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Big Ten weekend review: week two

Maryland got a dominant win, but let’s take a look at how the rest of the Big Ten performed.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Washington State at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the first game jitters out of the way, Big Ten teams were looking to build on their performance from the opening weekend of the college football season.

Maryland football traveled south for a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Charlotte 49ers. The Terps rode star junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa’s right arm to a decisive 56-21 victory. The signal caller dismantled the 49ers’ defense, going 27-for-31 for 391 yards and five total touchdowns.

Tagovailoa found four different receivers for scores, with graduate wide receiver Jacob Copeland finding the end zone twice for the first time in a Maryland uniform. The Terps’ playmakers consistently racked up yards after the catch, which provided several red zone opportunities that were cashed in with touchdowns.

Big Ten teams registered a total record of 10-4 this week, highlighted by statement victories and a few deflating losses. Here’s what stood out from this weekend.

Biggest surprise: Duke vs. Northwestern

First-year Duke head coach Mike Elkiled led his club into a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Northwestern Wildcats of the Big Ten.

Many believe Ryan Field is a tough stadium for visitors to get a victory, and this game was indicative of that. The Wildcats entered Saturday following a narrow victory over Nebraska, while the Blue Devils were coming off a season-opening 30-0 trouncing of Temple.

Duke junior running back Jordan Water recorded two rushing touchdowns in the first half, and Duke was able to go into halftime with a 21-10 lead.

Northwestern came out of the second half determined to get back into the contest, and junior running back Evan Hull was instrumental in its attempt.

Northwestern junior quarterback Ryan Hilinski found Hull escaping out of the backfield on a crucial fourth down near midfield. Hull caught the ball in stride and raced down the sidelines for the 39-yard touchdown. The Wildcats trimmed Duke’s lead to 21-16.

The five-foot-10 Hull showcased his dual-threat ability with 14 receptions for 278 scrimmage yards and two total scores.

Duke didn’t relinquish momentum, as it proceeded to march down the field on the following drive.

Blue Devils quarterback Riley Leonard orchestrated an eight-play drive that lasted three minutes, summarized by an eight-yard, toe-tapping touchdown by wide receiver Jordan Moore. Leonard’s dart to Moore would give Duke a 28-16 advantage deep into the final quarter of play.

Hilinski wouldn’t allow his team to give up, as the star quarterback took Northwestern 80 yards in fewer than two minutes. He would find senior wide receiver Donny Navarro III in a tight window for his second touchdown of the game.

Northwestern trailed 31-23 with fewer than two minutes remaining, as it would need a touchdown and a two-point conversion to even the score.

The Wildcats were in the red zone knocking on the door before the unthinkable happened.

Hull dashed through a gaping hole, and as he jumped to break the plane of the end zone, he lost the ball. Duke recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchback.

Duke hung on for the exhilarating 31-23 victory over Northwestern.

Statement game: Iowa State vs. Iowa

Iowa State headed to Kinnick Stadium to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in an in-state rivalry showdown on Saturday afternoon.

The Cyclones were looking for their first road victory of the series since 2014 and a 2-0 start before a home matchup with Ohio next week.

Iowa’s special teams would put its imprint on the game with a blocked punt by sophomore defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness. The play would set the Hawkeyes up inside the Iowa State 10-yard line.

Iowa sophomore running back Leshon Williams’ seven-yard touchdown run would give the Hawkeyes a 7-0 lead.

Both teams would struggle mightily to sustain possessions, as they combined for six turnovers in the game.

Trailing Iowa 7-3 in the fourth quarter, Iowa State went on a 21-play, 99-yard drive, ending in sophomore quarterback Hunter Dekkers tossing a seven-yard touchdown on a back-shoulder fade to senior wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson. The touchdown would give Iowa State a 10-7 lead late in the fourth quarter.

The Hawkeyes managed to get into field goal position and were on the brink of tying the game. As rain began to settle, sophomore kicker Aaron Blom prepared to kick a 48-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.

However, Blom’s kick sailed wide to the left and sealed a 10-7 Iowa State victory.

Upset game: Washington St. vs. No. 19 Wisconsin

No. 18 Wisconsin looked to improve to 2-0 versus Washington State after demolishing Illinois St. last week by a score of 38-0.

On the other hand, Washington State looked to stake its claim as a contender in the Pac-12 with a road upset over a top-20 opponent.

The game began as a defensive battle, as both offenses struggled to produce points.

The Washington State Cougars got on the scoreboard in the second quarter with junior running back Nakia Watson scampering into the end zone on a two-yard touchdown. Watson’s touchdown gave Washington State a 7-0 lead.

Wisconsin would respond with two touchdowns from junior quarterback Graham Mertz to junior tight end Clay Cundiff on respective connections of 17 and 10 yards.

The duo would send the Badgers into the intermission with a 14-7 advantage.

Offense was scarce in the second half, though, as both teams clawed for scoring opportunities.

Washington St. kicker Dean Janikowski chipped in a 26-yard field goal to cut Wisconsin’s lead to 14-10.

Washington St. sophomore quarterback Cameron Ward found Watson in the flat before the running back shrugged off a defender en route to the game-winning touchdown.

The Huskies shocked the Badgers 17-14 in an early afternoon thriller.