I’ve already provided my snap reactions for today’s Big Ten early games and afternoon tilts. Now, it’s time to look at the three night games. The Big Ten went 1-2 under the lights, highlighted by Northwestern’s 23-13 win over Vanderbilt.
Venric Mark ran for 123 yards and a late touchdown, Tyler Scott forced a key fumble and Northwestern beat Vanderbilt 23-13 Saturday night. Northwestern (2-0) didn’t score a touchdown in the first three quarters but managed 17 points in the fourth to come away with another dramatic win after beating Syracuse 42-41 in the opener.
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The two teams combined for more punts than points in a slow third quarter, and Vanderbilt now leads 10-6. There were five punts in the quarter as neither team could find a way to move the ball. Northwestern closed the gap to 10-6 when Jeff Budzien kicked a 38-yard field goal to finish off a 54-yard drive.
Vanderbilt’s defense held tough in the second quarter, holding Northwestern to 25 total yards of offense and the Commodores now lead 10-3. Vanderbilt made its lead 10-3 when Carey Spear made a 32-yard field goal on the last play of an 11-play, 80-yard drive.
Vanderbilt scored seven points in the quarter, and the Commodores lead 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Vanderbilt executed a balanced offensive attack in the quarter, finishing with 73 yards passing and 65 yards rushing. The Commodores struck first when Jordan Rodgers found Jordan Matthews open for a 22-yard touchdown pass, the final play of a 13-play, 77-yard drive.
Every week, I rank Saturday’s games based on how the teams match up. Where does your game fall on my list? Come find out in my Week 2 Previews. In case you you missed anything earlier this week, here are my weekly bowl projections, reader mailbag, and my predictions. Oh, and here’s an early stab at a Heisman Trophy tracker.
Venric Mark accounted for 281 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including an 82-yard punt return, in Northwestern’s 42-41 win at Syracuse last week. His reward: A cool image of himself from the game on a wall of the Northwestern team room. Mark’s picture was placed on the wall because he won Northwestern Player of the Week, and each ensuing honoree will be added every week.
BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) love to talk football, and that includes prognostications. Every week, the duo gives their predictions for each Big Ten football game, plus includes a poll for fans to vote for their winners.
The second weekend of the season is approaching. And this Saturday is highlighted by three games vs. Pac-12 foes—all on the road: Wisconsin at Oregon State; Illinois at Arizona State; Nebraska at UCLA. And how will Penn State (at Virginia) and Michigan (vs. Air Force) respond coming off losses? There also are two rivalry games, with Purdue playing at Notre Dame and Iowa State visiting Iowa. We also have an SEC-Big Ten clash, with Vanderbilt playing at Northwestern.
Week 2 is here, and questions loom for each team following the opening weekend. Can Indiana score more? Will Rex Burkhead play? Those are just a few of the pressing questions I have for each school as we head toward Saturday. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here and don’t forget to send any of your questions my way for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.