Bad first impressions for Ohio State, Iowa
September, 5, 2009
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
In a season where the Big Ten needs its best teams to play like it, Ohio State and Iowa didn't help the collective cause.
The sixth-ranked Buckeyes found a way to survive against Navy, thanks to Brian Rolle's interception return on a potential game-tying two-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter. Ohio State simply never found a way to shake the Midshipmen, even after taking a 29-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. Some will point to Terrelle Pryor's play as a reason for concern, but my biggest issue here is an Ohio State defense that allowed far too many big plays. The Buckeyes have to be much better on D to keep pace with USC next week. This game really resembled last year's poor performance in a USC tune-up against Ohio.
Iowa barely escaped against Northern Iowa, an upper-tier FCS program but one the 22nd-ranked Hawkeyes should handle fairly easily at home. The losses in the running game are obvious, though Adam Robinson did some nice things, and UNI's Pat Grace had far too easy a time throwing the ball against a veteran Hawkeyes secondary. The Panthers had two chances to win at the end, but Iowa came up big on special teams.
From the preseason injuries to today's performance, you can tell this won't be an easy season for Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes.
Both teams will take a hit in the power rankings Monday, but these performances will continue the Big Ten bashing for at least another week.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State