Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, September 10, 2015

Before we flip the script and focus on this coming Saturday, I wanted to take one last peek back at the opening week of the season.

So, I asked some of the leading writers who cover the Big Ten: What was the biggest surprise in the first week of action?

Kevin Noon, Northwestern defeating Stanford. I have always liked Pat Fitzgerald and what he has done with the Wildcats program, but I really did not see QB Clayton Thorson stepping in and playing as well as he did in Week 1 against a Power Five team. I would not call it a great game, but they did more than enough to pull off the upset.

Graham Couch, Lansing State Journal: Penn State being so bad against Temple. I didn't think the Nittany Lions were back, but I thought they'd take another step this year.

Pete DiPrimio, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel: Northwestern out-powering Stanford. The Wildcats' muscle–if sustained–could shake up the Big Ten West.

Robin Washut, Northwestern's win over Stanford. Easily the most impressive win of the weekend for the conference. Given how average the Big Ten West looks right now, the Wildcats made a statement that they are legit contenders in the division.

Rachel Lenzi, Toledo Blade: Penn State stumbling vs. Temple. Especially PSU's offensive woes, with  Christian Hackenberg getting sacked 10 times and the offense accruing just 183 yards. No. 2, the general ineptitude of several teams' running games, including Michigan (76 yards), Wisconsin (40 yards) and the aforementioned Penn State (80 yards).


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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