Junior Miles Sanders rushed for career bests of 200 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 10 Penn State to a 63-24 victory over host Illinois on Friday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Senior Trace McSorley passed for 160 yards and three touchdowns with one interception as the Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) scored the game’s final 42 points and rolled up 591 yards of total offense. True freshman running back Ricky Slade had 94 yards and two scores, while true freshman tight end Pat Freiermuth, junior wideout Juwan Johnson and redshirt freshman receiver KJ Hamler caught touchdown passes.
The Fighting Illini were very much in the game after they scored 17 consecutive points, taking a 24-21 lead on the first drive of the third quarter. The go-ahead touchdown occurred when junior wideout Trenard Davis took a handoff on the reverse and fired a 17-yard scoring pass to Ricky Smalling with 10:36 left.
But two minutes later, Penn State was back ahead as Sanders exploded through the line en route to a 48-yard touchdown run. Then the Nittany Lions scored two touchdowns in a 44-second span of the fourth quarter to begin pulling away.
Southern California 39, Washington State 36
True freshman quarterback JT Daniels passed for 241 yards and three touchdowns, and Vavae Malepeai rushed for two scores as the Trojans rallied for a Pac-12 Conference victory over the visiting Cougars.
Malepeai scored on a 2-yard run with 8:03 to play to put USC (2-2, 1-1 Pac-12) on top for good. Washington State (3-1, 0-1) attempted a 38-yard field goal to tie the game with just under two minutes remaining, but Blake Mazza’s kick was blocked by 6-foot-6 USC freshman Jay Tufele.
Daniels went 17 for 26 in his breakthrough game, connecting on scoring strikes of 9, 50 and 30 yards. He had just one TD pass in his first three games. Daniels’ 50-yarder to Michael Pitman Jr. came in the third quarter, while the 30-yard TD pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown came 29 seconds into the fourth quarter.
No. 16 Central Florida 56, Florida Atlantic 36
Junior quarterback McKenzie Milton rushed for a career-high three touchdowns and passed for three others as UCF extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 16 games with a victory over FAU in Orlando.
Milton was 21-of-32 passing for 306 yards and rushed for 81 for the Knights (3-0). Leading by four at halftime, UCF came out of the locker room to score on their first three series of the second half to go up 42-23 entering the fourth quarter.
The Owls (2-2) had their moments, taking a three-point lead in the second quarter, but their defense couldn’t contain a Knights offense that amassed 545 total yards.