PSU, Michigan survive Big Ten West scares, OSU wins big during Wisconsin's bye

Michigan prevailed in overtime against Indiana in unimpressive fashion last week. 

Image By: Jessi Schoville

Last week, Badger fans scattered at pools and lakes across Madison on a scorching hot Saturday were grateful for the bye week and the respite it provided from what would have been a sunburnt day spent at Camp Randall. Paul Chryst and his players were able to spend the entire week focusing on themselves, their recovery and their upcoming game against Northwestern.

For the rest of the Big Ten, the weekend wasn’t quite as relaxed. Penn State, almost stunned by Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, turned the tables at the very last second for a walk-off touchdown and subsequent win. Maryland dropped a disappointing effort against the University of Central Florida Knights, 38-10. Ohio State continued its rebound against UNLV by a score of 54-21, looking dominant against a weak team in its last non-conference game of the season.

Nebraska defeated perennial basement dweller Rutgers, 27-17, after a slow start. Michigan State lost to Notre Dame, 38-18, generating even more worry for a faltering Spartans program. Indiana squashed Georgia Southern by a score of 52-17, and Michigan beat an up-and-coming Purdue 28-10.

Ohio State 54, UNLV 21

Ohio State, led by J.T. Barrett’s five touchdowns, crushed an overmatched UNLV team. But despite the large point differential, there were still some worrying signs for Urban Meyer’s team. UNLV forced three turnovers compared to the Buckeyes’ two and Ohio State’s defense was not without its flaws. Some big mistakes cost OSU, with multiple penalties by the secondary later leading to Rebel scores.

For a team only two weeks removed from a disheartening loss to Oklahoma, Ohio State proved they could still blow out a weaker team. As the Buckeyes move into conference play, it will be interesting to see if they can continue their stellar offense against teams that are better matched.

Michigan 28, Purdue 10

What could have been a disaster in losing starting quarterback Wilton Speight, was actually far from it as Michigan rebounded in dominant fashion with second-string quarterback John O’Korn stepping up in his place. Running backs Chris Evans and Ty Isaac also added two and one scores respectively to help the Wolverines avoid an upset.

While it looked early on as if Michigan could fall to a surging Purdue team, defensive adjustments and a stellar secondary limited the Boilermakers to just ten yards in the second half and helped UM avoid its first loss of the season.

Maryland 10, UCF 38

The Terrapins, a team on the rise that has just missed out on making the AP top 25 in recent weeks, dropped a decisive game against the University of Central Florida Knights last week. Kasim Hill, Maryland’s starting quarterback, was injured on just the second possession of the game. And his loss seemed to take the air out of the Terps’ lungs as they struggled to generate any momentum and trailed 14-3 at the half. It didn’t get any better for Maryland from there as UCF cruised along to a 28-point victory. Only three weeks into the season, Maryland has already seen two injured quarterbacks — a heavy blow to a program that seemingly was on the come-up.

Penn State 21, Iowa 19

For the most exciting Big Ten game of the weekend — and possibly even the season — Penn State beat a deceptively tricky Hawkeyes team in Iowa City. Saquon Barkley, a frontrunner in the race for the Heisman and arguably the best offensive player in college football, had an astonishing 358 total yards as quarterback Trace McSorley — even with a shak shaky start — finished off the game with a perfect game-winning touchdown pass to Juwan Johnson.

The Nittany Lions vastly outgained the Hawkeyes in total yardage as well as first downs, but were hampered by untimely penalties in addition to a couple of costly turnovers. In what could have been an embarrassing loss for the fourth-ranked team in the nation, Penn State ultimately pulled out a win against Iowa in a game for the ages.

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