Penn State 39, No. 24 Northwestern 28
With his team a little stunned after giving up a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien walked up and down the sideline giving players a pep talk.
After everything they’ve been through over the past year, these Nittany Lions weren’t going to be denied, even after trailing by 11 going into the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Matt McGloin had the go-ahead score on a 5-yard touchdown run with 2:37 left, one of three fourth-quarter scores for Penn State, and the Nittany Lions stormed past Northwestern at home Saturday.
The Nittany Lions (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) scored three times in the final 9:49, starting with McGloin’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson on fourth down as the receiver dragged along the back line of the end zone. Michael Zordich had a 2-point conversion run to get Penn State within 28-25 before McGloin’s scramble for a score sent the homecoming weekend crowd into a frenzy.
After bending in the middle of the game against Northwestern’s high-octane spread, Linebacker U. didn’t break in the fourth. Dual-threat quarterback Kain Colter found his running lanes filled with swarming defenders, and defensive backs smothered the receivers.
The Wildcats (5-1, 1-1) couldn’t get to 6-0 for the first time in 50 years.
Michigan 44, Purdue 13
Denard Robinson looked like his old, efficient self Saturday.
The Michigan quarterback rushed 24 times for 235 yards, threw for one touchdown and helped lead the Wolverines to a road rout over host Purdue.
It was a stark contrast to the frustrated quarterback who wound up apologizing for his sub-par performance at Notre Dame two weeks ago.
But with two weeks to prepare for the game, Robinson atoned for any mistakes he made against the Fighting Irish. The senior was 8-of-15 through the air and did not throw an interception for the first time this season. He also had three runs of 35 yards or longer and consistently moved the Wolverines (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten) into scoring position against the Boilermakers (3-2, 0-1).
Robinson became the Big Ten’s career rushing leader among quarterbacks, passing Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El (3,895) midway through the fourth quarter.
Michigan State 31, Indiana 27
Andrew Maxwell passed for 290 yards and two touchdowns, and Michigan State rallied from a 17-point deficit to defeat Indiana on the road.
Aaron Burbridge caught eight passes for 134 yards and Le’Veon Bell ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries for the Spartans (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten), who were coming off a 17-16 loss to No. 12 Ohio State.
Cameron Coffman passed for 282 yards and three touchdowns and Shane Wynn had 12 catches for 70 yards for the Hoosiers (2-3, 0-2), who led 27-17 at the end of the third quarter. Indiana could have given second-year coach Kevin Wilson his first conference win, but the Hoosiers went three-and-out on critical back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter.
Michigan State, which gave up nearly 200 yards in the first quarter, held Indiana to 37 yards and two first downs in the second half.
Wisconsin 31, Illinois 14
Joel Stave threw two touchdown passes and Wisconsin’s running game showed signs of life as the Badgers defeated Illinois at home.
Stave threw for 254 yards for the Badgers (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten), who rushed for 173 yards — 96 in the fourth quarter.
The offensive struggles of the Illini (2-4, 0-2) continued, with quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase the only positive. He finished with 178 yards passing and 84 rushing as Illinois gained 287 yards overall.
Scheelhaase ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the first quarter and threw for an 8-yard touchdown to Ryan Lankford to make it 24-14 late in the game.
But Jared Abbrederis fielded the ensuing onside kick, and Montee Ball scored his second touchdown of the game to snuff any hopes of an Illinois comeback.
Ball has 59 rushing touchdowns in his career, nine shy of the NCAA record. He finished with 19 carries for 116 yards.