that possession. Iowa capped off a 51-yard drive when Mike Meyer kicked a 29-yard field goal to make the score 7-6. Northern Illinois added to its advantage when Mathew Sims kicked a 28-yard field goal, putting a bow on a nine-play, 64-yard drive to give the Huskies the lead, 10-6. Northern
Damon Bullock led Iowa in the quarter. He ran for 49 yards, and the Hawkeyes lead 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. Iowa scored when Mike Meyer kicked a 34-yard field goal to put a bow on a 13-play, 58-yard drive, giving the Hawkeyes the game’s first lead. Northern Illinois will start the second quarter with good field position on Iowa’s seven-yard line. Use the links below to track the action: [ PREVIEW | BOX | PLAY BY PLAY | BY QUARTER | SCOREBOARD | BTN CONNECT ] EDITOR’S NOTE In partnership with Narrative Science, BTN.com posts recaps after
This is the first edition of a new weekly post where I will look at one key question for each team in a piece called: 12 Teams, 12 Questions. I’ll roll these out every Tuesday and look forward to hearing what you think about your team and your team’s games. Remember: Minnesota plays Thursday, Michigan State plays Friday, and the rest play Saturday. Our Big Ten football scoreboard will be a handy bookmark, but also stay in touch with me on Twitter all week and during games. I’m @BTNTomDienhart and I love to hear from readers. Illinois: The Western Michigan