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  • Joseph Meade

Major Takeaways from Week 2 CFB Big Ten/Glimpse Into Week 3

  1. Big Three, Three Not So Big Problems (Yet)

    1. The Big Three of 2023 of Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State all cruised to dominating victories. Though all had impressive QB performances, there is more to be desired for three conference contenders. Michigan needs to find the magical run game of the last two championship seasons. The key to this according to Jim Harbaugh (who watched the game in his yard with McDonalds in hand) claims it's a matter of one guy missing a block on the line or a missed cut by a back. Ohio State had similar issues with their offensive line showing some signs of struggle against the Penguins. Penn State had minimal on-screen problems but face a challenge when they play Illinois on the road this Saturday. Though Penn State is more talented, Brett Bilema is and has been an upset specialist whether at Wisconsin or Illinois. Expect James Franklin to replay the 2021 Illinois upset of Penn State in Happy Valley. This author would not be surprised to see a bitterly close game or an Illini upset.

  2. Bad Week For First-Year Head Coaches

    1. No, do not hit the panic button on Luke Fickell or Matt Rhule. Wisconsin like many Big Ten Teams of the past went on the road to a PAC-12 opponent and lost. Though their first half was and ball security was shaky, their second half showed a team capable of staying in a ball game. Though this is of no comfort to the hard nosed, man’s man that is Luke Fickell, this is a learning experience for the Badgers. The best part is they are still 0-0 in Big Ten play so this can be considered a loss without serious consequences. Nebraska on the other hand had a less promising performance. Despite their defensive line improving, the offensive turnover woes continued for Jeff Sims. He is starting week 3 against Northern Illinois as the Huskers look to pick up their first win of the Rhule era and gain momentum before their next test against Michigan 2 weeks from Saturday.

  3. Early Judgement Day for Michigan State

    1. Beating the prolific passing attack of Michael Penix and Washinton was always going to be a daunting task for the Spartans. This was echoed all offseason and in the recent week. Following a very impressive game from new Spartan Quarterback Noah Kim, it looked like Michigan State was taking some positive offensive momentum before Test #1. Then the news came late Saturday night from Brett McMurphy. As Mel Tucker is suspended without pay and is frankly a dead man walking, secondary coach Harlon Barnett is taking the reigns. Luckily for Barnett, he is not going at this alone as Spartan legend Mark Dantonio will be his associate head coach for the rest of 2023. The 5:00 pm kick Saturday is a test on so many different levels for the Spartans and the 10-year anniversary of their 2013 Rose Bowl Team. To say the Spartans need a win would be ridiculous. But they need to show they can compete against a PAC-12 powerhouse like Washington before they face at least two or three more powerhouses.

Photo: Detroit News

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