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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Big Ten Round Up Week Five: Nebraska still winless, OSU vs. PSU lives up to hype

Scott, Frost-trated

Another week, another loss for new Nebraska Head Coach Scott Frost.

Coming off a frustrating 56-10 loss at Michigan a week prior, the Cornhuskers headed back home in week five still searching for their first victory. Taking on a 1-3 Purdue squad, Nebraska was off and running with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to start the game with a 7-0 lead.

It was all downhill from there. Purdue answered with 20 unanswered points to take a 20-7 halftime lead that they would never relinquish. Nebraska’s offense moved efficiently in the second half but the big deficit proved too much to overcome as the Huskers lost 42-28.

The defeat drops Nebraska to 0-4 this season which is their eighth consecutive loss dating back to last November. Frost, who signed a seven-year, $35 million deal this year to coach the Cornhuskers, certainly has left a lot to be desired in his Lincoln debut. While most media expected a rough season, most fans wouldn’t have expected their worst record since World War Two.

Huskers fans might have to wait a little longer as they go play Wisconsin this weekend.

Northwestern squanders upset bid over No. 14 Michigan

It was a tale of two halves Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois between the No. 14 Michigan Wolverines and the struggling Northwestern Wildcats.

Northwestern exploded out of the gates on both sides of the ball. Two lengthy touchdown drives and a field goal from the Wildcats’ offense put them ahead 17-0 quickly, while the NU defense stopped Michigan on each of their first three drives. Making the most of just 166 total yards of offense, Northwestern took a 17-7 lead into the break looking to finish off a huge upset in their second conference win.

The lights went out for Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson and the offense in the second half. The Wildcats punted on their first five drives of the half, amassing an abysmal 32 total yards across the possessions. A scoreless half from Northwestern in the second opened the door for a dramatic comeback from quarterback Shea Patterson and the Wolverines’ offense.

Trailing 17-13 late in the fourth quarter, Patterson moved the UM offense deep into Northwestern territory. A crucial nine-yard scramble on third-and-six from the mobile quarterback kept the drive alive, setting up a clutch five-yard touchdown carry from running back Karan Higdon to put Michigan ahead 20-17 with 4:06 remaining in the ballgame.

Northwestern was (shocker!) unable to put together a strong drive to equalize the score; Thorson was sacked at midfield as time expired on the game clock, and Michigan escaped Evanston with a win.

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New quarterback, same story for No. 4 OSU against no. 9 Penn State

For the second straight season, an Ohio State quarterback ripped the hearts out of Penn State and its fans.

Penn State’s students and fans brought out their annual “White Out” attire Saturday night in Happy Valley, as the team looked to avenge a disastrous 39-38 defeat at OSU last season.

The Penn State defense was the story of the first half, as they held quarterback and

Heisman Candidate Dwayne Haskins to just seven points in the first half. The Nittany Lions defenders were all over OSU’s wide receivers on each of the first eight drives, eliminating the big-play potential that the Buckeyes are known for.

Up 6-0 in the second quarter, Penn State broke out a big play of their own. With the offense facing third and five from their own seven yard line, Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley hit speedster K.J. Hamler over the middle for the first down and ended up with a bit more than that first down.

Hamler sprinted to the far sideline and outran three Ohio State defenders for a 93 yard touchdown grab, putting the Nittany Lions up 13-0 early, but momentum-changing fumble by PSU running back Miles Sanders led to a two-play, 25-yard touchdown drive from the Buckeyes before the half.

Ohio State added their second touchdown of the game to start the second half, a 13-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a J.K. Dobbins four yard TD rush, and OSU was back in front 14-13.

That lead would hold unto the fourth quarter, when McSorley and the Nittany Lions led back-to-back trips to the endzone to give Penn State a commanding 26-14 lead with just eight minutes to play. For the second consecutive season, the Nittany Lions held a two-score lead late in the fourth quarter against their bitter Buckeye rivals.

Alas, Ohio State proved why they’re a perennial College Football Playoff contender. Penn State’s nightmares quickly became a reality as Haskins and the OSU offense drove the field for two quick touchdown scores, regaining the lead 28-26. It looked almost too easy for the Buckeye offense that had been silenced all night long.

Penn State’s hopes were dashed for the final time when the OSU defensive line snuffed out a e fourth-and-five handoff to Sanders —some are calling it the worst play call of the season — and the Buckeyes hung on to their lofty ranking and heartbreaking role with that 28-26 victory.

The Buckeyes are very much in the driver's seat to win the Big Ten East with that win, making most Big Ten fans very angry.

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