Indiana State’s Shakir Bell ran for 103 yards and one touchdown and caught one pass for 15 yards in the quarter, and the two teams are tied 7-7 at the end of the first. The Sycamores got on the scoreboard first, rattling off a five-play, 84-yard drive that ended in a score when Bell pounded in a 54-yard touchdown run.
Earlier Saturday, I offered my snap reactions from the Big Ten’s first four games. With the afternoon games now in the books, it’s time to share what I learned from Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin’s wins. Nebraska and Purdue cruised to victory, however Iowa and Wisconsin both received stiff tests that went down to the wire. See my snap reactions from the afternoon games in this post.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez never threw more than two touchdowns in any game last season. In Saturday afternoon’s season opener against Southern Miss, the oft-criticized junior doubled that number with four scoring strikes. It was a career day for Martinez, who tied a career-high with five touchdown passes – also did it as a freshman against Oklahoma State – and set personal records for completions (26), completion percentage (76.5 percent) and yards (349). Watch all of Martinez’s scoring strikes now.
Taylor Martinez threw for a career-high 354 yards and matched his high with five touchdown passes to lead No. 17 Nebraska to a 49-20 victory over Southern Mississippi on Saturday. The Huskers won their nation-leading 27th straight opener. Nebraska played the last three quarters without Rex Burkhead. The 1,300-yard rusher last season went out with a sprained ligament in his left knee after opening the scoring with a career-long 57-yard run. Backup Ameer Abdullah ran 15 times for 81 yards and made an acrobatic catch for an 11-yard TD.
Damon Bullock ran for 150 yards and scored on a late 23-yard touchdown run to lead Iowa to an 18-17 victory over Northern Illinois in the season opener on Saturday. The Hawkeyes simply got all they could handle from the reigning Mid-American Conference champions but came out on top after trailing most of the way. They were down 17-12 when Bullock ran untouched around the left end to put them ahead by one. That happened after Iowa downed a punt at the NIU 1, pinning the Huskies against the goal line.
Robert Marve passed for a career-high 295 yards and matched a career best with three touchdowns to help Purdue defeat Eastern Kentucky 48-6 on Saturday in both teams’ season opener. Marve started because previously declared starter Caleb TerBush was suspended one game for violating team rules. He hadn’t thrown three touchdowns since 2008, when he was the starter at Miami. Akeem Shavers ran for 74 yards and O.J. Ross caught eight passes for 71 yards. Purdue gained 542 yards against coach Danny Hope’s alma mater, where he was the head coach from 2003 to 2007.