The Big Ten joined the college football party last weekend and, in a year that has been defined by unpredictability, shocking surprises, and plain-old weirdness, it was a fitting start to the season. Take the game between #8 Penn State and unranked Indiana. Despite a 1-22 record all-time against the Nittany Lions, the Hoosiers somehow won the game due to a combination of turnovers, an accidental touchdown, and a game-winning 2-point conversion that was as close as humanly possible.
That wasn’t the only upset of the weekend. Assisted by seven Spartan turnovers, Rutgers beat Michigan State by 11 points to pick up their first conference road win in over three calendar years. Purdue rallied for a second-half comeback against Iowa, despite missing head coach Jeff Brohm due to COVID, along with star receiver Rondale Moore. And while the outcome may not have been a major surprise, #18 Michigan rolled #21 Minnesota 49-24 in an offensive outburst that few saw coming, with the Wolverines putting up 35 points by halftime.
Elsewhere, Ohio State continues to look like a powerhouse, as they pulled away from Nebraska in the second half for a 52-17 win. The Buckeyes’ Hiesman hopeful, QB Justin Fields, was absolutely magnificent, going 20-for-21 for 276 yards and two TDs through the air, while rushing for 75 yards and another score. Incredibly, that may not have been the best Big Ten QB performance of the day, as Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz completed his first 17 passes and finished 20-for-21 for 248 yards and five TDs in the Badgers’ 45-7 victory over Illinois.
Sadly, that may be the last time Mertz steps on the field for quite some time, as he has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and will be out for a minimum of 21 days, per the Big Ten’s coronavirus policy. Third string QB Chase Wolf has also reportedly tested positive for the virus, and on Wednesday morning, Wisconsin canceled their Halloween game against Nebraska, with six players and six staff members, including head coach Paul Chryst, contracting COVID.
Only two other games have been postponed or canceled this weekend, as of this writing: A Friday night matchup between #19 Marshall and Florida International has been postponed due to a lack of available scholarship players for FIU, while Saturday’s game between North Texas and UTEP has been postponed due to a spike in COVID cases in El Paso, where UTEP is located. Conference USA is working to reschedule both games.
Check out the full Week 9 schedule below; we will update if any additional games are cancelled or postponed.
UPDATE: Clemson quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Saturday's game against Boston College.
|Away Team||Home Team||Time (ET)||Channel|
|South Alabama||Georgia Southern||7:30 PM (10/29||ESPN|
|Colorado State||Fresno State||10:00 PM (10/29)||CBSSN*|
|Minnesota||Maryland||7:30 PM (10/30)||ESPN|
|East Carolina||Tulsa||9:00 PM (10/30)||ESPN2|
|Hawai'i||Wyoming||9:45 PM (10/30)||FS1|
|Boston College||#1 Clemson||12:00 PM||ESPN3|
|#5 Georgia||Kentucky||12:00 PM||SECN|
|Memphis||#7 Cincinnati||12:00 PM||ESPN|
|Michigan State||#13 Michigan||12:00 PM||FOX^|
|#16 Kansas State||West Virginia||12:00 PM||ESPN2|
|#20 Coastal Carolina||Georgia State||12:00 PM||ESPNU|
|#23 Iowa State||Kansas||12:00 PM||FS1|
|UTSA||Florida Atlantic||12:00 PM|
|Wake Forest||Syracuse||12:00 PM||ACCN|
|Rice||Southern Mississippi||3:00 PM||ESPN3|
|Troy||Arkansas State||3:00 PM||ESPN3|
|#4 Notre Dame||Georgia Tech||3:30 PM||ESPN3|
|#17 Indiana||Rutgers||3:30 PM||BTN|
|UAB||Louisiana Tech||3:30 PM|
|Texas||#6 Oklahoma State||4:00 PM||FOX^|
|Ole Miss||Vanderbilt||4:00 PM||SECN|
|Appalachian State||UL Monroe||4:00 PM||ESPNU|
|Virginia Tech||Louisville||4:00 PM||ACCN|
|#25 Boise State||Air Force||6:00 PM||CBSSN*|
|Mississippi State||#2 Alabama||7:00 PM||ESPN|
|New Mexico||San José State||7:00 PM||FS1|
|#3 Ohio State||#18 Penn State||7:30 PM||ESPN3|
|Arkansas||#8 Texas A&M||7:30 PM||SECN|
|Missouri||#10 Florida||7:30 PM||SECN Alt|
|Navy||#22 SMU||7:30 PM||ESPN2|
|#15 North Carolina||Virginia||8:00 PM||ACCN|
|#24 Oklahoma||Texas Tech||8:00 PM||FOX^|
|Louisiana||Texas State||8:00 PM||ESPNU|
|San Diego State||Utah State||9:30 PM||CBSSN*|
|Western Kentucky||#11 BYU||10:15 PM||ESPN|
|#19 Marshall||Florida International||Postponed||NA|
*Full game not available on Sling
To get the most college football on Sling — now including the Big Ten Network — subscribe to sling Orange + Blue with Sports Extras using the link below.