Big Ten Recap: Struggling Wolverines Survive in Double Overtime, Huskers Blow 17-point Lead in Boulder

By Andrew Ellis on September 8, 2019 at 7:05 am
Mike Locksley has Maryland off to a hot start in 2019.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Week two featured a pretty solid lineup in Big Ten country, and I don't think most were expecting the Buckeyes to completely shut out a solid Cincinnati Bearcat squad. Ohio State's defense rose to the occasion and Justin Fields accounted for four touchdowns in yesterday's victory over Luke Fickell and Co.

The offensive line was superb as J.K. Dobbins and the ground game totaled 270 yards and scored four of Ohio State's six touchdowns. Chase Young was up to his old tricks and spent his afternoon pressuring sophomore quarterback Desmond Ridder. A pair of red-zone turnovers prevented the Bearcats from putting any points on the board. 

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, the weekend's biggest storyline took place in Ann Arbor where the Wolverines squared off against the Black Knights of Army.

No. 7 Michigan 24, Army 21 (2OT)

This was a lol-worthy game and honestly watching Shea Patterson attempt to play quarterback was hilarious yesterday. Alas, the Wolverines survived in double overtime despite their offense looking like something you'd expect to see at the pee-wee football level. As Jim Harbaugh and his squad headed to halftime, the home crowd was vocal in its displeasure. 

Patterson was 19 of 29 for 207 yards and coughed up a pair of fumbles on the day. Plenty of Michigan fans were clamoring for a change at quarterback as he hardly looked like a senior on Saturday; let alone a supposed Heisman contender. True freshman tailback Zach Charbonnet had a big day but was only able to average three yards per carry on the ground. He rumbled for three scores and 100 yards on a whopping 33 carries. 

We've said it (and seen it) before, but facing the service academies isn't the easiest thing in the world. The triple-option offense can be troublesome and it gave the Wolverines some fits yesterday. Running back Connor Slomka ran for 92 yards while quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. also scored a pair of touchdowns. 

The final play in overtime came on a 3rd down and 11 for the Black Knights. Hopkins went back for a pass but Michigan's Kwity Paye forced a fumble that the Wolverine defense pounced on to end the game.

Colorado 34, No. 25 Nebraska 31 (OT)

This was a fantastic game in Boulder. Cornhusker fans took over the stadium as a sea of red could be seen all throughout Folsom Field. Nebraska was up 17-0 at the half, but things got interesting late with the Buffaloes tying things up at 31 with less than a minute left in the game. Adrian Martinez got the ball with a chance to win but tossed a bad interception that sent this one to overtime.

Overtime saw the Buffs open things up with a field goal, and then the Huskers struggled when they took over on offense. Nebraska lost six yards on three plays – including Martinez taking a bad sack – before missing what would have been the game-tying 48-yard field goal.

Scott Frost's offense had its struggles last week against the mighty Jaguars of South Alabama. The Huskers managed just 276 yards versus the Sun Belt foe, but it was a different story yesterday on the road. Nebraska had 271 yards in the first half alone and ended up with 585 yards of total offense. Martinez recorded 356 total yards with four scores and three crucial turnovers. Tailback Maurice Washington was electric on the day as he rushed for 77 while adding 118 yards and two scores through the air.

No. 15 Penn State 45, Buffalo 13

The Bulls tossed a touchdown pass right before the half that gave them a 10-7 lead at intermission, but it was all downhill from there as the Nittany Lions were dominant in the third and fourth quarters.

John Reid's 36-yard pick six got things rolling in the second half and it was a scoring barrage thereafter. Jahan Dotson and tight end Pat Freiermuth led the way as they both topped the century mark and each scored two touchdowns. Sean Clifford threw for 282 yards with four scores and also flashed some sneaky mobility scrambling for another 52 yards. Overall the ground game wasn't as potent as it was a week ago. Outside of Clifford, Nittany Lion backs ran for just 39 yards on 11 carries. 

OHIO STATE 2-0 1 1
PENN STATE 2-0 3 3
MARYLAND 2-0 5 8
MICHIGAN 2-0 6 2
IOWA 2-0 7 6
NEBRASKA 1-1 8 7
PURDUE 1-1 10 10
MINNESOTA 2-0 11 11
INDIANA 2-0 12 12
ILLINOIS 2-0 13 14
RUTGERS 1-1 14 14

No. 17 Wisconsin 61, Central Michigan 0

The Badgers are now 2-0 on the season and have outscored their opponents 110-0. This weekend's 61-0 destruction of the Chippewas came courtesy of quarterback Jack Coan, Jonathan Taylor, and a suffocating defensive performance. 

Coan had a career day throwing for 363 yards and three scores while completing just about 80 percent of his passes. Taylor rumbled for 102 yards and three scores (plus one through the air) to bring his season total up to eight total touchdowns (five rushing, three receiving). Quintez Cephus hauled in six balls for 130 yards and two scores of his own.

The Wisconsin defense came to play on Saturday and allowed Central Michigan to record just 58 yards of total offense. It's been an impressive start to the season and this was quite the home opener for Paul Chryst and the Badgers.

Maryland 63, No. 21 Syracuse 20

Maryland is looking pretty good in 2019, folks. There's been some back and forth between Mike Locksley and Josh Gattis, but I don't think there's any doubt who the mastermind was behind Alabama's 2018 offense. The Terps have now put up 142 points in two games, but this effort against the No. 21-ranked Orange is a performance to remember.

Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson was solid in his second game connecting on 21 of 38 passes for 296 yards with three scores and one interception. The Terps also put up 354 yards in the ground game and were led by Javon Leake who ran for 107 and two touchdowns on just seven carries. Anthony McFarland ran for 75 yards and two scores while Jake Funk rumbled for 94 and a touchdown in the offensive explosion. 

Syracuse put up 400 yards and was led by quarterback Tommy DeVito's 330 passing yards with three scores and a pick. The ground game couldn't get anything going against the Terps' defense. Thus far the Mike Locksley Era is off to a tremendous start.

No. 20 Iowa 30, Rutgers 0

This may surprise a few people, but Rutgers doesn't appear to be all that good at football. The Hawkeyes stomped the Scarlet Knights and allowed just 125 yards of total offense. For Iowa, it was quarterback Nate Stanley doing the bulk of the damage as the senior threw for 236 yards and three scores. Ihmir Smith-Marsette was on the receiving end of 112 of those yards and two of the touchdowns.

There's really nothing to say about Chris Ash's offense. McLane Carter and Artur Stikowski split time at quarterback and combined to go 9 of 26 for just 41 yards and a pair of interceptions. Not good, Chris.

No. 19 Michigan State 51, Western Michigan 17

The Spartans wore some of the ugliest uniforms I've ever seen last night. Fortunately for Mark Dantonio, the play on the field was much better as Michigan State cruised to an easy home win.

Brian Lewerke threw for 314 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, but tailback Elijah Collins was perhaps the story of the day. The redshirt freshman ran for 192 yards on just 17 carries and may be in line to take over the Spartan backfield. Darrell Stewart Jr. had himself a day at wideout hauling in 10 passes for 185 yards and a score. 

The Spartan defense put together a solid showing as well holding Western Michigan to 67 rushing yards and 352 yards of total offense. Michigan State forced three turnovers on the day including interceptions from Tyriq Thompson and Pickerington native Xavier Henderson.

Purdue 42, Vanderbilt 24

The Boilers bounced back with a home win after last week's heartbreaker at Nevada. Rondale Moore continues to be one of the more absurd players in America as the sophomore hauled in 13 passes for 220 yards and a score. Elijah Sindelar had a big day under center throwing for five touchdowns and 509 yards to just one interception. 

Vandy put up 450 yards of offense and scored a pair of touchdowns in the game's final quarter. Quarterback Riley Neal threw for 378 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. Chris Pierce had an efficient day as he caught two passes that went for 121 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown. Tailback Ke'Shawn Vaughn was held in check with 56 yards and a score on 17 carries.

The game wasn't without its Boiler blunders, however. 

Minnesota 38, Fresno State 35 (2OT)

If you were awake at 2:00 this morning then I really hope you were doing something other than watching this football game. But in all seriousness, it was a heck of a late-night contest in Fresno. There was less than a minute left when – on a 4th and 13 – Tanner Morgan connected with Chris Autman-Bell for the game-tying Gopher score.

Both teams scored touchdowns in the first overtime. The Gophs got the ball in the second extra frame and ended up kicking a field goal. On Fresno State's first play, quarterback Jorge Reyna went for the endzone but Antoine Winfield Jr. had other plans. The Ohio State legacy ended things with an interception in the game's second overtime. He ended last year's meeting in a very similar fashion.

Morgan threw for 234 yards with two touchdowns on the night. Rashod Bateman was his favorite target as he hauled in seven passes for 105 yards and a score. Tailback Mohamed Ibrahim with 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground. 

Illinois 31, UConn 23

It was a close one in East Hartford, but Lovie Smith used a 24-point second quarter to get the Illini off to a 2-0 start. Brandon Peters had another big day as he tallied 225 passing yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Josh Imatorbhebhe was on the receiving end of two of the scoring strikes while Daniel Barker and Ra'Von Barner each hauled in one.

The Huskies got off to a 13-0 lead before Illinois responded, and it was true freshman quarterback Jack Zergiotis leading the way in his first start. He completed 21 of 31 passes for 275 yards but was picked off twice on the day. UConn defensive back Tyler Coyle started things off with a bang when he picked off Peters and returned it 52 yards for the game's opening score. The Huskies came into this one as a three-touchdown home underdog.

Indiana 52, Eastern Illinois 0

The Hoosiers crushed the Panthers in Bloomington this weekend in a game that tells us absolutely nothing about Tom Allen's football team. Peyton Ramsey and Michael Penix were stellar under center as the duo combined to go 27 of 34 for 423 yards and four touchdowns. Stevie Scott III led all rushers with 61 yads and a score. 

I couldn't tell you a single thing about any one player on Eastern Illinois' team, but I can tell you that their offense managed to put up just 116 yards in Bloomington. Something tells me the Hoosiers are in for more of a challenge next weekend.

We're shuffling up our power rankings already after the second week of the season. Two months from now will we view Michigan as a better team than Penn State and Michigan State? It's certainly possible, but the Wolverines simply aren't playing well enough to stay at the No. 2 spot. Jim Harbaugh and Josh Gattis have some serious work to do on offense. 

Mike Locksley and the Terps might be the story of the season so far and they've jumped all the way up to No. 5. It's no surprise to see Maryland scoring points, but the defense has played surprisingly well through two weeks. The matchup with Penn State on Sept. 27 is shaping up to be a good one in College Park.

The Colorado collapse is one that Scott Frost may not soon forget. Taylor Martinez was nearly perfect in the first half as he completed all nine of his attempts, but the sophomore looked like a different quarterback in the third and fourth quarters. The Huskers blew this one on the road against a Buffaloes team that probably isn't all that good.

Next week we'll have the Buckeyes heading to Bloomington to square off against a 2-0 Hoosier squad. Purdue hosting TCU could be an exciting contest with a lot of points. Michigan State will try to avenge last year's loss to Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils. Penn State hosts Pitt and the week's best game could be in Ames between the Hawkeyes and Cyclones.

Where do you have the Wolverines in your power rankings after two weeks? 

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