This weekend’s slate of Big Ten matchups featured a top-10 showdown and a few surprising losses.
Maryland football snapped its four game skid with a 13-10 victory over Nebraska to become bowl eligible for the third season in a row, its first time accomplishing that feat since 2006-08. Next week, Maryland will host No. 3 Michigan.
Here’s what stood out from over the weekend.
Statement victory: No. 3 Michigan 24, No. 10 Penn State 15
Moments before Michigan faced Penn State, the Big Ten issued a three-game suspension to Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. As a result of Harbaugh’s absence, the Wolverines needed a solid effort to leave Beaver Stadium with a win. They got it.
The top-10 duel between Big Ten elites started slow.
After driving down to Michigan’s 3-yard line, Penn State settled with a 20-yard field goal to open the scoring.
On the ensuing drive, Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy marched the Wolverines 75 yards down the field in nine plays. Running back Blake Corum capped the drive off with a short touchdown. Not long after, Michigan’s ground game continued to move the chains. A six-play drive ended with running back Donovan Edwards scoring a 22-yard rushing touchdown to extend the Wolverines’ lead to 11.
The Nittany Lions responded with a touchdown of their own after quarterback Drew Allar’s rushing score trimmed their deficit to 14-9 headed into halftime.
Michigan dominated the second half on defense, and Corum added his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter from 30 yards out to essentially put the game on ice.
Penn State scored with under a minute to go, but it was too little too late, and Michigan held on for the 24-15 victory.
Penn State fired offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich on Sunday.
Surprise result: Purdue 49, Minnesota 30
Purdue entered the game at 2-6 with just one conference win. But in front of a home crowd, it delivered a blistering offensive performance.
On the opening possession, Minnesota quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis led the offense 65 yards in just four plays, capped off by a touchdown pass to tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford. Purdue matched Minnesota’s touchdown on the following drive after quarterback Hudson Card’s touchdown toss to Garrett Miller.
Minutes later and trailing 10-7, Purdue responded when Card found wide receiver T.J. Sheffield for a 24-yard touchdown.
After another Minnesota field goal, Purdue scored again on a six-yard touchdown from running back Tyrone Tracy Jr. to take a 21-13 advantage.
Purdue ultimately held a 28-20 lead at the break and found its defensive tenacity in the second half. It scored the lone touchdown of the score in the third quarter to go up 35-20, and added a pair of scores in the fourth to secure the victory.
Performance of the week: Michigan RB Blake Corum
On a day when the passing game struggled (60 yards), Michigan’s rushing attack, led by Corum, took over the game. He finished with 26 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
Corum’s 5.6 yards per carry average was just a glimpse into his importance. He scored the game’s first touchdown to set a physical tone, and then recorded the final touchdown to salt away a victory.
Michigan has shown it can win with McCarthy’s arm and Corum’s legs, forming one of the nation’s most explosive teams.