College football is back, baby!
An eventful opening weekend isn’t even completely finished yet, but all 14 Big Ten teams already got their seasons underway.
With so much college football to digest, it’s likely you missed something. Here are some of the best video moments from the weekend, one for each Big Ten team.
The Fighting Illini scored a blowout 52-3 win over FCS foe Murray State to start the Lovie Smith Era off on the right foot. Wes Lunt and Kendrick Foster starred with three touchdown passes and a pair of 56-yards touchdown runs, respectively, but it was all about the first win for Smith as a college head coach. The Illini, Smith and athletics director Josh Whitman celebrated after the win.
A nice win for the Hoosiers, with the defense coming up big in a 34-13 win over Florida International. There was not one but two pick sixes to fuel the victory, with the new quarterback-running back combo of Richard Lagow and Devine Redding posting good numbers, too. Social media lit up, though, after one of those pick sixes, when new defensive coordiantor Tom Allen went wild. After years of defensive struggles, maybe Allen is the key to Indiana turning it around on that side of the ball.
"A little bit of Hoosier Hysteria from new defensive coordinator Tom Allen." pic.twitter.com/FCrixXuidC— Jeff Rabjohns (@JeffRabjohns) September 2, 2016
The Hawkeyes put Miami (Ohio) away early with three first-quarter touchdowns. The running back combo of Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels had itself a day, with the two backs teaming for 204 yards and four touchdowns. But linebacker Josey Jewell, one of the Big Ten’s best, grabbed some headlines thanks to a nasty hit that earned him a targeting ejection.
What a rout for DJ Durkin in his first game as the Terps’ head coach. Maryland blitzed Howard, 52-13, with the Terps putting up more than 500 yards of offense. Maryland threw zero interceptions and scored six rushing touchdowns, but the most exciting way to score a touchdown is off a blocked punt and the Terps did that, too.
Jim Harbaugh finally revealed his starting quarterback in Wilson Speight, and that decision seemed to work out just fine as the Wolverines plowed over Hawaii, 63-3. The Michigan offense had 512 yards of total offense, with Speight throwing three touchdown passes in the game’s first 19 minutes. Here’s Harbaugh getting Speight ready to go before the game.
Harbaugh's pregame warmup with Speight https://t.co/OMeZFFgEhv— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) September 4, 2016
The final score wasn't exactly what it should've looked like with the No. 12 team taking on an FCS opponent, but have no fear, Michigan State took down Furman, 28-13. The whole new-quarterback thing had some pretty positive results, with Tyler O'Connor throwing a trio of touchdown passes, though he was only asked to throw the ball 18 times on the game. LJ Scott shouldered the offensive load with 20 carries, going for 105 yards and a touchdown. But with concerns over how Sparty would replace the departed Connor Cook, good on O'Connor for getting his team to the end zone.
Mitch Leidner and Rodney Smith had big games for the Gophers, helping them get past Oregon State — regardless of Tracy Claeys’ questionable late-game decision-making — by a score of 30-23. But the story of the game was true freshman defensive end Tai’yon Devers, who made two sensational sacks resulting in fumbles that both set up Minnesota scores. Devers was also ejected in the second half for targeting, one of three Gophers to receive that fate Thursday.
The Huskers will have something much more important than football on their minds this season following the tragic death of punter Sam Foltz this offseason. Nebraska won its opener over Fresno State, 43-10, scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter. But it was the way the Huskers honored Foltz that was the game’s coolest moment. In the first quarter, Nebraska lined up in punt formation with just 10 men, leaving the punter’s spot open as the crowd, the sidelines and the players on the field from both teams applauded and recognized Foltz.
An absolutely disastrous start to the season for the Cats, who fell to reigning MAC champ Western Michigan, 22-21, thanks to one of the poorest-timed turnovers imaginable. In the game’s final minutes, Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson fumbled at the goal line, the ball bouncing out of the end zone for a touchback that cancelled out any chance of a late go-ahead score. This play wiped out most memory of Justin Jackson’s sensational three-touchdown day.
So J.T. Barrett’s pretty good, huh? The conference’s best quarterback didn’t disappoint, scoring seven total touchdowns as the Buckeyes throttled Bowling Green to the tune of 77-10. Curtis Samuel had a monster day, and Mike Weber was mighty productive in his debut. So this inexperienced Ohio State squad is off to a good start. Here’s one of Barrett’s six touchdown tosses, to Samuel, who can fly.
The Nittany Lions led Kent State by just a field goal at the half but kept the Golden Flashes off the scoreboard in the second half. Trace McSorley threw for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his first start, and Saquon Barkely rushed for 105 yards and hit the end zone in the win. But the highlight? That would be kicker Joey Julius leveling a Kent State player on a kick return.
The Boilers scored three touchdowns in the first quarter to go up 21-0, yet still led by just 10 at halftime over Eastern Kentucky. But 17 fourth-quarter points helped Purdue pull away for a season-opening win. Markell Jones had a nice game with 145 yards and a touchdown. But the play of the game came from defensive lineman Gelen Robinson — son of the Big Dog himself — who picked off a silly Eastern Kentucky trick play and ran it back 78 yards for the touchdown.
Not much went right for Rutgers, as the Knights were smoked by No. 14 Washington, 48-13. Chris Ash's team only got into the end zone once, with fewer than six minutes to play when the team was losing by 42 points. So yeah, not great. Here's Ash's first postgame presser.
The Badgers scored a massive opening-week win with their 16-14 victory over LSU at Lambeau Field. Wisconsin’s defense reigned supreme, holding the fifth-ranked Tigers to just 257 total yards and keeping star running back Leonard Fournette out of the end zone. Bart Houston’s two interceptions loomed large until D’Cota Dixon made a game-winning pick of his own in the game’s final minute. Sadly, that play was marred a bit by a ferocious late hit by LSU’s Josh Boutte.