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Big Ten Football: Week 2 Early Games - Handing Out Gold Stars and Throwing Tomatoes

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Kevin Paul

For those not familiar with my work in the past, it's common occurrence to throw a tomato when dissatisfied with a play or performance (on or off the field) - all in all, a playful way to show that a performance could have been better - much better.  

On the counter side, handing out gold stars is necessary for the elite performances.  With that being said, let's touch upon the early games for Week 2 in Big Ten football...

IOWA 35, IOWA STATE 3 Final

What a difference a week makes for the Hawkeyes, who cruised by in-state rival Iowa State.

Gold Star:
    Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi - 18-34 197 yards 4 TD 2 INT
        Stanzi's four TD's are a career high
    
Tomato:
    Iowa State QB Austen Arnaud - 10-22 79 yards, 4 INT
        Tough day for the Cyclones QB - real tough

CENTRAL MICHIGAN 29, MICHIGAN STATE 27 Final

Another wild one in the Big Ten, this time resulting in the upset - though don't call it a major upset, as the Chippewas are a talented bunch, coming through big time with a late TD, followed by a missed 2-pt conversion, then a recovered onside kick, botched FG that ended up with a second chance FG after a defensive offsides call - phew!  The second kick connected... barely.

Gold Star:
    Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour - 33-46 325 yards 3TD, 1 INT
        It's safe to say that... "I've got LeFevour."
   
Tomato:
    Michigan State defensive front - for moving offsides on a last second FG attempt
        Hey, you have to love the passion to try and jump and block the kick but you just can't         give a team a second chance like that.  And while chiming in here, how can the                   Spartans allow such a wide-open man on the onside kick recovery?  Unacceptable!

PENN STATE 28, SYRACUSE 7 Final

The Penn State defense had a shutout late into the fourth, until the second string turned the ball over, leading to an Orange TD on the following play.

Gold Star:
    Penn State QB Daryll Clark - 20-39 239 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
        If Clark keeps putting numbers up like this week after week, look for him to start                    sneaking into the Heisman discussion... and sooner than later.
   
Tomato:
    Penn State offensive line - for not opening nearly enough holes for the running game
        If the Nittany Lions want to be in the national title hunt late in the season, the o-line is            going to have to improve - and soon.  Today, the PSU running game was held to under         100 total yards, and Evan Royster only had 11 carries for 40 yards.

WISCONSIN 34, FRESNO STATE 31 Final 2OT

The Badgers make it interesting for the second consecutive week, this time mounting a comeback against Fresno State, eventually knocking out the Bulldogs in overtime.

Gold Star:
    Wisconsin RB John Clay - 21 carries 143 yards, 1 TD
        The big bruiser came up big for the Badgers, especially in the fourth quarter, breaking a         72-yard run for a TD that gave Wisconsin the lead.
   
"Cherry Tomato":
    Fresno State QB Ryan Colburn - for late pick in second overtime
        All in all, it was a solid day for Colburn, who threw for 4 TD's, therefore the young man         only gets a small cherry tomato for that untimely forced pass that led to a key INT that         did the Bulldogs in during the second OT.

INDIANA 23, WESTERN MICHIGAN 19 Final

It hasn't been pretty at times, but Indiana is 2-0.

Gold Star:
    Demetrius McCray - 17 carries, 133 yards, 1 TD
        The Hoosiers have to feel good about getting some solid yards on the ground
   
Tomato:
    Indiana Defense - specifically its discipline late in the game
        The Hoosiers had four costly penalties late in the game, which almost allowed the                 Broncos to storm back and escape with a win.

NORTHWESTERN 27, EASTERN MICHIGAN 24 Final

The Wildcats needed a last second field goal to escape with a victory - all after opening up a 21-0 lead in the first half.

Gold Star:
    Northwestern K Stefan Demos - 2 FG's
        His 49-yard field goal with seconds to go ended up being the game winner
   
Tomato:
    Northwestern Defense
        The Wildcats fell flat in the 2nd half, being outscored 21-6 after having a commanding             lead going into halftime.

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2 Comments

Hawkeye Nerd said:

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@kevin, nice write up. i gotta give Tyler Sash the nod over Stanzi, though. While Stanzi had 4TDs, he had a rough first half. He could have easily scored 2 more TDs to DJK had be not over thrown him on two wide open passes.

but Sash had a MONSTER game. three interceptions, one forced fumble, and 10 tackles (2 for loss). STUD!

Kevin Paul said:

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Hawkeye_Nerd,

Thanks, appreciate you stopping by FBT...
I certainly have no argument against, because he most definitely had an off-the-charts performance on Saturday. I chose Stanzi in this case because a lot of the focus has been on the offense for Iowa, how close they came to losing to Northern Iowa, plus how would the Hawkeyes adjust while struggling with the running game... and having opponents know this. That's why I went with Stanzi because he stepped up in a big way, throwing for a career high 4 TD's against the Cyclones...

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