Alex Kielar | September 9th, 2019
Welcome to the first week of my Big Ten Conference recap. Every week, I will give you a recap of all the action from the Big Ten, giving you all the biggest moments from each game. This week was pretty much all chalk for the conference, with one scare and one upset. Let’s get into it.
5 Ohio State over Cincinnati 42-0
Justin Fields threw and ran for four total touchdowns (two of each) with 224 passing yards as Ohio State made it look easy against a good Cincinnati team that hoped for an upset. Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell returned to Columbus after playing there and coaching for years. Running back J.K. Dobbins rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns over 17 carries to lead the run game. The Ohio State defense blocked a field goal, picked off Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder once, and forced a fumble that went through the back of the endzone for a touchback in the only times during the game the Bearcats threatened. The Buckeyes also sacked Ritter five times.
7 Michigan over Army 24-21 (2OT)
This was the scare I was talking about earlier, as it took Michigan two overtimes to get by unranked Army in a game that had an Appalachian State type feel to it. While Michigan was ranked seventh prior to the game in the AP Poll, I believe they were way over-ranked and this “squeaked-out” win didn’t really surprise me. Jake Moody kicked the go-ahead 43-yard field goal in the second overtime, and Michigan then forced and recovered a fumble to hold on. Freshman stud running back Zach Charbonnet rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns over 33 carries for Michigan. Michigan has a bye week next week and then heads to Madison to face a tough Wisconsin team who has put up 49 and 61 points and allowed none the first two weeks.
15 Penn State over Buffalo 45-13
Penn State came out of the gate extremely slow, as they trailed 10-7 at halftime. But then the Nittany Lions outscored Buffalo 38-3 in the second half to take the game in commanding fashion. Sean Clifford was outstanding, completing 16 of 22 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing for 51 yards. Jahan Dotson led the air game with four receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns, while tight end Pat Freiermuth also caught two touchdowns. John Reid ran for a 37-yard pick-six return which put Penn State up in the third quarter, and they wouldn’t look back. This was pretty much the turning point in the game as the Nittany Lions didn’t let off the gas pedal.
17 Wisconsin over Central Michigan 61-0
Wisconsin took this one with ease, as Jack Coan threw for 363 yards and three touchdown passes and running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 102 yards on 19 carries and had three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving). Quintez Cephus also caught his first two touchdown passes of the season with four other receptions and 130 receiving yards. Both his reception and yard totals were career highs and Wisconsin finished with 599 total yards of offense.
19 Michigan State over Western Michigan 51-17
After an uneven performance from the offense of the Spartans in week one, Michigan State put up a commanding performance and victory this week. Darrell Stewart Jr. led the receivers with 10 catches for 185 yards and one touchdown as Michigan State completed 33 first downs. Brian Lewerke completed 23 of 32 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns and Elijah Collins rushed for 192 yards over 17 carries, averaging 11.3 yards a carry.
20 Iowa over Rutgers 30-0
In each teams’ conference opener, there were no surprises as Iowa rolled over a Rutgers team who hasn’t been good for years. Rutgers won’t be getting too many wins this year, and Iowa took advantage. Quarterback Nate Stanley threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns, two of the touchdowns to Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who caught four passes for 113 yards. Iowa has a big test next week as they face rival Iowa State in Ames, where College Gameday is heading for the first time.
Maryland over 21 Syracuse 63-20
I know I said every game was pretty much all chalk besides one scare and one upset, and this wasn’t the upset. While Syracuse was ranked, they aren’t anything special, and I think they are a tad overrated. I did expect Maryland to win the game, but the fact they threw up 63 points surprised me. Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns to lead the high-scoring offense as they scored 42 points in the first half. I look at Maryland as a potential dark horse in the Big Ten, but we shall see when they face tougher competition. Week 5 against Penn State will be a huge test for them.
Colorado over 25 Nebraska 34-31 (OT)
Now we get to the upset, as it took an impassioned comeback for Colorado to complete the upset over number 25 Nebraska 34-31. The score was 17-0 at halftime, as Colorado hadn’t gotten anywhere near Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez, and only managed a mere 84 yards of offense. In the locker room at halftime, Colorado head coach gave his team a message: “We’ve taken their best shot. Now let’s give them ours.” Did they ever give them their best shot? With just 46 seconds left in the game, quarterback Steven Montez completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tony Brown and the PAT tied it. Nebraska still had a shot, but Colorado picked them off with eight seconds left to force overtime. Kicker James Stefanou then hit a 34-yard field goal in overtime and punter Isaac Armstrong sailed his 49-yard try wide right, as the Colorado faithful stormed the field.
Purdue over Vanderbilt 42-24
Purdue, led by Elijah Sindelar passing for 509 yards, five touchdown passes, and one rushing touchdown, took down Vanderbilt in a shootout. Sophomore receiver Rondale Moore caught 13 passes for 220 yards, which were both career highs. Four of Purdue’s six touchdowns came in the second half, as they only led 14-10 at halftime.
Illinois over UCONN 31-23
Quarterback Brandon Peters was terrific for the Fighting Illini as he set career highs with 225 throwing yards and four touchdown passes. Illinois overcame an early 13-point deficit to earn their first nonconference road win in 12 years. Jakari Norwood carried the ball six times for 62 yards to lead the rushing attack. The Illinois defense picked off UCONN quarterback Jack Zergiotis two times.
Indiana over Eastern Illinois 52-0
Both quarterbacks who saw action for Indiana were on point, as starter Michael Penix threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns before sitting late in the first half, and backup Peyton Ramsey threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Indiana finished with 555 total offensive yards and only allowed 116 total yards. Stevie Scott III led the rushing attack for Indiana, running for 61 yards and a touchdown over 12 carries. Donavan Hale led the receiving core with five catches for 110 yards and one touchdown. Indiana cruised to the win and never let off the gas.
Minnesota over Fresno State 38-35 (2OT)
It took two comebacks and two overtimes, but Minnesota was able to come up with the victory to make the Big Ten 11-2 on the week. Tanner Morgan threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Chris Autman-Bell on fourth down with less than a minute left in regulation to send the game to overtime. The Golden Gophers were then down in the first overtime, and Morgan kept the ball for four yards into the end zone to force a second overtime. Then to open the second overtime, Michael Lantz kicked a 37-yard field goal to put Minnesota up. Then Antoine Winfield Jr. picked off a pass in the end zone to seal the win, as Fresno State’s bid for a Power 5 victory fell just short.
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