Every Saturday during the football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions to every Big Ten game. See his thoughts from the Big Ten’s three early Week 5 games in this post. Among his thoughts: Is it time to put Matt McGloin in the conversation for Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year?
Matt McGloin threw for 211 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores to lead Penn State to a 35-7 win over Illinois Saturday in the schools’ Big Ten opener. Sophomore running back Zach Zwinak added 100 yards and two touchdowns for Penn State (3-2). The Nittany Lions forced three turnovers and held the Illini (2-3) scoreless for the first 34 minutes.
Penn State’s defensive line went crazy in the third, penetrating Illinois’ backfield so often that the Fighting Illini finished with negative rushing yardage, at -4 yards, and the margin is still 21, as the Nittany Lions lead 28-7.
Matt Lehman led Penn State in the quarter. He caught a 21-yard touchdown pass, and the Nittany Lions now lead 21-0. Penn State opened up the lead, 21-0, after marching down the field for a seven-play, 72-yard drive that ended when. The Nittany Lions threw just one time during that march downfield.
Penn State gave up only eight passing yards during the first quarter and the Nittany Lions lead 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Penn State struck first when Zach Zwinak turned a handoff into a one-yard touchdown, the final play of an eight-play, 26-yard drive. The Nittany Lions started in good field position when Penn State recovered a fumble.
Earlier this week I helped take a look at who might land in the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship game. Well, the road to that big game starts Saturday as Big Ten teams put a rocky non-conference run behind them and focus on pounding on each other. In this post, I take a close look at all six games, and then I’m headed to East Lansing to cover Ohio State and Michigan State on Saturday.
Conference play is here – and not a moment too soon. I don’t say that for the reasons you might think (though I’m certainly not complaining about not having to discuss which game this weekend is most important for the Big Ten’s national reputation).
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.
Another Saturday looms. And, I have questions. Here are my most pressing queries for the 11 teams in action entering Week 5, the first week of conference play.