In our weekly column, we check in on some of Penn State's past football opponents and what’s going on with the teams the Nittany Lions have already faced.
Akron Zips (7-5)
Beat Kent State
Akron scored 10 points in the first quarter, first on a Kato Nelson pass to Kobie Booker, then on a Nick Gasser 45 yard field goal. Kent State eventually woke up with Justin Rankin scoring a quick rushing touchdown in the second, with the Zips still up 10-7, then Akron’s Manny Morgan ran the ball in with under 2 minutes to go before halftime. The next score before the half, Kent State fumbled the ball, but Akron’s Ulysses Gilbert III recovered and ran it in for a Zips 24-7 lead at the half.
In the third, the Golden Flashes brought the score to 24-14, but neither team scored in the fourth, leaving Akron with the win.
In NCAA stats, Akron is No. 10 in defensive touchdowns (3) and junior defensive back Jordan George is No. 9 in interceptions (4).
The Zips next play the Toledo Rockets in the MAC Conference championship game on Saturday, December 2.
Up Next: Toledo Rockets (9-2)
Pitt Panthers (4-7)
Choked by the Hokies
Virginia Tech scored first on a four yard run with Pitt responding with a touchdown to tie the game. On a field goal, the Hokies regainedthe lead 10-7 before the half.
After a scoreless third quarter for both, the Panthers scored first in the fourth on a 15 yard pass from backup Ryan Winslow to Nathan Bossory for a 14-10 lead. But the Hokies scored a field goal, then three minutes later, nailed a touchdown with 6:23 left.
On Pitt’s final drive, another quarterback came in, freshman Kenny Pickett , who had a 74-yard pass play to Jester Weah to get to the Hokie 1 yard line with less than 30 seconds to go. But the Panthers’ attempts to get into the end zone failed, as the Hokies' Khalil Ladler tackled Panthers tailback Darrin Hall for a loss on the final play.
Pitt used three quarterbacks in the game, first Ben DiNucci who had four completions for 54 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Coming in after DiNucci had a bad interception, Pickett completed 15 of 23 for 242 and one interception. Winslow had one completion for 15 yards and one touchdown.
Virginia Tech’s Cam Phillips had 117 yards receiving, and broke the school record for career receiving, and the team’s defense held Pitt to just 55 rushing yards.
The Panthers saw their hopes of a bowl bid end. Pitt next plays the No. 2 undefeated and ACC Coastal-Division champion Miami Hurricanes this Friday night. Ouch.
Up Next: Miami Hurricanes (10-0)
Georgia State Panthers (6-3)
With two games to play, the Panthers and Mountaineers are tied with Arkansas State and Troy atop the league. The Panthers have won three straight and six of their last seven games under first-year head coach Shawn Elliott to become bowl eligible for the second time in three years.
Up Next: Appalachian State Mountaineers (6-4)
Iowa Hawkeyes (6-5)
Beaten by the Boilermakers
Purdue scored first for a 7-0 lead. In the second quarter, Iowa opened its scoring with a safety by Nathan Bazata on his third sack of the season, then scored on an Akrum Wadley run for a 9-7 lead right before the half. In the third quarter, the Boilermakers’ Anthony Mahoungou scored 14 unanswered points for a 21-9 lead. Purdue extended the lead to 24-9 with a field goal in the fourth, then Iowa came back with a touchdown but it wasn't enough.
Purdue limited Iowa to 82 rushing yards and forced two Hawkeye turnovers. Iowa's Nate Stanley finished 16-of-33 for 176 yards and one touchdown, and was sacked six times.
It wasn’t all bad for the Hawkeyes, though: senior linebacker Josey Jewell had 13 tackles, three for a loss, along with three pass breakups and two sacks.
The Hawkeyes next play on Friday against the 4-7 Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Up Next: Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-7)
Indiana Hoosiers (5-6)
The Indiana Hoosiers blanked Big Ten powerhouse Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 41-0, keeping bowl hopes alive. In a rainy, windy game that had a nearly two hour lightning delay in the third quarter, Indiana dominated, outgaining the Scarlet Knights in total yards 503-186.
Indiana took a 14-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game and were winning 20-0 at the half. The Hoosiers came up with a strip sack in the third quarter, and three plays later, the score was 27-0, and it kept going and going.
In the last two weeks, the Hoosier defense has had 12 sacks (four against Rutgers), six turnovers and allowed 14 points. And the offense is playing well, too. Against the Scarlet Knights, Hoosier quarterback Richard Lagow was 17 of 28 for 236 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Ian Thomas had four catches for 93 yards. Morgan Ellison ran 15 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns while Cole Gest had 23 carries for 104 yards and another touchdown.
Indiana next takes on the Purdue Boilermakers, also 5-6.
Up Next: Purdue Boilermakers (5-6)
Northwestern Wildcats (8-3)
Indiana didn’t have the only Big Ten rout of the week. With their sixth victory in a row, the No. 22 Northwestern Wildcats destroyed the Minnesota Golden Gophers 39-0. In another cold and rainy game, the Wildcats weren’t slowed down at all by the weather, but the Golden Gophers were with five turnovers and six drops.
The Wildcats were up 25-0 by the half, and at the end of the day, had forced five turnovers on defense. Northwestern cornerback Montre Hartage had an interception and a fumble recovery to set up two touchdowns. Wildcat quarterback Clayton Thorson finished 9 of 13 for 86 yards with three touchdown passes. Garrett Dickerson had two touchdown receptions, and Northwestern rushed for 277 yards.
The big story of the game was Northwestern’s Justin Jackson, who added 166 yards rushing on 31 carries, and now has1,010 yards on the season.
Northwestern is now second in the Big Ten West behind Wisconsin, and are on their way to a 9 win regular season record, if they win their next game, and a bowl bid.
Next Northwestern plays the 2-9 Illinois Fighting Illini, a shoe-in for the Wildcats.
Up Next: Illinois Fighting Illini (2-9)
Michigan Wolverines (8-3)
Beaten by the Badgers
The teams played to a 7-all tie at the half, after Michigan fullback Ben Mason scored with 2:24 left. Wisconsin’s only first half score was Nick Nelson's 50-yard punt return.
At that point, the game seemed like a pretty close slugfest, especially with Michigan scoring a field goal after the half for the 10-7 lead. That ended when Wisconsin had a third-quarter 24-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Taylor for a 14-10 lead. Later Kendric Pryor brought the score to 21-10, and another Badger field goal sealed the game.
Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters had to be carted off the field in the third quarter after a scary hit. Before getting hurt, he finished 9 of 18 for 157 yards.
The Wolverines’ run game was held to 58 yards on 37 carries.
Next Michigan plays The Game against rivals No. 9 Ohio State.
Up Next: Ohio State Buckeyes (9-2)
Ohio State Buckeyes (9-2)
The No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes beat the 2-9 Illinois Fighting Illini 52-14 making the Buckeyes the Big Ten East champions and securing them a spot in the Big Ten Conference Championship game. Congrats, OSU. The Illini are still winless in the conference.
What you need to know is that Ohio State went up on the Illini 28-0 in the first quarter, scoring on their first six possessions, including J.T. Barrett's 100th career touchdown pass. The Buckeyes scored another 10 unanswered points by the half for a 38-0 lead . Both teams scored 14 points in the second half, but obviously, Illinois couldn’t catch up.
Barrett was taken out in the first quarter and was 11 for 18 with 141 yards with backups playing most of the second half. After an Ohio State fumble in the third quarter, Illinois' Ahmari Hayes ran it back for a touchdown for a 38-7 score. At that point, Meyer put his starting offense back in the game. Buckeye backups eventually went back in.
Buckeye back Mike Weber picked up 108 yards on 11 carries and scored twice.
Ohio State next plays conference rival Michigan .
Up Next: Michigan Wolverines (8-3
Michigan State Spartans (8-3)
Took Over the Terrapins
The Spartans took the lead in the first quarter with a rushing touchdown, and scored again in the second for a 14-0 halftime lead. Michigan State kicker Matt Coghlin coughed one up and missed a field goal in the third, but a penalty for running into the kicker gave him a second chance, and he converted it for a Spartan 17-0 lead.
Maryland’s Lorenzo Harrison III scored on a run bringing the score to 17-7 Spartans. The Terrapins drove into the red zone in the final minutes of the game, but Maryland kicker Henry Darmstadter missed a field goal and the game was over.
Spartan LJ Scott ran for 147 yards and a touchdown and the Spartans rushed for 271 yards. Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke was 2 of 14 for 20 yards, and one of his completions was a shovel pass late in the third quarter.
Maryland wasn't much better through the air. Max Bortenschlager finished 13 of 25 for 121 yards. He was taken out of the game in the third quarter, but returned in the end and did a little better.
Next, Michigan State faces Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers.
Up Next: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-7)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-7)
Blanked by the Hoosiers
Next, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights take on Michigan State.
Up Next: Michigan State (8-3)