College football top plays: Michigan St., Indiana, Illinois in action

Week 1 of college football the season kicked off with a special slate of Thursday night games.

Penn State went on the road and beat Big Ten foe Purdue, 35-31, and Minnesota blanked visiting New Mexico State, 38-0.

In addition, No. 17 Pittsburgh narrowly escaped West Virginia, 38-31, and No. 12 Oklahoma State held off Central Michigan, 58-44, after the Chippewas came back from a 26-point deficit.

Now it’s Friday, where Michigan State hosts Western Michigan and Indiana hosts 1-0 Illinois.

Michigan St. vs. Western Michigan

Show the boot!

Michigan State didn’t score on its opening drive, allowing kicker Bryce Barringer to kick a 68-yard punt that put Western Michigan inside the five-yard line for its first down.

First score of the season for the Spartans

Gurmey Bernard took a 44-yard slant pass for the score, putting Michigan State up 7-3 in the first quarter.

Illinois vs. Indiana

Illinois Fighting Illini

I WILL

Indiana Hoosiers

IND

Penn State 35, Purdue 31

First!

Penn State QB Sean Clifford made a third-down play in the second quarter, connecting with wide receiver Mitchell Tinsley for a 12-yard touchdown to give the Nittany Lions the lead and their first TD of the season.

Sean Clifford shows composure on Penn State’s opening TD

Sean Clifford shows composure on Penn State's opening TD

Shaun Clifford avoided the pressure and threw an impressive touchdown to Mitchell Tinsley to help Penn State take an early 7-3 lead against Purdue.

Too hard

Purdue’s King Doerue slipped right through Penn State’s defense — stiff arm and all — on his way to the end zone, giving the Boilermakers a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Back to back

The Nittany Lions came away with back-to-back TDs before halftime.

First, Clifford made his way into the end zone for six points. Then they capitalized turnover with a 67-yard TD run courtesy of Brenton Strange.

The king of the game

Purdue’s Doerue helped close the gap to 21-17 in the third quarter with a smooth 2-yard TD run.

Pick six!

The teams were neck and neck after trading TDs, but Purdue took a 31-28 lead into the fourth after Clifford’s pass was intercepted by safety Chris Jefferson and returned 72 yards to the house.

Chris Jefferson’s pick gives Purdue the lead

Chris Jefferson's pick gives Purdue the lead

Chris Jefferson helped Purdue regain the lead midway through the fourth quarter thanks to his six picks against Penn State.

Increase at the end of the quarter

Clifford threw a TD to Keyvone Lee with just under a minute left and it was enough as Penn State held on for the win.

Minnesota 38, New Mexico State 0

Hot start

Minnesota was first in the rankings thanks to star Mohamed Ibrahim, who returned this year for a sixth season with the Golden Gophers.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis…

Double trouble

Ibrahim started the second quarter the same way he started the first – with a score. Then Minnesota inserted another as the clock ran out in the first half.

Just like that, the Golden Gophers took a 24-0 lead into the break.

More of the same

Minnesota continued to dominate the field, scoring for its fifth rushing score of the night to seal the deal.

No. 17 Pittsburgh 38, West Virginia 31

Exactly how he drew it

WVU got a scare when quarterback JT Daniels, a transfer from Georgia, couldn’t make it, but things went well for the Mountaineers on that road trip.

I’m passing!

WVU took the lead in the second quarter when Bryce Ford-Wheaton turned on the Jets for a 10-yard TD.

Full effort

WVU came up huge on special teams early in the third quarter, blocking a Pitt punt that led to a short field and a quick score for the Mountaineers.

Hitting back

Pitt responded with back-to-back scores to close out the third quarter. First, Daniel Carter found the end zone with ease after that huge profit by Jared Wayne. Pitt then regained the lead thanks to Rodney Hammond.

On level

Daniels again connected with Ford-Wheaton, this time for a 16-yard TD, followed by taking it himself on QB sneak on the Panthers’ next drive, good for a 31-24 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Down to the wire

Pitt responded with two consecutive goals to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. QB Kedon Slovis found Israel Abanikanda for a 24-yard catch-and-run score. The Panthers then drafted Daniels with the monster pick six to win it.

MJ Devonshire meets JT Daniels in the Backyard Brawl

MJ Devonshire meets JT Daniels in the Backyard Brawl

MJ Devonshire intercepts West Virginia’s JT Daniels for a touchdown to give the Pitt Panthers the wild win in the Backyard Brawl.

No. 12 Oklahoma State 58, Central Michigan 44

A house call!

Oklahoma State got on the board first when John Paul Richardson broke free for a monster 45-yard touchdown on a pass rush from QB Spencer Sanders.

John Paul Richardson showcases his athleticism on a 45-yard TD

John Paul Richardson showcases his athleticism on a 45-yard TD

John Paul Richardson helped the Oklahoma State Cowboys score their first touchdown of the season thanks to an impressive reception in the first quarter.

Draw game

Central Michigan quickly responded with a score of its own, tying things early in the first quarter.

Too easy

Oklahoma State’s defense showed up in a big way, safety enforcement to give the Cowboys a 9-7 lead with less than a minute left in the opening frame.

With momentum on their side, Oklahoma State extended its lead to 16-7 late in the first quarter.

Spencer Sanders extends Oklahoma State’s lead

Spencer Sanders extends Oklahoma State's lead

Spencer Sanders’ electric 17-yard touchdown run gave the Oklahoma State Cowboys a 16-7 lead against Central Michigan.

When it rains, it pours

Sanders & Co. continued to pour it on the Chippewa early in the second quarter.

Sanders connected with Braden Johnson for a 13-yard TD

Sanders connected with Braden Johnson for a 13-yard TD

QB Spencer Sanders connects with Braden Johnson for a 13-yard touchdown to put Oklahoma State up 23-7.

More of the same

Midway through the second frame, Sanders found running back Jaden Nixon, who took off for a 17-yard score thanks to some fantastic legs.

On the next drive, Sanders came up with his second rushing TD of the day. That’s right, it was a 30-point game, 37-7.

Deja vu

Central Michigan came up short on the ensuing drive, thanks to a short snap by RB Lew Nichols 4-yard run into the end zone. Chippewa followed that up with a successful two-point conversion for good measure.

It didn’t take long for Oklahoma State to return the favor, however, as Dominique Richardson scored to make it 44-15 heading into the break.

Without delay

The Cowboys picked up right where they left off in the second half. Sanders found Bryson Green in the corner of the end zone for a rushing score.

Spencer Sanders finds Bryson Green for a 7-yard TD

Spencer Sanders finds Bryson Green for a 7-yard TD

Oklahoma State Cowboys QB Spencer Sanders hauled in his sixth touchdown of the game, connecting with Bryson Green on a 7-yard TD pass.

Hot hands

CMU quickly responded when Jalen McGaughy made a tough pass under pressure for the Chippewas’ TD.

Finding its basis

Central Michigan then capped a three-play, 39-yard drive with another TD to close the gap, 51-28.

Back and forth

The two teams traded TDs late in the fourth quarter. OSU’s Zach Middleton scored one for the Cowboys – theirs seventh TD of the night — followed by CMU’s Nichols popping up for a 15-yard TD.

Too little and too late

Despite the loss, CMU had the final say in this one, as McGaughy ended things with a 54-yard TD catch.

CMU’s Daniel Richardson connects with Jalen McGaughy for a 54-yard TD

CMU's Daniel Richardson connects with Jalen McGaughy for a 54-yard TD

QB Daniel Richardson connects with Jalen McGaughy for a 54-yard touchdown.


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