Week 1 of the college football season kicked off with a special Thursday night slate of games.
Penn State hit the road and defeated Big Ten foe Purdue, 35-31, and Minnesota ruled out a visit to New Mexico State, 38-0.
Previously, 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.
Here are the best plays from Thursday night’s action as Week 1 begins.
Penn State 35, Purdue 31
Penn State QB Sean Clifford made a third-down play in the second quarter and tied with Mitchell Tinsley for a 12-yard touchdown to give the Nittany Lions the lead and their first TD of the season.
Sean Clifford Shows Calm At Penn State’s Opening TD
Avoiding the pressure, Sean Clifford threw an impressive touchdown to Mitchell Tinsley to help Penn State take an early 7-3 lead against Purdue.
Purdue’s King Doerue sped right through the Penn State defenses – stiff arm and all – en route to the end zone, helping the Boilermakers cut the lead 10-7 early in the second quarter.
In a row
The Nittany Lions came before halftime with back-to-back TDs.
King of the ground game
Purdue’s Doerue helped close the gap to 21-17 in the third quarter with a smooth 2-yard TD run.
The teams were neck and neck after trading TDs, but Purdue took the lead in the fourth, 31-28, after Clifford’s pass was intercepted by Chris Jefferson’s safety and went 72 yards back to the house.
Chris Jefferson’s pick-six puts Purdue in charge
Chris Jefferson helped Purdue back into the lead midway through the fourth quarter, thanks to his pick six against Penn State.
Increase in the late quarter
Clifford threw a TD to Keyvone Lee with just under a minute left, and that was enough as Penn State held out for the win.
Minnesota 38, State of New Mexico 0
Minnesota was first on the board thanks to Mohamed Ibrahim, who returned this year for a sixth season with the Golden Gophers.
Meanwhile, in Minneapolis…
Ibrahim started the second quarter in the same way as the first – with a score. Dan, Minnesota snuck in another one because the clock ran out in the first half.
The Golden Gophers jumped to a 24-0 lead at halftime.
More of the same
Minnesota continued to dominate the ground game, cashing in on their fifth hasty score of the night to seal the deal.
No. 17 Pittsburgh 38, West Virginia 31
Just how he set it up
WVU was scared when Georgia transfer quarterback JT Daniels tied the knot, but things ran fine for the Mountaineers on this ride.
WVU took the lead in the second quarter as Bryce Ford-Wheaton turned on the jets for a 10-yard TD.
WVU made huge strides in special teams early in the third quarter and blocked Pitt’s punt, resulting in a short field and a quick score for the Mountaineers.
Pitt responded with back-to-back scores to close out the third quarter. First, Daniel Carter easily found the end zone after that a huge profit by Jared Wayne. After that, Pitt re-took the lead thanks to Rodney Hammond.
Take the opportunity
Daniels again linked up with Ford-Wheaton, this time for a 16-yard TD, followed by taking it in himself on a QB sneak on the Panthers’ next drive, giving them a 31-24 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Down to the wire
Pitt fired back with two straight scores to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. QB Kedon Slovis found Israel Abanikanda for a 24-yard catch-and-run score. Then the Panthers chose Daniels for the monster pick-six to win it.
MJ Devonshire intercepts JT Daniels in the Backyard Brawl
MJ Devonshire intercepts West Virginia’s JT Daniels and takes it for the touchdown to give the Pitt Panthers the wild win in the Backyard Brawl.
no. 12 Oklahoma State 58, Central Michigan 44
Oklahoma State was first on the board when John Paul Richardson broke down for a monstrous 45-yard touchdown on a quick pass from QB Spencer Sanders.
John Paul Richardson shows off his athleticism in 45-yard TD
John Paul Richardson helped the Oklahoma State Cowboys score their first touchdown of the season, thanks to an impressive first quarter reception.
Central Michigan responded quickly with a score of its own, putting things in order early in the first quarter.
The Oklahoma State Defense Showed Up Big, force a security to put the Cowboys on 9-7 with less than a minute left in the opening frame.
With the momentum on its side, Oklahoma State extended its lead to 16-7 as the first quarter drew to a close.
Spencer Sanders extends Oklahoma State lead
Spencer Sanders’ electric 17-yard rushing touchdown gave the Oklahoma State Cowboys a 16-7 lead against Central Michigan.
When it rains, it pours
Sanders & Co. kept pouring it over the Chippewas as the second quarter got underway.
Sanders links with Braydon Johnson for 13-yard TD
QB Spencer Sanders connects with Braydon Johnson for a 13-yard touchdown to put Oklahoma State at 23-7.
More of the same
Midway through the second frame, Sanders found Jaden Nixon running back, who took off for a score of 17 yards thanks to some fancy footwork.
On the next ride, Sanders came in with his second rushing TD of the day. It was just a game of 30 points, 37-7.
Central Michigan appeared on the ensuing ride, thanks to RB Lew Nichols’ short 4-yard sprint into the end zone. The Chippewas followed that up with a successful two-point conversion for the record.
However, it didn’t take long for Oklahoma State to return the favor, as Dominic Richardson batted in the ball to make sure it went into halftime 44-15.
The Cowboys picked up where they left off in the second half. Sanders found Bryson Green in the corner of the end zone for a quick score.
Spencer Sanders finds Bryson Green for 7-yard TD
Oklahoma State Cowboys QB Spencer Sanders participated in his sixth touchdown of the game, making contact with Bryson Green on a 7-yard TD pass.
CMU responded quickly, as Jalen McGaughy pulled in a difficult pass under pressure for Chippewas’ TD.
Finding his footing
Next, Central Michigan closed a three-play, 39-yard drive with another TD to close the gap, 51-28.
Back and forth
Both teams traded TDs late in the fourth quarter. OSU’s Zach Middleton punched one in for the Cowboys – their seventh TD of the night — followed by CMU’s Nichols popping up for a 15-yard TD.
Too little, too late
Despite the loss, CMU had the final say on this one, as McGaughy ended the case with a 54-yard TD catch.
CMU’s Daniel Richardson links with Jalen McGaughy for 54-yard TD
QB Daniel Richardson connects to Jalen McGaughy for a 54-yard touchdown.
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