Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian hit Demetrius Fields for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left and Northwestern held on to beat Syracuse 42-41 Saturday in the teams’ season opener. Siemian, subbing for starter Kain Colter, drove the Wildcats 75 yards in 10 plays, taking advantage of a critical personal foul against Syracuse defender Keon Lyn for a late hit out of bounds on the previous play.
The offense led Purdue to 13 first-quarter points, and the Boilermakers lead 13-0 at the end of the first quarter. Purdue finished with 75 yards through the air and 94 on the ground in the quarter. The Boilermakers got on the scoreboard first, rattling off a five-play, 87-yard drive that ended in a score when Robert Marve found Gary Bush open for a four-yard touchdown pass.
No. 12 Wisconsin held Northern Iowa to 29 total yards during the first quarter, and the Badgers lead 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball ran for 47 yards in the quarter. The Badgers struck first when Kyle French drilled a 32-yard field goal, the final play of a 14-play, 61-yard drive. The Panthers have possession on their own 45-yard line to start the second quarter.
No. 16 Nebraska scored 14 points in the quarter, and the Cornhuskers lead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Nebraska threw for 97 yards and ran for 108 yards in the quarter. The Cornhuskers struck first when Rex Burkhead turned a handoff into a 57-yard touchdown, the final play of a four-play, 69-yard drive. Nebraska opened up the lead, 14-7, after marching down the field for a 10-play, 85-yard drive that ended when Taylor Martinez found Kenny Bell open for a 26-yard touchdown pass.
Braxton Miller rushed for 165 yards, a record for an Ohio State quarterback, and threw for two scores including Devin Smith‘s highlight-reel, one-handed catch as the 18th-ranked Buckeyes ushered in the Urban Meyer era on Saturday with a 56-10 win over Miami (Ohio). Meyer, who won two national titles at Florida, moved to 11-0 in season-openers. The slow-starting Miller, who stutter-stepped for a 65-yard score just 17 seconds into the second half, finished 14 of 24 passing for 207 yards. He also hit Corey Brown on a 5-yard TD pass.
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.