Best college football plays: Penn State, Pitt, OK State pick up wins

week 1 of college football The season kicked off with a special slate of games on Thursday nights.

Penn State went on the road and defeated Big Ten foe Purdue, 35-31, and Minnesota blanked visiting New Mexico State, 38-0.

Earlier, No. 17 Pittsburgh narrowly escaped West Virginia, 38-31, and No. 12 Oklahoma State beat Central Michigan, 58-44, after the Chippewas came back from a 26-point deficit.

Here are the best plays from Thursday night action as Week 1 kicks off.

Penn State 35, Purdue 31


Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford made a crucial third-down play in the second quarter, connecting with wide receiver Mitchell Tinsley for a 12-yard touchdown to give the Nittany Lions the lead and their first TD of the season. season.

Sean Clifford shows composure on Penn State’s opening TD

Sean Clifford shows composure on Penn State's opening TD

Sean Clifford avoided the pressure and threw an impressive touchdown to Mitchell Tinsley to help Penn State take an early 7-3 lead against Purdue.

Too hard

Purdue’s King Doerue ran straight through the Penn State defense, stiff arm and all, on his way to the end zone, giving the Boilermakers a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Back to back

The Nittany Lions came up with back-to-back touchdowns before halftime.

First, Clifford made his way to the end zone for six points. Then they capitalized a turnover with a 67-yard TD courtesy of Brenton Strange.

King of the ground game

Purdue’s Doerue helped close the gap to 21-17 in the third quarter with a smooth two-yard TD run.

Pick six!

The teams were neck and neck after trading touchdowns, but Purdue took the lead in the fourth, 31-28, after Clifford’s pass was intercepted by safety Chris Jefferson and returned 72 yards to the house.

Chris Jefferson’s pick-six gives Purdue an edge

Chris Jefferson's pick-six gives Purdue an edge

Chris Jefferson helped Purdue regain the lead again midway through the fourth quarter, thanks to his pick-six against Penn State.

last quarter surge

Clifford threw a TD to Keyvone Lee with just under a minute left, and that was enough for Penn State to hang on for the win.

Minnesota 38, State of New Mexico 0

hot start

Minnesota was first on the board thanks to star running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who returned this year for a sixth season with the Golden Gophers.

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis…

double trouble

Ibrahim started the second quarter the same way he started the first: with a touchdown. then minnesota put another in as the clock expired in the first half.

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Thus, the Golden Gophers took a 24-0 lead at halftime.

More of the same

Minnesota continued to dominate the running game, collecting its fifth rushing touchdown of the night to seal the deal.

No. 17 Pittsburgh 38, West Virginia 31

just like you drew it

WVU had a scare when quarterback JT Daniels, a transfer from Georgia, missed the snap, but things turned out well for the Mountaineers in this series.


WVU took the lead in the second quarter when Bryce Ford-Wheaton turned on the jets for a 10-yard TD.

total effort

WVU excelled on special teams early in the third quarter, blocking Pitt’s punt, resulting in a shortstop and a quick touchdown for the Mountaineers.

defend yourself

Pitt responded with back-to-back scores to close out the third quarter. First, Daniel Carter found the end zone with ease after a massive win by Jared Wayne. Pitt then regained the lead thanks to Rodney Hammond.

rise to the occasion

Daniels connected with Ford-Wheaton once more, this time for a 16-yard touchdown, followed by scoring himself on a sneak QB in the Panthers’ next drive, good for a 31-24 lead early in the fourth quarter.

up the wire

Pitt answered with two consecutive touchdowns to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Kedon Slovis found Israel Abanikanda for a 24-yard catch-and-run score. The Panthers then eliminated Daniels for the monster pick-six to win it.

MJ Devonshire intercepts JT Daniels in the Backyard Brawl

MJ Devonshire intercepts JT Daniels in the Backyard Brawl

MJ Devonshire intercepts West Virginia’s JT Daniels for the touchdown to give the Pitt Panthers a wild victory in the Backyard Brawl.

No. 12 Oklahoma State 58, Central Michigan 44

Visit at home!

Oklahoma State was first on the board when John Paul Richardson broke away for a monster 45-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Spencer Sanders.

John Paul Richardson shows off his athleticism on 45-yard TD

John Paul Richardson shows off his athleticism on 45-yard TD

John Paul Richardson helped the Oklahoma State Cowboys score their first touchdown of the season, thanks to an impressive reception in the first quarter.

tie game

Central Michigan quickly responded with a score of their own, leveling things up early in the first quarter.

Too easy

The defense of the state of Oklahoma showed up in a big way, forcing a security to put the Cowboys up 9-7 with less than a minute left in the opening frame.

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With momentum on their side, Oklahoma State extended their lead to 16-7 as the first quarter drew to a close.

Spencer Sanders extends Oklahoma State’s lead

Spencer Sanders extends Oklahoma State's lead

Spencer Sanders’ electric 17-yard touchdown gave the Oklahoma State Cowboys a 16-7 lead against Central Michigan.

when it rains it pours

Sanders & Co. continued to pour on the Chippewas as the second quarter progressed.

Sanders connects with Braydon Johnson for a 13-yard TD

Sanders connects with Braydon Johnson for a 13-yard TD

Quarterback Spencer Sanders connects with Braydon Johnson for a 13-yard touchdown to put Oklahoma State up 23-7.

More of the same

Midway through the second frame, Sanders found running back Jaden Nixon, who ran off to a 17-yard touchdown thanks to elegant footwork.

On the next drive, Sanders had his second rushing touchdown of the day. So it was a game of 30 points, 37-7.

Deja vu

The Michigan center appeared on the next trip, thanks to the short by RB Lew Nichols. Sprinting 4 yards into the end zone. The Chippewas followed up with a successful two-point conversion for good measure.

However, it didn’t take long for Oklahoma State to return the favor, as Dominic Richardson hit it to make it 44-15 before halftime.

without slowing down

The Cowboys picked up in the second half right where they left off. Sanders found Bryson Green in the corner of the end zone for a quick score.

Spencer Sanders finds Bryson Green for a 7-yard touchdown

Spencer Sanders finds Bryson Green for a 7-yard touchdown

Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders was involved in his sixth touchdown of the game, connecting with Bryson Green on a 7-yard touchdown pass.

hot hands

CMU responded quickly, as Jalen McGaughy stumbled on a difficult pass under pressure for the Chippewas’ TD.

find your balance

Central Michigan then capped a three-play, 39-yard drive with another TD to close the gap, 51-28.

Back and forth

Both teams traded touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. OSU’s Zach Middleton scored one for the Cowboys, his seventh TD of the night – followed by CMU’s Nichols for a 15-yard touchdown.

Too little too late

Despite the loss, CMU had the last word on this one, as McGaughy finished with a 54-yard touchdown reception.

CMU’s Daniel Richardson connects with Jalen McGaughy for a 54-yard TD

CMU's Daniel Richardson connects with Jalen McGaughy for a 54-yard TD

QB Daniel Richardson connects with Jalen McGaughy for a 54-yard touchdown.

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