Another big game, another loss by the Big Ten. And so it has gone the first four weeks of what has been a black-and-blue season for the Big Ten.
Manti Te’o had two interceptions as No. 11 Notre Dame picked off five Michigan passes and backup quarterback Tommy Rees sparked the Fighting Irish offense in a 13-6 win over the 18th-ranked Wolverines Saturday night. Denard Robinson, who amassed 948 yards of total offense in victories over the Irish past two years, wasn’t as effective this time as he threw four interceptions in the first half, then lost a fumble at the Notre Dame 8-yard line on the first drive of the second half.
Notre Dame and Michigan combined for a total of no points and one turnover in a sloppy third quarter and the margin is still 10, as the Fighting Irish lead 10-0.
Tommy Rees had a productive quarter for Notre Dame. He threw for 45 yards and ran for two yards and one touchdown, and the Fighting Irish now lead 10-0. Notre Dame took the game’s first lead after Kyle Brindza drilled a 33-yard field goal on the last play of a four-play, one-yard drive.
The first quarter saw both teams combine for no points and two turnovers and the game is tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. No. 15 Notre Dame will start the second quarter with possession at its own 31-yard line.
It’s time for my weekly ranking of the Big Ten’s slate of games and Week 4 holds some intriguing matchups. See where your team’s game ranks on my list and get my complete preview of all ten Big Ten games (Purdue and Indiana are off this week).
Last week, I opened the column by dwelling on the negative. Not happening this week. We’re starting with the positive – the Big Ten’s three unbeaten teams.
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners. After three weeks, it’s Tom and BTN.com fans on top, at 28-8, while Brent is in the cellar, at 27-9. See our Week 4 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
As I do every Wednesday, I have questions that I hope are answered Saturday. One week away from the start of Big Ten play, here are my most pressing queries for the 10 Big Ten teams in action this week.
How about that? We’re still days away from the Michigan-Notre Dame game, and Wolverine fans already have hit up Notre Dame Stadium. Thanks to @stephenjnesbitt, we have visual proof of it. Evidently, Michigan fans placed a blue “Beat the Irish” banner on the stadium, facing Touchdown Jesus.
Did you catch “#BTNLive” on Tuesday night? If not, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah joined the show. Robinson talked to the guys about preparing for Notre Dame, Saturday night’s opponent, and Abdullah told the crew how he’s been able to fill in for starter Rex Burkhead. Watch both interviews in this post.
The Big Ten went 10-2 last week. But look closer. It wasn’t an impressive 10-2. The wins came vs. FCS Charleston Southern; FCS Northern Iowa; UMass; Arkansas State, Western Michigan; Cal; Navy; Boston College, Utah State and Eastern Michigan. And Indiana lost to Ball State.