After Northwestern got embarrassed by Duke, they had a chance to bounce back against perennial Big Ten doormat Bowling Green. It was a performance much more indicative of what this team’s capable of, as they put up 300 yards in the air and on the ground.
Justin Jackson had 121 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries, while Clayton Thorson had a career-high 370 passing yards while only throwing seven incompletions. While this game wasn’t enough to prove that Northwestern can go into Camp Randall and win, it did show that they have the personnel capable of pulling it off.
While they would’ve liked to go 3-0 in non-conference play, this was a much-needed confidence boost heading into a very tough Big Ten slate.
Through the first three weeks, Purdue might be the biggest surprise out of the Big Ten. After a valiant effort in Week 1 in which they hung with Louisville for four quarters and gave Lamar Jackson fits, they rebounded in Week 2 against Ohio. They then marched in to Missouri and annihilated the Tigers 35-3.
Granted, Missouri is one of the worst teams in the SEC. But this Purdue team has taken a complete 180 from last year’s. While there were questions about Purdue’s secondary coming into this game, they did a tremendous job of keeping the pressure on Missouri’s receivers and picking off Drew Lock twice. And while David Blough’s performance was nothing to write home about, he was efficient in completing 22-of-28 passes.
Jeff Brohm has Purdue playing with a ton of confidence, and has given fans plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Their conference opener against Michigan has a chance to be one of the biggest games in program history, and even though the Wolverines are a 10-point favorite, this could very well be one of the biggest upsets of Week 4.