All 14 Big Ten teams were in action over the weekend to kick off the 2014 football season and 12 were victorious. Here’s a look of the 13 other games involving conference members.
Minnesota 42, Eastern Illinois 20
Quarterback Mitch Leidner ran for two scores and threw a touchdown pass to Donovahn Jones leading Minnesota to a season-opening 42-20 victory over Eastern Illinois at TCF Bank Stadium on Thursday night.
Leidner was 9-of-17 for 144 yards and a TD, David Cobb had 71 yards on 14 carries on the ground, and the Golden Gopher defense forced three turnovers.
On Saturday, Minnesota gets another cupcake when the Gophers host Middle Tennessee State.
Rutgers 41, Washington State 38
Running back Paul James rushed for 173 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead TD with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter as Rutgers defeated Washington State, 41-38, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Thursday night.
The Cougars’ River Cracraft was hit hard on a punt return and coughed up the pigskin that was recovered by the Scarlet Knights’ Anthony Cioffi at midfield with 7:13 left in the game.
Rutgers needed eight plays to go 50 yards for the clinching TD.
Washington State’s Conor Halliday was 40-of-56 passing for 532 yards and five touchdowns as the Cougars racked up 538 yards of total offense. Wazzou, though, had just six rushing yards on 14 attempts in Mike Leach’s pass-happy O.
Rutgers’ Gary Nova was 16-of-27 for 281 yards with two scores and a pick. Wide receiver Leonte Carroo caught six passes for 151 yards and a touchdown as the Scarlet Knights beat a Pac-12 school for the first time in its history.
Up next, Rutgers host the Howard Bison on Saturday.
No. 8 Michigan State 45, Jacksonville State 7
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook completed his first nine passes and finished 12-of-13 for 285 yards and three touchdowns in two quarters of work as the Spartans defeated Jacksonville State, a hapless FCS squad by the score of 45-7 at Spartan Stadium, Friday night.
The Spartans led 21-0 and outgained the Gamecocks 257-78 in the first quarter, cruising the rest of the way.
Jeremy Langford carried the ball 13 times for 57 yards, while Nick Hill netted 42 yards on 11 attempts and a pair of touchdowns for Michigan State. Tony Lippett had four receptions for 167 yards and two scores, as well.
On Saturday, Michigan State travels to Eugene to take on Oregon.
Penn State 26, UCF 24
Sam Ficken kicked a 36-yard field goal as time expired to give Penn State and first-year head coach James Frankin a win as the Nittany Lions defeated Central Florida, 26-24, at Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday.
Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who threw for 454 yards on 32-of-47 passing, was intercepted twice, fumbled once with one TD pass.
With 1:08 remaining and the Nittany Lions starting from its own 26, Hackenberg converted a 4th-and-3 from the 33 with an 8-yard run and covered the next 40 yards on three completions — the last an 18-yard strike to Geno Lewis — to set up Ficken’s game-winning field goal, his fourth of the day.
Up next, Penn State hosts Akron on Saturday.
Purdue 43, Western Michigan 34
Quarterback Danny Etling threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Purdue Boilermakers captured a 43-34 win over the Western Michigan Broncos in non-conference play at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday.
Etling converted half of his 38 pass attempts for 181 yards, while running back Raheem Mostert accounted for a team-best 146 yards and a score on 22 rushing attempts for the Boilermakers
Purdue finished with 407 yards of total offense, and produced 226 yards on 39 attempts on the ground.
Purdue snapped a 10-game losing streak and it’s their first since Sept. 7, 2013 when the Boilers defeated Indiana State, 20-14.
On Saturday, Purdue hosts another directional school taking on Central Michigan.
Michigan 52, Appalachian State 14
Quarterback Devin Gardner completed 13 of his 14 pass attempts for 173 yards and three touchdowns as Michigan defeated Appalachian State, 52-14, in non-conference tilt at Michigan Stadium.
All three of Gardner’s scoring strikes went to Devin Funchess, who had seven catches for 95 yards.
The Mountaineers won the first meeting between these programs back in 2007, a 34-32 triumph, marking the first time an FCS squad defeated a ranked team from the FBS.
Up next, Michigan heads to South Bend to take on Notre Dame on Saturday.
Illinois 28, Youngstown State 17
Quarterback Wes Lunt was 24-of-38 for 285 yards and four touchdowns as Illinois rallied to beat Youngstown State, 28-17, at Memorial Stadium in Champaign on Saturday.
With 10:57 left in the fourth quarter, a 61-yard yard pass from Dante Nania to Andrew Williams set up a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Martin Ruiz on the next play. Nania then added a two-point conversion run that gave the Penguins a 17-14 edge.
Illinois, though, put the game out of reach as the Illini scored on their next two possessions with Lunt tossing TD’s both times.
On Saturday, Illinois hosts Western Kentucky.
Indiana 28, Indiana State 10
Tevin Coleman rushed for a career-high 247 yards and D’Angelo Roberts added 129 on the ground to lead Indiana to a 28-10 home win over Indiana State in Bloomington on Saturday.
Indiana State was able to keep the game close by taking care of the ball and stopping the Hoosiers twice on fourth down inside the red zone. Sycamores quarterback Mike Perish was 17-of-32 with 140 yards. Running back Buck Logan rushed 10 times for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Up next, the Hoosiers will be on the road at Bowling Green on Saturday.
Iowa 31, Northern Iowa 23
Jake Rudock threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns and Iowa hung on to beat Northern Iowa, 31-23, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday.
Kevonte Martin-Manley added eight catches for the Hawkeyes, who survived despite allowing 203 yards receiving on just five catches to Panthers running back David Johnson.
Iowa moved ahead by eight with 6:50 left on a 12-yard touchdown reception from Rudock to Damond Powell. Greg Mabin’s late interception sealed the win for the Hawkeyes.
Sawyer Kollmorgen had 380 yards passing for the Panthers, who fell to 1-16 against the rival Hawkeyes. UNI finished with a staggering 16 penalties for 128 yards.
On Saturday, Iowa faces Ball State at Kinnick Stadium.
No. 22 Nebraska 55, Northern Iowa 7
Ameer Abdullah ran for a career-high 232 yards and a touchdown before leaving in the middle of the third quarter, and Tommy Armstrong Jr. passed for a career-high 271 yards and two TDs before sitting down late in the third as Nebraska defeated Florida Atlantic, 55-7, in Lincoln on Saturday.
The Cornhuskers rushed for 498 of their 784 total yards and won their 29th straight opener, the longest streak in the nation. Nebraska’s offensive total was the fifth highest in program history and most since the Huskers gained 787 against Utah State in 1991.
Abdullah had 178 yards by halftime while becoming the eighth Nebraska player to go over 3,000 yards rushing in a career. Terrell Newby added 107 yards rushing.
Florida Atlantic, with first-year coach Charlie Partridge, was paid $1 million to visit Lincoln and will get another $1 million for playing at No. 2 Alabama next week. The Owls of Conference USA went 75 yards on their first series to tie it at 7, but they gained just 51 more before Nebraska’s defense began freely substituting after the third quarter.
Up next, Nebraska hosts McNeese State on Saturday.
Maryland 52, James Madison 7
C.J. Brown ran for three touchdowns and threw for another as host Maryland cruised past James Madison, 52-7, at Byrd Stadium on Saturday.
Brandon Ross and Albert Reid added second-half rushing touchdowns, and backup quarterback Caleb Rowe threw for one in the highest scoring performance of fourth-year coach Randy Edsall’s tenure.
Former Ohio State defensive coordinator Everett Withers, now in his first season at James Madison, saw his offense penetrate Maryland territory only once before halftime, on a late second-quarter drive halted by an interception in the end zone.
On Saturday, the Terrapins travel to Tampa to take on South Florida.
California 31, Northwestern 24
Jared Goff threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns, Jalen Jefferson had a key interception, and California hung on to beat Northwestern 31-24 on Saturday in the season-opener at Ryan Field in Evanston.
With the Golden Bears leading 31-7 in the third quarter, Northwestern got two touchdowns in a 25-second span late in the third to pull within 10. Jack Mitchell added a 24-yard field goal with 5:18 left in the game to make it 31-24, and the Wildcats were threatening to score again when Jefferson came up big.
Northwestern’s Trevor Siemian, who shared the quarterback job with Kain Colter the past two years, threw for 229 yards.
Up next, the Wildcats host in-state rival Northern Illinois on Saturday.
No. 13 LSU 28, No. 14 Wisconsin 24
Kenny Hilliard scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to cap a fourth-quarter rally for No. 13 LSU in a 28-24 win over No. 14 Wisconsin at NRG Stadium on Saturday night.
The Tigers trailed 24-21 when Jalen Mills intercepted Tanner McEvoy’s pass at the LSU 47 with 11:04 left. Hilliard ran for 53 yards on the ensuing drive, sprinting through a hole on the right side to finish off the improbable comeback.
The Tigers extended the nation’s longest regular-season non-conference winning streak to 46 games by overcoming a 24-7 deficit in the fourth quarter.
On Saturday, Wisconsin takes on Western Illinois in Madison.