A wild weekend in the Big Ten delivered one of the best finishes in recent memory between Penn State and Iowa, a runaway from Michigan and some slip-ups elsewhere. Here’s a look at what happened.
Ohio State vs. UNLV—W, 54-21
The Ohio State passing game looked much improved on Saturday. J.T. Barrett tossed five touchdowns to five different receivers. Dwayne Haskins also looked solid throwing the two first touchdowns of his college career in relief of Barrett in the blowout. UNLV was able to do some damage against the backups, though. Glancing at the box score, would lead one to believe that the Buckeye offense has found their groove, but that is hopeful thinking considering the low level of talent that UNLV contains. Next week, Ohio State will look to keep the momentum on offense going when they visit Rutgers.
-Dan Smyth/Josh Keatley Ohio State Writers
Maryland vs. Central Florida—L, 38-10
Perhaps we jumped the gun on the Terrapins. They looked extremely vulnerable in several ways in a blowout loss at home. The injury to Kasim Hill only makes matters worse, as nobody is sure how long he’ll be out. With starter Tyrrell Pigrome tearing his ACL, Hill looked really good in his place. Now it’s up to Max Bortenschlager, and that didn’t go over well on Saturday, with his inability to run holding the Terps’ fast-paced offense back. To make matters worse, the Terps’ defense was torn apart by a dual-threat quarterback in Mackenzie Milton. With the likes of Trace McSorley and J.T. Barrett still on the schedule, that’s not a good sign.
Indiana vs. Georgia Southern—W, 52-17
In probably the least-noteworthy Big Ten game of the weekend, the Hoosiers beat up on Georgia Southern. They continue to build off a decent showing in Week 1 against Ohio State and are perhaps in a better position than the above Maryland Terrapins to make noise in the Big Ten. All of Tom Allen’s changes seem to be working on defense, although some legitimate competition would prove a much tougher test for Indiana. That’ll come as soon as next week against Penn State.
In a game where Rutgers had chances, the Scarlet Knight offense again looked abysmal. Kyle Bolin, for the third time this season, threw two interceptions. Miami transfer Gus Edwards rushed for a touchdown, but outside of Jerome Washington’s “butt-reception,” there aren’t many positive things to say offensively. On the defensive side of the ball, the experienced Rutgers secondary looked impressive. Cornerback Blessaun Austin recorded an interception before later leaving the game with a knee injury. Junior safety Kiy Hester also picked off Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee, returning his interception for a score. Rutgers schedule won’t get much easier, as they welcome Ohio State to Piscataway next weekend.
-James King, Rutgers Writer
The first Big Ten battle for these squads was expected to perhaps be a closer one, but still entertained for some time. After being placed on upset alert, Michigan left West Lafayette victorious, and the hero was an unexpected source. After starting quarterback Wilton Speight left the game with an injury, backup John O’Korn went 18-26 for 276 yards and a touchdown, leading the Wolverines to a 21 point second half, and ultimately a 28-10 victory over Purdue. The Wolverine defense was staunch once again, and looks to be one of the best in the nation. Michigan will head into a bye week this week in preparation for in-state rival Michigan State.
-Nick Cotter, Michigan Writer
Michigan State vs. Notre Dame—L, 38-18
Michigan State, coming off of two wins over MAC opponents, had its first true test on Saturday against Notre Dame inside of Spartan Stadium. A game filled with hype, and excitement for another chapter of this historic rivalry, turned out to be a dud. Michigan State won’t have a foot going into next week because of how many times they shot themselves in that spot. Plagued by three turnovers, and nine penalties resulting in 97 yards, Michigan State handed the game on a silver platter to Notre Dame in a blowout loss.
-Cory Linsner, Michigan State Writer
Iowa vs. Penn State—PSU 21, Iowa 19
Saquon Barkley made his case for the Heisman Trophy as he broke the team record for all-purpose yards in a game with 358. Despite the inhuman numbers and video game-like moves by Barkley, Iowa took the game to the wire. The Hawkeye defense put constant pressure on quarterback Trace McSorley and forcing a last-second walk-off touchdown throw to Juwan Johnson. With the win, Penn State’s playoff hopes continue, but blood pressure in Happy Valley is back to 2016 levels. If they plan on continuing the undefeated season, Penn State will have to prove that their struggles can be explained by first away game jitters and Iowa’s giant-killer abilities.
-Tommy Butler, Penn State Writer
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