CHAMPAIGN – Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton clearly enjoyed the postgame media gathering following his team’s impressive last-second 34-31 road win over Illinois on Saturday.
“I love this team,” he said, smiling. “I mean, wow. What a great bunch of guys.”
Creighton had good reason to be joyous. Chad Ryland booted a 24-yard field goal as time expired to give the Eagles their third win over a Big Ten team, after victories against Rutgers in 2017 and Purdue in 2018.
Mike Glass was 23 of 36 for 316 yards and three touchdowns to lead EMU (2-1). Jarius Grissom rushed three times for 52 yards, while Willie Parker had 23 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.
“Awesome, awesome day for our program,” Creighton said. “Our defense played well. We knew we weren’t going to shut them out, because they are really good, but we did what we needed to. Our guys just executed.”
Brandon Peterson was 22 of 37 for 297 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception for Illinois (2-1). Reggie Corbin, who sat out the last game with a hip pointer, carried the ball 18 times for 144 yards for the Illini.
“A lot of people need to do a better job, including me,” Illinois coach Lovie Smith said. “We didn’t play our best today, but we have a lot to build on. We’re a 2-1 football team, so we’ve done some good things.
“Next week [against conference foe Nebraska] will be a better indicator of where we are.”
Northwestern 30, UNLV 14: At Evanston, Hunter Johnson threw his first career touchdown pass and ran in another to lead Northwestern past UNLV.
Drake Anderson ran for 141 yards and a touchdown to help the Wildcats win their home opener.
“That first drive was a big confidence-booster for all of us today,” said Johnson, who ended the first drive of his second career start with a 1-yard touchdown run. “It was a good momentum booster.”
Johnson and the Wildcats’ offense needed the boost after a lackluster season opener.
Charles Williams had scoring runs of 65 and 37 yards in the first half and ended the day with 144 on 16 carries as the Rebels (1-2) dropped their second straight.
Up 16-14 at the break, Northwestern (1-1) gave itself some breathing room late in the third quarter when Johnson found a streaking J.J. Jefferson for a 50-yard touchdown. The sophomore quarterback was 12 for 25 for 165 yards with an interception. The effort came two weeks after he struggled in his first collegiate start, a loss at Stanford marked by an offense that often sputtered.
Two of UNLV’s three second-half turnovers led to Northwestern touchdowns. Johnson’s throw to Jefferson came a drive after the Rebels fumbled at the Wildcat 35.
The second score, Anderson’s 7-yard run in the final two minutes, put the game away.
Nebraska 44, Northern Illinois 8: At Lincoln, Neb, Adrian Martinez threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Dedrick Mills rushed for 116 yards and Nebraska beat Northern Illinois.
The Cornhuskers (2-1) bounced back from blowing a 17-point lead in an overtime loss at Colorado last week. NIU (1-2) won 21-17 in Lincoln two years ago but was no match this time.
Nebraska had 525 yards of total offense, limited the Huskies to 74 yards rushing and posted its largest margin of victory over a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since a 39-point win over South Alabama in 2015.
The Huskies were competitive for a half against 11th-ranked Utah last week. Against Nebraska, they couldn’t establish a ground game and Ross Bowers, who threw for 248 yards, didn’t find his rhythm until his team was down four touchdowns.
No. 6 Ohio State 51, Indiana 10: At Bloomington, Ind., J.K. Dobbins ran for 193 yards and scored twice, Justin Fields threw three touchdown passes and Ohio State routed Indiana.
The Buckeyes (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) have won each of their first three games by at least 24 points and extended their winning streak in the series to 24, dating to a tie in 1990. Ohio State hasn’t lost to Indiana since 1988. And with Peyton Ramsey starting at quarterback in place of the injured Michael Penix Jr., the Hoosiers (2-1, 0-1) never had a chance.
Fields was 14 of 24 for 193 yards.
No. 7 Notre Dame 66, New Mexico 14: At South Bend, Ind., Ian Book threw a career-high five touchdown passes and Notre Dame’s defense came up with three first-half interceptions in its final tuneup before a showdown at No. 3 Georgia.
Book rebounded from a lackluster opening performance in a 35-17 victory at Louisville to complete 15 of 24 passes for 360 yards. Book finished with another 46 yards rushing yards and a 1-yard TD.
The Fighting Irish (2-0) had their way with the Lobos (1-1), who were without head coach Bob Davie. Saga Tuitele acted as head coach for Davie, the former Irish head coach from 1997-2001 who was hospitalized after New Mexico’s opening victory over Sam Houston State.
No. 13 Penn State 17, Pittsburgh 10: At University Park, Pa., Journey Brown ran for 109 yards and a touchdown and Penn State held off Pittsburgh in their 100th meeting.
Pitt opted to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal at the Penn State 1 trailing by a touchdown with less than 4 minutes to go. Alex Kessman’s 19-yard attempt clanked off the upright and the Nittany Lions (3-0) later turned away Pitt’s last-ditch possession to win their third straight in the series since it was renewed in 2016.
Noah Cain’s 13-yard third-quarter sprint to the end zone gave Penn State the lead for good. Sean Clifford completed 14 of 30 passes for 222 yards. Kenny Pickett threw for a career-high 372 yards for Pitt (1-2).
Arizona State 10, No. 18 Michigan State 7: At East Lansing, Mich., Eno Benjamin reached the ball to the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown run with 50 seconds remaining, and Arizona State beat Michigan State after the Spartans had a tying field goal negated for having too many men on the field.
Matt Coghlin’s 42-yard kick appeared to have tied it with 6 seconds remaining, but a replay showed too many men on the field for Michigan State (2-1), which had rushed the field goal team on in a disorganized fashion. Coghlin had to try again from farther back, and he hooked the kick left for his third miss of the day.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio missed a chance to take over sole possession of first place on the school’s career victories list. He remains tied with Duffy Daugherty at 109.
Arizona State (3-0) drove 75 yards in 11 plays at the end, against a Michigan State defense that had been stifling all day. Quarterback Jayden Daniels ran 15 yards for a first down on fourth-and-13 from the Michigan State 28, and Benjamin’s touchdown put the Sun Devils ahead.
Temple 20, No. 21 Maryland 17: Philadelphia, Kenny Yeboah put Temple ahead on a one-handed touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter, and the Owls used two clutch stops at the goal line to beat Maryland.
The Owls (2-0) defeated an unbeaten Maryland team for the second straight season and got coach Rod Carey off to a nice start in his first season on Temple’s sideline. Yeboah used his outstretched right hand to snag Anthony Russo’s pass with 7:27 left in the game to put Temple ahead 20-15, but Maryland wasn’t going down easy – and Temple’s D pushed back.
Temple linebacker Shaun Bradley stuffed Anthony McFarland on fourth-and-goal with 3:27 left to seemingly seal the win. But Temple got the ball back and Adam Barry shanked a punt from the end zone to give Maryland (2-1) first-and-goal at the 10. Again, the Owls held the Terrapins, and a fourth-down pass was incomplete with 2:14 to go. Anthony Russo’s intentional safety finished off the scoring.
Minnesota 35, Georgia Southern 32: At Minneapolis, this Minnesota team has made falling behind in the fourth quarter a troubling habit.
The Gophers have also managed to turn those deficits into quite the stockpile of resiliency.
Tyler Johnson caught three touchdown passes from Tanner Morgan, including the go-ahead score with 13 seconds left on Saturday to give Minnesota yet another tense victory, a 35-32 decision despite fourth quarter miscues that gave Georgia Southern two long touchdowns.
“This team has some of the most heart I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” coach P.J. Fleck said.
Last week, Morgan found Chris Autman-Bell on fourth down for the tying 20-yard touchdown with 46 seconds left in regulation, before the Gophers beat Fresno State 38-35 in two overtimes. They trailed South Dakota State by one point midway through the fourth quarter, before pulling out a 28-21 victory.