Big Ten report card: Week 2

The class of the East and the West is coming into focus before conference play even heats up

True story, maybe you've heard it.

Ohio State is the team to beat in the Big Ten.

It's hard to believe anything else after watching No. 5 OSU hammer Cincinnati, 42-0, and seeing its supposed competition in the Big Ten East struggle to stay unbeaten after just two weeks.

Yes, it's early, but if you're going to beat the Buckeyes and quarterback Justin Fields, you're going to have to score.

So, say hello to Maryland.

The Terrapins hit the 100-point mark for the year in the first quarter of their Week 2 win over Syracuase.

That's, no-longer-going-to-be-ranked-No.-21 Syracuse.

Ohio State and Maryland play Nov. 9 in Columbus.

So, there's plenty of time to order a backup set of scoreboard lights for that one.

Now, let's get to the grades as the final weekend of widespread non-conference games approaches.

A

  • Ohio State hasn't skipped a beat without Urban Meyer and Dwayne Haskins. In Justin Fields, Ryan Day has a quarterback who has accounted for nine TDs in two games. Fields is a beast rushing and throwing, and the defense appears vastly improved.
  • Maryland is making people dig into their closet for all those, Fear the Turtle, hats in advance of basketball season. QB Josh Jackson was an under-the-radar transfer from Virginia Tech. There's nothing subtle about his impact on the Terps so far, though.
  • Wisconsin should dominate Central Michigan, and it did, 61-0. The Badgers are the class of the West as long as Jack Coan keeps playing like he has through two weeks. Bucky the Badger will win a lot of games if he gains confidence off a performance in which he completed 26-of-33 for 363 yards and three scores.

B

  • Indiana will find out what it is this week against Ohio State. New QB Michael Penix has been great so far, but it's come against Ball State and Eastern Illinois.
  • Michigan State shoved its offense into gear against Western Michigan and won, 51-17. The lingering memories of Sparty's struggles last week hang in the air, however. And who let you go out in public dressed like that?

C

  • Iowa started Big Ten play with a 30-0 win over Rutgers. OK, Rutgers may be better, but at home, 30 points isn't enough.
  • Penn State wound up with a 45-13 win over Buffalo, but when you get booed off the field at halftime after scoring just seven points, gaining just 82 yards total offense and trailing by three on the scoreboard, it's beyond disappointing.
  • Purdue's 42-24 win over Vanderbilt featured 13 catches and 220 receiving yards for Rondale Moore. Because it's Vandy, that's an average win. Now, if we're grading Purdue for this, it's an A+.

D

  • Flunking Michigan seems harsh, given it won against Army, 24-21 in overtime. But, c'mon, man. The Wolverines couldn't move the Cadets up front. That's a big problem going forward, and Shea Patterson just cannot be trusted to play turnover-free.

F

  • Nebraska -- Sure, the Cornhuskers were playing on the road, but up 17-0 at halftime there is no excuse for a 34-31 overtime loss to Colorado. Scott Frost's program had a chance to make a statement. It still did, but the statement was, "We're not there yet."
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