Ohio State – 28 :: Troy – 10
The Buckeyes did struggle for the first three quarters of this game as they only led 14-10 going into the fourth quarter, but as expected, they pulled away in the end. Terrelle Pryor played all but one snap in this game for OSU, signaling that the Todd Boeckman era is likely over. Pryor has really taken over as the starting QB and in the end I think that’s the right move. He did look impressive for only being a freshman, and the fact that he’s getting this much experience in his first year worries me quite a bit in the future.
Penn State – 45 :: Temple – 3
The Nittany Lions finished up their non-conference schedule with yet another blowout. They have looked great so far this season, but we’ll see just how great they are once Big Ten play begins this weekend.
Minnesota – 37 :: Florida Atlantic – 3
This game surprisingly ended up being a blowout. I figured that in a dome, FAU would give Minnesota some trouble, but that wasn’t the case at all. The Golden Gophers won with ease and got vengeance for their loss to the Owls a year ago. With the win Minnesota wrapped up an undefeated non-conference schedule, and similarly to Penn State, Big Ten play will reveal if they’re for real (and by real I mean a team good enough to go to a bowl game).
Prediction: Sort of correct (Minnesota won, but not in a close game)
Pittsburgh – 21 :: Iowa – 20
A LeSean McCoy touchdown run at the beginning of the fourth quarter was all Pitt needed to beat Iowa. The Hawkeyes had over 13 minutes to make up the four-point deficit they faced, but they were only able to get a field goal. Neither of Iowa’s two quarterbacks really stood out, which was a big reason why they struggled on offense so much.
Purdue – 32 :: Central Michigan – 25
Just as we saw in last year’s Motor City Bowl, CMU gave Purdue everything they had. The Chips actually took the lead with 1:18 to go as they converted a 2-point conversion. The move was risky, but at the time it paid off as Central had a 25-24 lead. However, on Purdue’s first play following the CMU touchdown, running back Kory Sheets did a nasty juke move and ended up taking off for 46 yards and the score. The TD happened quickly enough that it gave CMU a chance to tie the game up, but Dan LeFevour got picked off to give the Boilermakers the win.
Prediction: Sort of correct (Purdue won, but not comfortably)
Northwestern – 16 :: Ohio – 8
Northwestern is another undefeated Big Ten team after non-conference play as they beat Ohio in a very defensive-oriented game. The Wildcats’ points came from 3 field goals and a touchdown, and then Ohio got their 8 points from a third quarter TD and a 2-point conversion. C.J. Bacher struggled for Northwestern as he threw 4 interceptions and only racked up 133 yards. Tyrell Sutton was limited to only 76 yards and 9 carries due to an injury. Because of the injury, Omar Conteh carried the bulk of the load instead and had 16 carries that went for only 35 yards, although he did score Northwestern’s only TD.
Prediction: Sort of correct (Northwestern won, but not comfortably)
Michigan State – 23 :: Notre Dame – 7
Notre Dame hung around in this game and looked like they might be poised to make a comeback after finally scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter to cut the lead down to 6 points. They very well may have come back if it weren’t for Michigan State running back Javon Ringer. Ringer busted loose for a 63-yard run that set up an eventual TD by, whom else, Javon Ringer. He scored his 11th TD of the season to put this game out of reach and to give MSU a big win over Notre Dame. Ringer ended up with 201 yards on 39 carries in this game and continued to be a workhorse for the Spartans.
Ball State – 42 :: Indiana – 20
Just as I predicted, Ball State finally got a win over a BCS conference team. In fact, they ended up beating Indiana by three touchdowns in what can only be described as a tale of two halves. In the first half, this was a shootout. Ball State went into halftime with a 28-20 lead and it seemed like this was going to end up with both teams scoring well over 40 points. As it turned out, the Ball State defense rose to the challenge and shut out the Hoosiers in the second half. The offense added a pair of fourth quarter TDs to pull away and to take home the upset.
One very bad thing that did happen to Ball State in this game was when star receiver Dante Love went down with a serious injury. He was on the receiving end of a huge hit and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. Luckily he will likely “live a normal and happy life,” but his football career is probably over as he suffered a cervical spine fracture and a spinal cord injury.
Prediction: Sort of correct (Ball State won, but not in a close game)