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.
Pitt Panthers (5-7)
Pitt's Alex Kessman kicked off the scoring in the first quarter, nailing a 46 yard-field goal for the 3-0 lead. Miami didn't score until the second quarter on an Ahmmon Richards touchdown reception, bringing the lead to 7-3 Hurricanes. The Panthers responded with a quarterback run by Kenny Pickett for a 10-7 lead before the half.
In the third, Pitt scored on a pass to Qadree Ollison for a 17-10 lead. In the fourth, with about three minutes left, Pickett charged into the end zone for a touchdown and the winning score. Miami managed a touchdown in the last minutes but it was too late.
In his first college start, Pitt freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett was 18-29 for 193 yards with one touchdown and had 60 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. For the Panthers, Qadree Ollison had 62 rushing yards, Jester Weah had six receptions for 80 yards and Oluwaseum Idowu had eight tackles.
The Hurricanes’ Malik Rosier completed only 15 of 34 passes for 187 and two touchdowns and Miami managed just 232 total yards.
What’s next for Pitt? Well, probably no bowl, but they can take comfort in knowing that they beat the No. 2 team in the nation and caused some chaos yet again in 2017.
Akron Zips (7-5)
After beating Kent State 24-14 in their last regular season game, the Akron Zips became the MAC East champions and bowl eligible. The Zips play the Toledo Rockets in the MAC Conference championship game on Saturday, December 2.
Up Next: Toledo Rockets (10-2) , MAC Conference championship game
Georgia State Panthers (6-4)
Lost to Appalachian State
Appalachian State scored first with a Jalin Moore run, but Georgia State tied with an Antreal Allen interception setting up a short drive and a score. Mountaineers’ kicker Chandler Staton made the score 10-7 with a field goal before the half.
In the third quarter, Appalachian State scored twice on two touchdown passes for a 24-7 lead. In the fourth, Panther Brandon Wright kicked a 50-yard field goal, but the Mountaineers hit a touchdown with 25 seconds left in the game to seal the win.
Appalachian State’s Jalin Moore had 239 yards rushing on 32 carries and a touchdown, and the Mountaineers had 292 yards in total offense to the Panthers’ 143 yards.
Georgia State is bowl eligible this year, and has one more game against the 3-8 Idaho Vandals this weekend, which should be an easy win for the Panthers.
Up Next: Idaho Vandals (3-8)
Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5)
Shellacked the Cornhuskers
Nebraska opened up scoring with a Stanley Morgan, Jr. touchdown for the 7-0 lead, but Iowa responded with a run by Akrum Wadley for the tie. In the second quarter, the Cornhuskers scored again, but the Hawkeyes responded with a touchdown by tight end Noah Fant before the half for a 14-14 tie.
Nebraska didn't score again, and Iowa scored 38 unanswered points in the second half.
Iowa’s Nate Stanley had 13 completions for 192 yards and two touchdowns, and Akrum Wadley ran for 159 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Noah Fant caught three passes for a career-high 116 yards and two touchdowns. Josey Jewell and Geno Stone each had eight tackles.
The Huskers finished the season with their fewest wins since 1961. But a bright spot for Nebraska was Stanley Morgan, Jr. who set the school's single-season receiving record with a touchdown catch, ending the season with 986 yards.
Iowa is now bowl eligible, so stay tuned.
Up Next: Bowl eligible
Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-8)
Trucked by the Hawkeyes
See above. Better luck next year, Nebraska.
Indiana Hoosiers (5-7)
Beaten by the Boilermakers
The Indiana Hoosiers lost 31-24 to the Purdue Boilermakers. The game started with Purdue’s Garrett Hudson picking off Richard Lagow, resulting in Purdue scoring first on a Jackson Anthrop touchdown run. Hoosier Simmie Cobbs tied the game 7-7 with a touchdown, but the Boilermakers scored 14 more points in the second quarter. Indiana could only manage a Griffin Oakes field goal for a Purdue lead of 21-10 at the half.
The Boilermakers scored two more touchdowns after the half before the Hoosiers were able to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter. With a few minutes to go, Indiana scored again to bring the game to 31-24 but there wasn't enough time, and Purdue recovered the inside kick with 60 seconds left for the win.
Hoosier Richard Lagow was 32 of 60 for 373 yards with three touchdowns. Taysir Mack had seven receptions for 132 yards and Simmie Cobbs had seven for 105 yards. Griffin Oakes moved into a tie for sixth (354 points) on the Big Ten's career scoring list.
Purdue held Indiana to 124 rushing yards, had three sacks, and gained 272 rushing yards. Markell Jones ran 31 times for a career high 217 yards, and Elijah Sindelar was 15 of 29 for 159 yards.
Indiana may end up bowl eligible at 5-7, but Purdue at 6-6 has a better chance to go bowling post season.
Northwestern Wildcats (9-3)
Beat the Illini
Illinois opened the scoring first on a Cam Thomas quarterback keeper for the 7-0 lead, their only score of the day. In the second , the Wildcats scored 14 unanswered points, first on a Garrett Dickerson reception then on a Jelani Roberts run for a14-7 lead at the half. In the second half, Northwestern scored another 28 unanswered points.
For the Wildcat offense, which had 446 total offensive yards, Justin Jackson ran for 144 yards and a touchdown, and Jeremy Larkin gained 71 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Quarterback Clayton Thorson threw his 44th career touchdown pass, tying for the most in program history, and finished with 13 completions for 140 yards.
For the defense, freshman linebacker Paddy Fisher finished with an interception and a team-high 10 tackles, and the Wildcats forced three turnovers.
Illini quarterback Cam Thomas finished 14 of 31 for 139 yards and two interceptions.
Northwestern is bowl eligible, so you’ll see them play again soon.
Up Next: Bowl eligible
Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2)
The injury story is interesting to say the least. Barrett was warming up on the sideline before kickoff when he said someone (a cameraman) bumped his knee, aggravating a season-long injury. He still started, gaining 67 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, and completing 3 of 8 for 30 yards and another touchdown before exiting in the third quarter. Redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins replaced Barrett, going 6 of 7 for 94 yards.
Urban Meyer called for an investigation into the incident that led to Barrett's injury, stating that he was injured because there were too many people on the sideline. The good news is that Barrett thinks he'll be healthy for the Big Ten Championship game.
Ohio State was down 0-14 in the first half, after Michigan’s Khalid Hill scored a touchdown run then Sean McKeon caught a touchdown reception. But the Buckeyes responded with a J. T. Barrett touchdown run, and four minutes later scored again with a Marcus Baugh touchdown reception for a 14-14 tie at the half.
The Wolverines scored quickly after the break, but the Buckeyes blocked Quinn Nordin’s extra point, and Michigan’s lead was only 20-14. Ohio State soon scored with a J. K. Dobbins run to take the lead 21-20.
Michigan was scoreless in the fourth , but OSU kicker Sean Nuernberger landed a 44 yard field goal, then Mike Weber ran in a touchdown to seal the Buckeye win.
The Wolverines started quarterback John O'Korn who completed just 17 of 32 passes for 195 yards and was picked off with two minutes left in the game.
Next, Ohio State takes on the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Conference Championship game
Up Next: Wisconsin Badgers (12-0), Big Ten Conference Championship Game; bowl eligible
Michigan Wolverines (8-4)
Lost to the Buckeyes
See above. Although Michigan ends their season unranked in CFP rankings, and isn’t making it to the conference championship, they have a winning season and will be going bowling!
Up Next: Bowl eligible
Michigan State Spartans (9-3)
The No. 16 Michigan State Spartans beat up on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, winning 40-7, ending the Spartans’ regular season at 9-3. This is just one year after the Spartans went 3-9 overall and were not bowl eligible for the first time since 2006.
The Scarlet Knights didn’t score until the second quarter when Johnathan Lewis threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Raheem Blackshear for a 16-7 score with the Spartans leading at the half. But Michigan State held Rutgers to just those 7 points and 14 total rushing yards for the game, and scored 24 unanswered points in the second half.
The Spartans also held the ball for 47 minutes, 50 seconds. The NCAA doesn’t keep track of single-game records for time of possession but last season, Air Force claimed a mark after holding the ball for 45:14 in a win over Georgia State.
Brian Lewerke was 21 of 31 for 22 yards, threw for a touchdown, and had 13 carries for 56 yards and a rushing touchdown. He finished the season with 3,069 total yards, breaking the school record for a sophomore. Redshirt freshman Spartan Matt Coghlin had a career-best four field goals in the game.
Rutgers’ Johnathan Lewis was 6 of 16 for 98 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Spartans are bowl eligible and await their bowl announcement.
Up Next: Bowl eligible
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-8)
Lost to the Spartans
See above. Hopefully, Rutgers will have a better season in 2018.