BTN.com staff, September 10, 2015
It surely was an intriguing first week of the Big Ten football season. With games spread out over five days for the first time in conference history, one of the highlights of the week was Northwestern?s stunning upset of No. 21 Stanford, which gave the Wildcats their first victory over a ranked team in a season-opener for first time since 1995.
On the opposite side of the coin, six teams came up short in the first game of the year, including Nebraska. The Huskers dropped their first season-opener in 30 years.
We?ve got a full slate of games this weekend on BTN, with Maryland facing Bowling Green and Illinois hosting Western Illinois at noon ET, followed by the nation?s top-ranked team Ohio State facing Hawaii at 3:30 p.m.. Then we have Nebraska matching up against South Alabama and Indiana hosting FIU at 8 p.m. (all times ET).
So with that lineup, here are five facts you should know going into this weekend?s games on BTN.
1. Ohio State looks to improve on an FBS-leading 14-game winning streak in Saturday?s matchup with Hawaii. The Buckeyes are 8-1 all time against current Mountain West teams. Their only loss came in the 1990 Liberty Bowl against Air Force, which was their first such game against a MWC foe. Since that loss to Air Force, Ohio State has won 52 consecutive contests against teams who are currently not in one of the five ?power conferences.? Even more impressive? The Buckeyes have not lost to a current ?non-power conference? team at Ohio Stadium since dropping a 32-27 decision to SMU on Sep. 30, 1950.
2. And speaking of streaks, Nebraska?s stunning 33-28 setback to BYU last weekend was the program's first season-opening loss since dropping a 17-13 decision to Florida State in 1985. The Huskers' 29-game season-opening win streak was the longest active mark among all FBS teams. With the loss, Mike Riley became the first Nebraska head coach to lose his debut since Bill Jennings in 1957 against Washington State. That also happens to be the last time that the Huskers have ever posted an 0-2 start to a season. Nebraska?s current stretch of 57 consecutive seasons without an 0-2 start is also the longest active stretch among all FBS teams.
3. With a 50-21 win over Richmond last Saturday, Maryland picked up its 17th consecutive home-opening victory, dating back to 1997. Combined with their 52-7 victory over James Madison in last season?s opener, the Terps have now posted at least 50 points in back-to-back season-openers for the first time since 1945 and 1946. Maryland now heads into this weekend?s matchup against Bowling Green looking to start 2-0 in four straight seasons for the first time in school history.
4. Illinois redshirt junior quarterback Wes Lunt tossed four touchdown passes in the first half of last weekend?s victory against Kent State. But did you know that he was the only FBS quarterback in the opening weekend to have four touchdown passes on fewer than a dozen completions (11)? How many touchdowns will he toss against Western Illinois this weekend? It also is worth mentioning that Lunt has thrown 18 touchdown passes against just three interceptions in his first nine games for the Illini. His 1.2 interception percentage since the start of last season is the fourth-best mark among all active FBS quarterbacks (min. 250 attempts).
5. Indiana put up 48 points up in a season-opening win against Southern Illinois. The Hoosiers have now scored at least 40 points in 11 games under head coach Kevin Wilson, which is two more than they had the previous ten seasons combined (118 games) before Wilson?s arrival. However, the Hoosiers will have to find a way to tighten up their defense as they allowed the Salukis to gain 659 yards. That was the most yards allowed by a Big Ten team in a winning performance since Northwestern gave up 678 yards in a victory at Navy on Sept. 21, 2002.
Check us out on Twitter at @BTNStatsGuys as we provide more facts and stats leading up to and on game day. Here's a taste of what we did last weekend:
C.J. Beathard is the first Iowa QB with at least 2 rush TD's and a pass TD in a game since Brad Banks at Minnesota in 2002 @HawkeyeFootball— BTNStatsGuys (@BTNStatsGuys) September 5, 2015