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. Ohio State 56, Miami (Ohio) 10 1. The Urban Meyer era got off to a nice start with a dominating effort. The Buckeyes fell behind 3-0 in a lackluster first quarter and then outscored the RedHawks, 56-7. The new spread offense totaled 538 yards
Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian hit Demetrius Fields for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left and Northwestern held on to beat Syracuse 42-41 Saturday in the teams’ season opener. Siemian, subbing for starter Kain Colter, drove the Wildcats 75 yards in 10 plays, taking advantage of a critical personal foul against Syracuse defender Keon Lyn for a late hit out of bounds on the previous play. The decisive score in the sweltering Carrier Dome came after Ryan Nassib had engineered a stunning comeback for the Orange, throwing for four second-half touchdowns. Nassib finished 44 of 65 for 470 yards.
Ryan Nassib had a productive quarter for Syracuse. He threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two yards, but the margin is still eight, as the Orange trail 35-27. Syracuse is currently on a 14-point run. Northwestern made the score 28-13 when the Wildcats recovered a fumble in the endzone. Northwestern added to its advantage when Kain Colter kept it himself for a one-yard touchdown run, the final play on an eight-play, 73-yard drive to give the Wildcats the lead, 35-13. The Orange capped off a 77-yard drive when Nassib threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Marcus
In the second quarter, Northwestern’s Kain Colter threw for 49 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 16 yards to help the Wildcats take a 21-13 lead into halftime. Northwestern is currently on a 14-point run. Colter’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Venric Mark gave the Wildcats the lead, 14-13, and was the final play of a one-play, 21-yard drive. Northwestern started in good field position when Chi Chi Ariguzo intercepted a Ryan Nassib pass. The Wildcats opened up the lead, 21-13, after Colter found Christian Jones open for a 14-yard touchdown pass to end a four-play, 28-yard drive. Mark’s punt
Ross Krautman helped Syracuse jumpstart a potential comeback against Northwestern with two field goals, and now the Orange trail 7-6 at the end of the first quarter. Syracuse got on the scoreboard first, rattling off a five-play, 26-yard drive that ended in a score when Krautman made a 22-yard field goal. The Orange began the drive with good field position at the Wildcats’ 31-yard line after Syracuse recovered a fumble. The Orange expanded their lead to 6-0 thanks to a nine-play, 61-yard drive that ended when Krautman kicked a 33-yard field goal. Syracuse ran just one time on that possession.
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