Minnesota 42, Eastern Illinois 20
EIU's QB Jalen Whitlow, a transfer from Kentucky, punted the ball three yards. Three. Sure, Minnesota looked okay, but the punt was the highlight. The guys over at The Daily Gopher had a cool link to it. Sublime. There was some bad news for the Gophers, however, with an injury to defensive tackle Scott Ekpe's knee.
Tough night for the #Gophers injury wise. Sounds more and more like starting DT Scott Ekpe could be gone for the year with an ACL injury.— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsGI) August 29, 2014
Rutgers 41, Washington State 38
The Scarlet Knights were led by running back Paul James, who ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns. It was his third score of the game that gave the Knights the win on the West Coast. Their defense left something to be desired, as they allowed the Cougars to gain 538 yards...532 of which came through the air. Wow! Wazzu's Connor Halliday went 40/56 and is currently being fitted for a cybernetic arm.
Michigan State 45, Jacksonville State 7
Pfffffft...Michigan State scored only 45 points. Losers. Okay, seriously--565 yards of total offense for Sparty, while allowing only 244 yards (22 rushing) for the Gamecocks. There was never any doubt that MSU would be able to continue their ways, so this result isn't surprising.
Penn State 26, UCF 24
James Franklin tallied his first win as Penn State's head coach, and he got it off the leg of kicker Sam Ficken. Christian Hackenberg was as solid as could be, considering he threw two interceptions. There were a lot of questions going into the season after Allen Robinson left, but Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton combining for 338 yards kind of puts a hole in the theory that no one could replace Robinson.
Illinois 28, Youngstown State 17
Youngstown State held the ball for 40 freakin' minutes of this game! Come on, Tim Beckman, get your $h!t together. Okay, so you're Tim Beckman, but even your team shouldn't have to come from behind to beat the Penguins. The good news, I guess, is that Wes Lunt was able to do it. There's your silver lining: your transfer quarterback was able to dig you out of a hole against Youngstown State. Good luck the rest of the way.
Indiana 28, Indiana State 10
Have the Hoosiers become a rushing team? Last year was a high-flying aerial attack, but in the first game of 2014, Tevin Coleman rumbled for 247 yards on 23 carries. Indiana's Nate Sudfeld was quite blah, going 11/18 for only 111 yards and one INT. The day clearly belonged to Coleman. If Indiana wants to win more games than this one, the offense will need to be more balanced than this.
Iowa 31, Northern Iowa 23
For a team that some have picked to compete for the West Division in the Big Ten, a performance like this probably can't be repeated once conference play starts. The Hawkeyes won the game, but weren't too convincing about it. Don't get me wrong, UNI has been a very good football team, but can Iowa just stop being Iowa for a little while? Nah, screw it! I love it when Iowa is Iowa.
Michigan 52, Appalachian State 14
350 yards rushing as a team. Need I say more?
Ohio State 34, Navy 17
The service academies can be a nuisance on game day, what with all of the schemes they need to run in order to make up for a lack of talent. In this case Navy's talent AND scheme helped them stick around and make things difficult for the Buckeyes. You know that horrid OSU secondary we all talked about last year? How about the front seven last week? That group allowed Navy to rush for 370 yards. If the Middies had any pass game at all, this could have been a much different outcome. Hand it to J.T. Barrett, though; he did enough with his 12 completions and 226 yards to keep OSU above water. But, beatable is going to be a familiar refrain in 2014.
Purdue 43, Western Michigan 34
The Boilers almost Purdued all over the place, but were able to hold off the Broncos. Yes, they had to hold off a team that went 1-11 last year. Saturday's win for the Boilermakers puts them at a quarter of the way to meeting a wager I made with their fans a few months ago. Back to the game, though--Western outgained Purdue by about half the field, but still lost.
Nebraska 55, Florida Atlantic 7
Much like the way Michigan handled Appalachian State or Michigan State took on Jacksonville State, Nebraska did what you're supposed to do to the sacrificial cupcake. Ameer Abdullah ran an angry 232 yards, most of which came in the first half.
Northwestern 24, Cal 31
The Bears held a 31-7 lead in the third quarter before Northwestern decided it was time to play football and attempt a comeback, but not getting closer than the seven point margin to end the game. Cal's Jared Goff, who threw for almost 3,500 yards as a true freshman last year, put up another 281 yards and three TDs on Saturday, but he wasn't the only Cal QB on the field. Sonny Dykes also put freshman Luke Rubenzer out there, much to Pat Fitzgerald's shagrin.
Maryland 52, James Madison 7
Terps quarterback C.J. Brown had a hell of a day, but not necessarily through the air. Although Brown hooked up with his main receiving threats, Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, for 111 yards and a touchdown, he was also able to run another three scores onto the board in the first half. I know it was only James Madison, but don't get caught sleeping against the Terps.
Wisconsin 24, LSU 28
After being up by 17 points on a team located in the Holiest of Holies of football conferences, the Badgers did the most Big Ten thing they could and gave up said lead by allowing 21 unanswered points by the LSU Tigers. In addition to Badgers fans being pissed off that Tanner McEvoy got the start over Joel Stave, there was also a bit of a kerfuffle over the reasons for Melvin Gordon being shut down in the second half. Gordon had 76 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but was held to only four more touches in the second half. Yet he still tallied 140 total yards on the day. The loss, though, was a total Purduing of the day by Wisconsin.