Like most of you, I was highly frustrated watching the Purdue game. I paced angrily around my apartment as our offense stuttered, and our defense gagged on bubble screen after bubble screen. The questionable calls and the turnovers added up, and after Braxton was taken out of the game and Purdue picked up a bogus safety to take an 8 point lead AND the ball, I was about spent. My wife, noticing that I menacingly glaring at the laptop and might throw it out the window, suggested we take a walk. I figured there was no way OSU could come back after that tire fire of a game with so little time left, so what the hell, I left.
I had a lovely fall walk around beautiful Logan Square, Chicago, where I enjoyed the fall foliage and made peace with the fact that Ohio State lost to freaking Purdue. Then of course, my phone and facebook suddenly blow up, and everybody told me that no, Kenny G had in fact saved the day, and the Buckeyes undefeated streak would continue.
Why do I tell you this? Because Ohio State pulled a win completely out of it's ass, and I am an idiot and a bad football fan.
And now, let's take a look at the rest of the country.
Miami (OH) (3-4, 2-1). The Redhawks had the week off to prepare for their huge rivalry match with the undefeated Ohio Bobcats. With Ohio's defense, you have to think Miami has at least a puncher's chance there. Looking forward to hearing Zac Dysert In A Losing Effort on the Solid Verbal next weekend.
UCF (5-2, 3-0) BEAT Memphis 35-17. UCF is by far the Buckeye's biggest out of conference win this season, but they didn't look particularly impressive against one of the worst teams in football. UCF was actually outgained by Memphis 361-351, and UCF QB Blake Bortles was awfully pedestrian, throwing for only 122 yards (but 2 scores). The Golden Knights were able to ride Latavius Murray's big game (192 yards on 23 carries) to overcome a nearly equally big game for the Tigers on the ground (240 as a team). Still, a win is a win. UCF travels to face Marshall next week in what should be an entertaining CUSA tilt.
Cal (3-5, 2-3) LOST to Stanford 21-3. The Golden Bears were held to a measly 217 yards of total offense and turned the ball over three times in a loss to their archrivals. Cal ran for a whopping 3 total yards, and the Cardinal were able to ride a dominating performance from Stepfan Taylor (28 carries 189 yards 1 TD) to a relatively easy win. Stanford was penalized for 90 yards and failed to score in the second half, but didn't need to. Cal's chances for bowl eligibility are basically shot, since they still have to play both Oregon and Oregon State. Their best chance for another win this year is probably next week, when they head to Salt Lake City to play Utah.
UAB (1-6, 0-3) LOST to East Carolina 42-35. I'll say this for the Blazers, at least they've been competitive this year. UAB took a 28-27 lead early in the 4th quarter on a 9 yard TD pass from Austin Brown, but their patchwork defense couldn't hold the dynamic Pirate attack. Brown had a pretty good game for UAB (22/37 for 319 and 3 TDs), but he got no support from the running game, and ECU unloaded for 600 yards of offense. Pirate QB Shane Carden was 23/35 for 386 yards and 2 TDs. UAB has a great chance to grab their first CUSA win next week, when they hit the Superdome to play woeful Tulane.
Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) LOST at #23 Michigan (5-2, 3-0) 12-10. I'd love to watch Michigan State play BYU in a bowl game, where the first team to 6 points wins. Of course, that would require Sparty to make a bowl game, and after another total collapse from their offense, that might not even happen. The Spartan defense didn't give up a single touchdown to one of the most dynamic offenses in college football, but Brendan Gibbsons' 38 yard field goal with 5 seconds left was enough to beat Michigan State. MSU had 192 yards total offense, and Le'Veon Bell was held to 62 yards on 22 carries. Denard Robinson ran for 96 yard and threw for 163. Michigan State travels to Wisconsin next week, while Michigan will travel to Northwestern in what should decide the Legends Division crown.
Nebraska (5-2, 2-1) BEAT Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) 29-28. Man, those kids in Evanston just can't have nice things huh? The Huskers rallied from 12 points down in the 4th quarter to take 29-28 lead with 2:08 left, and the Wildcats missed a 53 yard field goal by maybe a foot at the end of the game. A major part of the Huskers comeback was the arm of T-Magic, who threw for 342 yards and 3 scores. Northwestern struggled to throw the ball, but got 118 yards and a score from Venric Mark. Nebraska overcame 3 turnovers to stay in the thick of the Legends Division race. They face Michigan next week, while Northwestern will host Iowa.
Indiana (2-5, 0-3) LOST at NAVY 31-30. Any bowl hopes for the Hoosiers likely went up in smoke after Matt Aiken's 4 yard TD pass with 2:02 left finished Navy's 9 point comeback in the final quarter. The Hoosiers were once again prolific through the air, as Cam Coffman threw for 244 yards, but 2 inopportune interceptions, including one returned for a TD, made up the difference. Navy ran for 252 yards to get the win. The Hoosiers will battle Illinois next week as they try to get their first Big Ten win.
Penn State (5-2, 3-0) BEAT Iowa (4-3, 2-1) 38-14. What a coaching job BOB has done in Happy Valley, as Penn State dominated this game from start to finish. The Nittany Lions outgained Iowa 504-209, forced three Iowa turnovers, and held the Hawkeyes to only 20 yards rushing. Penn State scored the game's first 38 points behind another solid effort from Matt McGloin (26-38 289 yards 2 TDs), and three rushing scores from Bill Belton. Iowa will face Northwestern next week, and you can't feel good about the Hawkeye's chances there, while Penn State will face Ohio State in a very intriguing game. Penn State ought to rise in the Also Receiving Votes section now.
Illinois (2-5, 0-3). Illinois got past BYE WEEK 14-13 in a tough exhibition. They play Indiana for real next Saturday.
Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1) BEAT Minnesota (4-3, 0-3) 38-13. Don't look now, but Wisconsin might not be that bad either. Losing to Oregon State by 3 on the road doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world anymore, does it? New Gopher QB Philip Nelson tossed 2 picks, and Wisconsin rolled up 337 yards on the ground (166 by Montee Ball) in their blowout. James White added another 175 and 3 scores for Wisconsin, and Joel Stave didn't burn down the stadium (7/15 106 yards). MarQueis Gray appears to have moved from QB to WR for Minnesota, where he caught 3 passes for 20 yards. The Golden Gophers get Purdue next weekend, while Wisconsin faces Michigan State.
In other news, Duke beat North Carolina 33-30 to move to 6-2. Duke is going to a bowl game this year. Maybe the Mayans were on to something after all.
Purdue (3-4, 0-3) LOST at Ohio State 29-22 OT. Purdue will host Minnesota next week.