Ohio State went to overtime to avoid one of the most stunning upsets in this college football season, defeating Maryland 52-51 Saturday in College Park, Md., when the Terrapins failed to convert a 2-point conversion after the potential game-tying touchdown.
Favored by 14½ points, Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP) trailed by two touchdowns in the third quarter and 45-38 with under two minutes left before rallying to a pivotal victory.
After a 5-yard touchdown run by Dwayne Haskins gave the Buckeyes the lead to start overtime, Tayon Fleet-Davis scored to get the Terrapins within a point. Interim coach Matt Canada decided to end it right there, going for 2, but Tyrrell Pigrome’s pass to Jeshaun Jones was off target.
The victory kept the Buckeyes in the hunt for the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Ohio State concludes the regular season next week in a game against Michigan that will decide the Big Ten East winner.
The Buckeyes never led until overtime against the upstart Terrapins (5-6, 3-5). Haskins ran for three touchdowns and was 28 for 38 for 405 yards and three TDs.
Ohio State finished with a whopping 688 yards, including 203 on the ground by J.K. Dobbins, but the defense allowed 535 yards and seven touchdowns.
Maryland freshman Anthony McFarland had touchdown runs of 81 and 75 yards in the first quarter and finished with 298 yards rushing — seven short of the school’s single-game record.
The Terps took a 45-38 lead when Chigoziem Okonkwo recovered a fumble by McFarland in the end zone with 1:41 left. Haskins then orchestrated a 50-yard, beat-the-clock drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Binjimen Victory with 40 seconds remaining.
Up 24-17 at halftime, the Terrapins garnered further momentum on Ohio State’s first drive of the second half when RaVon Davis picked off a deflected pass and took it 37 yards for a score.
The Buckeyes answered with a 73-yard scoring drive that featured a pair of penalties against Maryland, including a pass interference call on a third-and-7. After Ohio State pulled even in the fourth quarter, Maryland moved back in front on a 27-yard touchdown pass by Pigrome, who was making his first start of the season after Kasim Hill sustained a season-ending knee injury last week.
Pigrome went 6 for 13 for 181 yards.
Penn State 20, Rutgers 7: Trace McSorley threw two touchdown passes to tight end Pat Freiermuth and No. 16 Penn State’s defense set up two touchdowns with turnovers in a 20-7 victory over Rutgers on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J., sending the Scarlet Knights to their 10th straight loss.
McSorley’s touchdown passes covered 6 yards in the second quarter and 18 in the fourth as the Nittany Lions (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten, No. 14 CFP) beat Rutgers (1-10, 0-7) for the 12th straight time. Jake Pinegar added field goals of 22 and 19 yards.
The win was No. 30 for McSorley as a starter, making him the winningest quarterback in school history. The senior had been tied with Todd Blackledge (1980-82) and Tony Sacca (1988-91). The two touchdowns increased his total — running and passing — to 101.
Raheem Blacksheer scored on a 2-yard fourth-quarter run for Rutgers to deny Penn State its first shutout in more than a season.
The dominant group for Penn State was its defense, which forced three turnovers, had four sacks and 11 tackles for losses and held Rutgers to 46 yards passing.
Safety Garrett Taylor intercepted a horrible pass by freshman Art Sitkowski late in the second quarter to give the Nittany Lions the ball at the Rutgers 28. Four plays later, McSorley (17 of 37 for 183 yards) found Freiermuth for a 10-3 lead with 2:04 left in the half.
Senior Gio Rescigno replaced Sitkowski (3 of 7 for 18 yards and two interceptions) after the bad decision on the screen pass Penn State read from the start.
A Daniel Joseph recovery of an Isaih Pacheco fumble at the Rutgers 46 late in the third quarter set up the second TD pass early in the fourth for a 20-0 lead.
The Scarlet Knights should have scored in the third quarter. After moving 82 yards on 14 running plays, they ran a fourth-down flea flicker from the 2-yard line and a wide-open Rescigno dropped a soft pass from Trey Sneed, who had lined up outside and took a toss from Blackshear.
Nebraska 9, Michigan State 6: Barrett Pickering kicked three field goals in the fourth quarter, the last one a 47-yarder with 5:13 left, as Nebraska came from behind to beat Michigan State in Lincoln, Neb.
It was the first time the Cornhuskers had won a game without scoring a touchdown since a 3-0 victory over Kansas State in 1937, according to Nebraska sports information officials.
“Every week I’ve been coaching them there’s a little more fight. Today’s the most I’ve seen,” first-year Huskers coach Scott Frost said. “That’s a hard game to win. Even harder to lose. Our guys had to keep grinding, and the defense had to keep coming up with stops.”
The Spartans (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten) got field goals of 34 and 26 yards from Matt Coghlin but was unable to sustain offense against a Nebraska defense that has struggled most of the season.
Nebraska (4-7, 3-5), which had put up some of the best offensive numbers in the nation the past six weeks, tied it at 6-all on Pickering field goals of 36 and 20 yards.