Big Ten Week 1 Review: Purdue is terrible, PSU finds a QB, Nebraska D = AWFUL



Every Big Ten team has a game in the books now. Here’s what we learned.

We knew Purdue and new coach Darrell Hazell had work to do coming into the 2013 season but— wow. Rob Henry and the Boilermaker offense had nothing, and their defense had even less, in their 42-7 loss to Cincinnati.

-Purdue should have an easier time with Indiana State next Saturday, but they’ll need a lot of improvement just to even compete with Notre Dame on the 14th and with the Big Ten during conference season.

-Penn State may have found their quarterback for the next couple of seasons. True freshman Christian Hackenberg had a solid performance against Syracuse, completing 22 of 31 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Nittany Lions to a 23-17 victory over the Orange. Things will get tougher for Hackenberg before they get easier; he’ll struggle against Big Ten opponents, but he has a lot of potential as a future long-term starter.

And the Big Ten is truly lacking right now in pure passers, so he could step up to be one of the best quite easily.

-The Nebraska defense still hasn’t fixed a thing. How do you allow Wyoming 602 yards of offense? Taylor Martinez did a fine job leading the Husker offense, as expected. But the defensive weaknesses Nebraska allegedly addressed this off-season still have a very long way to go before conference play begins.

-Northwestern looked good without Kain Colter and with very little use of Venric Mark. Cal is not the strongest of opponents, but Northwestern did well adapting to injuries in their first contest. Putting up 44 points without your best offensive playmakers and leaning on your defense to put a couple in the endzone is a sign of a complete football team. Northwestern does not have stars waiting on the bench, but they do appear to have very capable backups to step up if needed.

-Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio State all had strong showings in week one. The Wisconsin running game looked great, as always. Braxton Miller played well, as expected. And Devin Gardner with the Michigan offense looked a lot like what we expected out of a Brady Hoke offense. We didn’t learn anything new from these teams in week one, but they played well and appear to be the teams we thought they would be.

Big Ten football is just five days away!

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