Four Big Ten teams — Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan State and Indiana — crossed the 50-point threshold last week.
Michigan State beat Western Michigan, 51-17, Wisconsin pummeled Central Michigan 61-0 and Indiana blanked Eastern Illinois 51-0. That’s a lot of points, but none of those margins were stunning.
Maryland scoring a conference-best 63 points in its 43-point win against No. 21 Syracuse was not only stunning, but record-breaking.
The Terrapins’ margin of victory was the seventh-highest for an unranked team against a ranked team since the creation of the AP Poll in 1936. The Terrapins were rewarded with a No. 21 ranking in the new poll. It’s the first time Maryland has appeared in the AP Poll since it joined the Big Ten in 2014.
“We had a great opportunity to play a ranked team here at home and to come out with a win today,” Maryland head coach Mike Locksley said. “Really proud of our guys... We strive for excellence in our execution and the thing we ask each guy for is the best version of themselves every time they come out and that collectively gives our team the best chance to be successful.”
In other games last week, Iowa blanked Rutgers 30-0 in the first Big Ten contest of the season. The Scarlet Knights managed only 145 yards and two first downs, and head coach Chris Ash fell to 3-25 in Big Ten games. Rutgers’ performance against Boston College on Sept. 21 could carry job implications for the fourth-year coach.
Ohio State and new quarterback Justin Fields again passed the eye test as a conference favorite with their 42-0 win against Cincinnati. The Buckeyes rolled up 504 yards and 31 first downs. Fields was 20 of 25 passing with two touchdowns and he added another 47 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Brown’s strong start
Meadville High product and Penn State running back Journey Brown continues to be a bright spot for the Nittany Lions. The redshirt freshman has run for 66 yards and two touchdowns through the first two games.
Brown also made his impact on special teams.
The redshirt sophomore tallied 28 yards rushing against Buffalo and also tipped a third-quarter punt attempt by Buffalo’s Evan Finegan. During the play, Brown’s tip of the football caused Finegan to twirl in the air before he dropped to the turf.
Finegan was eventually carted off the field and later underwent surgery to repair a broken fibula and tibia.
Sunday morning, Finegan tweeted, “I have been overwhelmed with the amount of love and support from family, friends, and college football fans all across the country! Your texts have been keeping me positive and encouraging.”
Penn State punter Blake Gillikin offered his support for Finegan via social media.
“Please keep @efinegan40 in your thoughts and prayers today and continue to do so throughout his recovery,” Gillikin tweeted. “God has a plan for you brother, turn this into an unbelievable comeback!”