Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III continued his amazing breakout season on Saturday, rushing for 232 yards in the Spartans' 31-13 road win over Rutgers.
The No. 11-ranked Spartans are now 6-0 on the season after going 2-5 in 2020 during Mel Tucker's first season in East Lansing. Next up for Michigan State is Indiana. The Spartans will play in Bloomington next Saturday, with a Noon ET kickoff.
Walker has been the difference-maker for the Spartans this year. He's already gained 912 yards in six games, and this was his second 200-yard game this season. He's averaging 6.8 yards per carry, and had a school-record 94-yard touchdown run in the rout.
Quarterback Payton Thorne was great, too, throwing for 340 yards on 16-of-27 passing. Jalen Nailor had 221 yards receiving yards on five catches. It was the fifth time in FBS history that a team had a 300-yard passer, 200-yard rusher and 200-yard receiver in the same game. Michigan State had 588 yards of total offense.
“We're just trying to try to make explosive plays whenever we can,” said Nailor, who finished with five catches for 221 yards, the fourth-highest single-game total in MSU history. “And that was the result today.”
How much better is Michigan State's offense? A year ago, they were shut out 24-0 by Indiana in East Lansing, and had only 191 total yards.
Iowa 23, Penn State 20
No. 3 Iowa won its 12th consecutive game dating back to last season, beating No. 4 Penn State 23-20 in the first Big Ten matchup of top-five teams not named Michigan or Ohio State since 1962.
Iowa's defense, ranked No. 2 in the nation behind Georgia, was excellent once again, forcing four interceptions. Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford threw two in the first half, but was injured on a pass play late in the second quarter and did not return. Iowa is now 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the league. Penn State is 5-1, and 2-1 in the Big Ten.
Clifford's absence was huge because Penn State had jumped out to a 17-3 lead but never really threatened offensively. Backup Ta’Quon Roberson was overwhelmed by the loud and raucous Kinnick Stadium crowd. His first five plays were a fumble that he recovered, an incomplete pass, and then three consecutive false-start penalties.
“It was a tough environment,” Roberson said.
Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras was solid, completing 17-of-31 passes for 195 yards and two scores in leading the comeback. Tyler Goodson ran for 88 yards against Penn State's No. 3-ranked defense.
Ohio State 66, Maryland 17
No. 7 Ohio State's offense was overwhelming on Saturday, rolling up 598 yards and nine touchdowns in an easy 66-17 rout of Maryland at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
Quarterback C.J. Stroud had another huge day, throwing for 406 yards of 24-of-33 passing. Receivers Chris Olave (120) and Javon Smith-Njigba (103) were both over 100 yards and freshman running back TrevVeyon Henderson rushed for 102 yards and two scores.
Ohio State is now 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten heading into its bye week, The Buckeyes are back in action on Oct. 23, with a road game at Indiana on the schedule. Maryland is 4-2 overall, and 1-2 in the league.
Michigan 32, Nebraska 29
Michigan got two field goals from Jack Moody in the final three minutes of the game, including the 39-yard game-winner with 1:24 to go to give the Wolverines a 32-29 win over Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb.
No. 9-ranked Michigan (6-0 overall and 3-0 in the league) jumped out to an early 13-0 lead, but then Nebraska (3-4, 1-3 in the Big Ten) scored three second quarter touchdowns to take the lead. Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez passed for 291 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for another 38 yards,
Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara threw for 255 yards and running back Hassan Haskins rushed for 123 yards and two scores.
Wisconsin 24, Illinois 0
Illinois coach Bret Bielema had no answer in his rematch with his former team, with Wisconsin dominating the Illini 24-0 in Champaign, Ill.
Illinois had only 93 yards of total offense all day in the shutout. In contrast, Wisconsin rushed for 391 yards on 61 carries, with Chez Mellusi rushing for 145 yards and Braelon Allen gaining 131. Wisconsin is now 2-3 on the season, and 1-2 in the conference. Illinois is 2-5 overall, and 1-3 in the Big Ten.
Bielema, in his first season at Illinois, coached the Badgers from 2006 through 2012, winning three Big Ten titles.
Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota and Northwestern all had bye weeks in Week 6.
Week 7 Big Ten schedule
- Michigan State at Indiana, Noon ET
- Nebraska at Minnesota, Noon ET
- Rutgers at Northwestern, Noon ET
- Purdue at Iowa, 3:30 p.m. ET
- Army at Wisconsin, 8 p.m. ET
- Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Maryland and Illinois are on a bye week.