Maryland football suffered another loss this weekend. This time, it was on the road at No. 8 Michigan State by a final score of 40-21. Maryland had multiple chances to cut this one to a one-score game in the second half but it could not convert in the red zone en route to the defeat and now the program stands at 5-5.
Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa played well for Maryland, throwing for 350 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Senior tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo had one of the best games of his career, catching eight passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
On the Michigan State side, quarterback Payton Thorne and running back Kenneth Walker III dominated the Maryland defense. Thorne threw for 287 yards and four touchdowns and Walker added 143 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Maryland’s next test will be against Michigan in College Park next weekend prior to its season-finale matchup with Rutgers. Let’s look at how the rest of the Big Ten fared this past weekend.
Big Ten East
|W, 59-31, Purdue
|W, 40-21, Maryland
|W, 21-17, Penn State
|L, 21-17, Michigan
|L, 40-21, Michigan State
|W, 38-3, Indiana
|L, 38-3, Rutgers
Big Ten West
|W, 35-7, Northwestern
|W, 27-22, Minnesota
|L, 27-22, Iowa
|L, 59-31, Ohio State
|L, 35-7, Wisconsin
Statement game: No. 9 Michigan at Penn State
Michigan went on the road this weekend and won a thriller by a final score of 21-17. The game started slow but really picked up in the final minutes.
Penn State jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara found wideout Roman Wilson for a 21-yard touchdown, putting the Wolverines up 7-3. McNamara looked sharp, throwing for 217 yards and three touchdowns in this one.
Penn State went on to hit another field goal before halftime and the two teams headed into the break with Michigan leading 7-6.
Michigan came out guns blazing to start the second half, scoring a touchdown on its opening drive. McNamara found Wilson for his second score of the day and the Wolverines extended their lead to 14-6.
Following the Michigan score, both offenses stalled until late in the final quarter. With over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford found tight end Tyler Warren for a two-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal, cutting the lead to just two points. The Nittany Lions converted the two-point conversion on a strike from Clifford to superstar wideout Jahan Dotson, who broke the school’s single-game receiving yard record last week.
After tying the game at 14-14, the Penn State defense was able to get to McNamara and force a fumble in Michigan territory. They went on to get a field goal and take a 17-14 lead with six minutes left in the game.
After taking the lead, Penn State had all the momentum. The crowd was rocking, Clifford and the offense were rolling, it seemed to be the perfect storm for Penn State. McNamara had other plans, driving Michigan down the field with ease before finding tight end Erick All for a 47-yard touchdown to seal the game.
Hassan Haskins was excellent running the ball for Michigan in this one, rushing 31 times for 156 yards. Haskins paced the Wolverines offense all day and allowed McNamara to settle in. This is a big win for Michigan as it continues to make its push towards the college football playoff. Michigan now moves to 9-1, while Penn State falls to 6-4.
Upset game: Rutgers at Indiana
Rutgers came into this game as 6.5-point underdogs and left Bloomington, Indiana with a 38-3 victory over hosts.
This one got ugly quick, with Rutgers going up 14-0 in the first quarter behind two touchdowns from starting running back Isaih Pacheco. Pacheco finished the game with 21 carries for 79 yards and one touchdown. While the passing game never really got going for Rutgers, it didn’t matter. Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral finished with just nine completions on 17 passes for 97 yards but the ground game and the defense picked up the slack.
Rutgers’ defense did not flinch, allowing just three total points. Indiana utilized three different quarterbacks in the game and none were able to get going. The trio of quarterbacks completed only 18-of-42 pass attempts for 117 yards and two picks.
Indiana, a team that entered the year with sky-high expectations, has been a massive disappointment this season. The Hoosiers are without their starting quarterback, Michael Penix Jr., but there is no excuse for how poorly they’ve played. The offense couldn’t move the ball and the defense couldn’t keep Rutgers out of the end zone.
The teams went to the half with Rutgers leading 17-3. In the second half, Rutgers added three rushing touchdowns from Aaron Young, Raiqwon O’Neal and Vedral on its way to routing the Hoosiers.
This was a very big road victory for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have played some good football this year but this was by far the team’s biggest win of the season. For the first time in a long time, there is reason to be excited about Rutgers’ football program.
Indiana now falls to 2-8 on the year, while Rutgers improves to 5-5 and is just one win away from being eligible for a bowl game this season.
Surprise game: Purdue at No. 6 Ohio State
Ohio State beating Purdue at home wasn’t much of a surprise. With that being said, Ohio State looked the best they’ve looked all season. The offense was electric, scoring 45 points in the first half on its way to a 59-31 victory over Purdue.
Ohio State was quick to jump out to a 7-0 lead after quarterback C.J. Stroud found Garrett Wilson for a 21-yard touchdown just three minutes into the game. Purdue answered immediately, tying the game at 7-7 on a touchdown pass from Aidan O’Connell to wide receiver Jackson Anthrop.
Just minutes later, the Buckeyes broke the game open behind the legs of superstar running back TreVeyon Henderson. Henderson found the endzone for back-to-back touchdowns in the opening quarter, extending the Ohio State lead to 21-7.
To open the second quarter, Stroud found Jaxon Smith-Njigba for a touchdown and the game was sealed from there. Smith-Njigba finished the game with nine receptions for 139 yards and one touchdown. Wilson put together one of the most spectacular performances of the season, hauling in 10 passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns, plus one touchdown and 52 yards on the ground.
If that wasn’t enough, Chris Olave had nine catches for 85 yards and one touchdown as well. The Ohio State receiving corps is loaded and when Stroud plays as he played against Purdue, it is impossible to contain.
Stroud finished the game with 361 yards and five touchdowns. On the opposite sideline, O’Connell was excellent under center for Purdue, completing 40-of-52 passes for 390 yards and four touchdowns. David Bell led the way for the Purdue receiving corps with 11 catches for 103 yards.
This was a statement win for Ohio State over a Purdue team that just took down then-No. 3 Michigan State last week. If the Buckeyes’ offense can continue to produce, they are going to be very difficult to stop. Ohio State is now 9-1 on the season while Purdue sits at 6-4 after the loss.