Big Ten play opened up this weekend, with only a few non conference games taking place. Aside from Penn State’s own exciting matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan and Nebraska found themselves in dogfights, while everyone else was at either end of a massive blowout.
No. 10 Ohio State 54, UNLV 21
In what will be their easiest game of the season, Ohio State dominated from start to finish against an UNLV team that set the wrong kind of record earlier in the season, becoming the victim of the largest upset in history, according to Vegas spreads. J.T. Barrett threw for five touchdowns, and backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins saw plenty of action in the second half, as the game was well out of reach by the second quarter.
What this means for Ohio State: Nothing, outside of getting experience to the second and third teams, in the case that they need it later in the season.
Up Next: vs Rutgers
UCF 38, Maryland 10
This looked to be a competitive game, until Maryland’s Kasim Hill went down with an ankle injury. Down to their third string quarterback, Maryland could never really do much on offense and struggled to stop UCF on the other side; a 7-3 deficit midway through the second quarter turned into an insurmountable 31-10 hole early in the fourth quarter.
What this means for Maryland: They’re not getting Tyrrell Pigrome back for sure, and if Hill’s injury is of the season-ending variety, Maryland will struggle to make a bowl this season.
Up Next: At Minnesota
Nebraska 27, Rutgers 17
Nebraska avoids the upset after a tumultuous week that saw their AD fired after the loss to Northern Illinois. It looked as they’d follow that loss with an even worse loss, as Rutgers led 17-14 late in the third quarter. Nebraska woke up, finally, and stopped Rutgers from mounting any sort of comeback effort to come away with the win.
What this means for Nebraska: Avoiding two embarrassing losses in a row is always good. May be too little too late for them though.
Up Next: At Illinois
What this means for Rutgers: At least they’re not getting blown out anymore? When you’re not likely to win another game the rest of the way, you take what you can get.
Up Next: at Ohio State
Indiana 52, Georgia Southern 17
Looks like it’ll be both Richard Lagow and Peyton Ramsey for the duration, as Saturday was Lagow’s turn to have a decent game. He went 8 of 13 for 130 yards and a touchdown to Ramsey’s 3 of 8 for 55 yards and a touchdown of his own. Alas, Indiana didn’t need to pass the ball much when they were averaging six yards a carry, torching the Eagles for 282 yards on the ground.
What this means for Indiana: Hurricane Irma forced a schedule change for Indiana, making their last non-conference game of the season an FCS opponent. The Hoosiers are not likely to lose that matchup, which means they’ll only need three more victories to go on their third straight bowl game, for the first time in ever.
Up Next: #PUNTWEEK
No. 8 Michigan 28, Purdue 10
Michigan’s defense ended up being too much for upstart Purdue in this game, so the upset bid went south after the Boilermakers tried to hold on to their 10-7 lead for most of the game. It wouldn’t be until late into the third quarter, but Michigan retook the lead to go up 14-10, but they followed it up with two more touchdown drives that sealed Purdue’s fate. Wilton Speight went out with an injury in this game, and John O’Korn did not look bad in place of the starter. Might we have a controversy brewing in Ann Arbor? We shall see.
What this means for Michigan: Their undefeated season is still intact, but they still don’t have answers on offense. Using fourth-quarter bursts to put teams away will only take them so far.
Up Next: BYE
What this means for Purdue: There was hope, but ultimately, but realistically speaking, this wasn’t a game Purdue was going to win. The fact that it was as close as it ended up being is a win in and of itself. There’s still a chance to make a bowl game.
Up Next: BYE
Notre Dame 38, Michigan State 18
The questions are back. Did Michigan State look good in its first two games because the competition was terrible, or is Notre Dame really that much better than the Spartans? We don’t know just yet, but this game went a long way in answering the question of whether Michigan State was ready to contend this season. A bevy of mistakes, many leading to turnovers, gave the game away early. In fact, if it weren’t for the three turnovers, there’s a chance this game would have been much closer. Michigan State actually outgained the Irish in time of possession and yards, they just couldn’t finish drives.
What this means for Michigan State: They didn’t need this game, but it would have been good to have it. They’ll have to win four in the Big Ten if they want to make a bowl now.
Up Next: vs Iowa
Did Not Play: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois