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Big Ten weekend review: Week One

Two ranked teams fall this weekend and one of those teams saw defeat on the final play of the game.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland football couldn’t string together much success in its Big Ten football season opener, falling 43-3 to Northwestern Saturday evening in Evanston, Illinois.

Every team in the Big Ten was in action this past weekend in what was a long-awaited return of play in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were a few surprises from Saturday’s slate of games and there were plenty of jaw-dropping moments. Here’s what stood out from this weekend.

* Rankings are from the time that the games were played, not this week’s AP Top 25.

Big Ten East

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Indiana 1-0 1-0 W, 36-35, Penn State
Michigan 1-0 1-0 W, 49-24, Minnesota
Ohio State 1-0 1-0 W, 52-17, Nebraska
Rutgers 1-0 1-0 W, 38-27, Michigan State
Maryland 0-1 0-1 L, 43-3, Northwestern
Michigan State 0-1 0-1 L, 38-27, Rutgers
Penn State 0-1 0-1 L, 36-35, Indiana

Big Ten West

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Northwestern 1-0 1-0 W, 43-3, Maryland
Purdue 1-0 1-0 W, 24-20, Iowa
Wisconsin 1-0 1-0 W, 45-7, Illinois
Illinois 0-1 0-1 L, 45-7, Wisconsin
Iowa 0-1 0-1 L, 24-20, Purdue
Minnesota 0-1 0-1 L, 49-24, Michigan
Nebraska 0-1 0-1 L, 52-17, Ohio State

Biggest Surprise: Rutgers vs Michigan State

In coach Greg Schiano’s first game back with Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights managed to snap a 21-game Big Ten losing streak. That in itself is a surprise. Rutgers started out as an 11-point underdog heading into this game and had lost all previous matchups to Michigan State in the last six years.

The Scarlet Knights took an early two-touchdown lead in the first quarter and held a 15-point advantage heading into halftime. Despite being outscored in the second half of the game, Rutgers was able to hold on to snag a 38-27 win in East Lansing.

The defensive of the Scarlet Knights stood tall and forced six total turnovers from the Michigan State offense, including four fumble recoveries.

Spartans quarterback Rocky Lombardi aired it out all game but couldn't get it done for the Spartans in the win column. Lombardi threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon.

Rutgers will surely benefit from this surprising victory next week when it faces Indiana on Saturday. Michigan State will need to find answers and avoid piling up the turnovers as it faces a ranked Michigan team next week.

Statement game: No. 18 Michigan vs No. 21 Minnesota

The Michigan Wolverines proved they deserved to be one of the top-20 teams in the nation with a convincing win over the ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers.

After pouring on the offensive with three touchdowns in the first quarter, the Wolverines and quarterback Joe Milton dominated the rest of the way to give Michigan a 49-24 win.

The most impressive aspect of this Michigan team is the way they utilized their offense. They totaled 481 yards over half of those yards were accumulated with the rushing game. The Wolverines had three players manage over 50 rushing yards on the evening.

The versatility of the Michigan offense was present on Saturday and the Wolverines were able to score in every quarter en route to the victory.

The Wolverines are doing their best to put up a fight in the Big Ten against Penn State and Ohio State, and they certainly made a statement with this lopsided win over Minnesota.

Upset game: No. 8 Penn State vs Indiana

The Indiana Hoosiers took down one of the best teams in the nation, and the victory marked their first win over a top-10 opponent in the last 33 years. Even better, it took the final play of the game to get it done for Tom Allen’s squad.

Indiana took the a 10-point lead into half, but Penn State answered back late in the fourth quarter. Late in the final quarter, running back Devyn Ford extended Penn State’s lead to 28-20 on a 14-yard touchdown scamper.

The Hoosiers then marched down the length of the field and scored with 22 seconds left in regulation. Indiana managed to convert to the 2-point conversion to send the game to overtime.

After quarterback Sean Clifford threw a touchdown pass to put Penn State ahead, Michael Penix Jr. completed a touchdown to wide receiver Whop Philyor. Indiana decided to go for the potential game-winning 2-point try. Penix scrambled out of the pocket and raced toward the pylon, and after a long review, it was ruled a successful conversion and it gave Indiana the 36-35 win.

Indiana’s effort on Saturday cannot be overstated. The Hoosiers came onto the field as 6.5 point underdogs, but came out of it on top in one of the biggest early upsets of the season, despite only posting a 211 total yards on offense.