Penn State coach Bill O’Brien led the charge in the first home opener without Joe Paterno since 1949, his players behind him, storming the Beaver Stadium field as more than 97,000 fans kicked off a new chapter in the program’s tarnished history with a raucous and sustained ovation. But the Nittany Lions wore down in the second half, and Ohio, from the Mid-American Conference, upset Penn State, 24-14.
With quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase injured, Ashante Williams returned an interception 60 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown to help Illinois and new coach Tim Beckman hang on for a 24-7 win Saturday over Western Michigan in the season opener for both teams. The Illini opened up a 17-0 lead but their offense stalled when Scheelhaase left the game with an ankle injury late in the third quarter.
Ohio State ran for 91 yards in the third quarter, and the Buckeyes now lead 35-10. Ohio State held Miami (OH) to negative rushing yardage (-21 yards) in the quarter. The Buckeyes expanded their lead to 28-3 thanks to a one-play, 65-yard drive on Braxton Miller impressive touchdown run. Watch the play here. Ohio State made the score 35-3 when the Buckeyes recovered a fumble in the endzone.
Ohio’s defense shut down Penn State’s aerial attack in the third quarter, holding the Nittany Lions to 27 passing yards and the Bobcats have taken the lead 17-14. Ohio threw for 124 yards during the quarter. Penn State has given up 14 straight points.
In the third quarter, Alex Carder fought back for Western Michigan. He threw for 124 yards and one touchdown, but the Broncos have closed the gap to 17-7. Western Michigan closed the gap to 17-7 when Carder found Jaime Wilson open for an eight-yard touchdown pass to finish off a 57-yard drive. At first, Wilson appeared to fumble before scoring but the touchdown call on the field was confirmed.
Ryan Nassib had a productive quarter for Syracuse. He threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two yards, but the margin is still eight, as the Orange trail 35-27. Syracuse is currently on a 14-point run.
Braxton Miller is still a work in progress as a passer. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with his running. Miller showcased his ground skills throughout Saturday’s season opener against Miami (OH), and at no point were they more apparent than on his 65-yard scoring scamper to open the third quarter. Miller ran past defenders, and then used a strong stutter-step to get his way past the last couple of defenders and into the end zone to give Ohio State a 28-3 lead.