The biggest surprise among the 2013 conference opponents of the Buckeyes, was Penn State losing for the first time in history to Indiana. Iowa and Illinois also had a rough go of it over the weekend within Big Ten play. On the non-conference side of things, Buffalo won for the third game in a row, while San Diego State moved their winning streak to two games with a thrilling overtime win over Nevada.
Buffalo (3-2), WIN vs. Eastern Michigan (42-14), NEXT GAME: at Western Michigan, Saturday 2:00 PM
Buffalo won their third straight game behind Branden Oliver's 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Oliver opened up the scoring on Buffalo's first possession with a 60-yard touchdown run, and added a 2-yard touchdown run just before the end of the first quarter. Even Eastern Michigan's first touchdown came at a price as Devin Campbell returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown for the Bulls. Aside from committing eight penalties for 90 yards, the Bulls didn't do very much wrong in the rout of the Eagles.
This week the Bulls will try and keep their winning streak going and take down another Michigan team when they travel to Kalamazoo to take on P.J. Fleck's Western Michigan squad. After being outclassed in their first two games by Ohio State and Baylor and barely squeaking out a win over Stony Brook, Buffalo has won their last two games convincingly, showing why there was a lot of preseason talk about them being a factor in the MAC title race.
San Diego State (2-3), WIN vs. Nevada (51-44 OT), NEXT GAME: vs. #21 Fresno State, October 26
Anyone that tuned into ESPN to watch the San Diego State game got a treat as the Aztecs pulled out an overtime thriller. San Diego State led 44-23 at the end of the third quarter, but Nevada scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime. The difference in overtime was a 13-yard touchdown pass from Quinn Kaehler to Eric Judge, which was Judge's second touchdown catch of the game. The two teams were able to combined for over 1,000 total yards and 54 first downs in the game. While Kaehler was impressive with 286 yards passing and three touchdown passes, the biggest difference was that the Aztecs were able to get over 100 yards on the ground from both Adam Muema and Donel Pumphrey. Pumphrey opened up the scoring with a 72-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter. With 134 yards rushing, this was by far Muema's best game of the season. His previous season-high came against Oregon State when he rushed for 71 yards.
It isn't a typo that San Diego State's next game isn't until close to the end of the month. The Aztecs were originally supposed to travel to Air Force to play on Thursday night, but the government shutdown has cancelled that game for now. As the Mountain West Connection points out, it is possible Air Force and San Diego State could make up the game on October 19th, which both teams have a bye scheduled for, if an agreement on the government shutdown is reached.
California (1-4), LOSS vs. Washington State (44-22), NEXT GAME: at #11 UCLA, Saturday 10:30 PM
It was all passing in Berkeley on Saturday afternoon, as the quarterbacks in this game had stat lines that would make Playstation football blush. Washington State's Connor Halliday completed 41 of his 67 passes for 521 yards and three touchdowns to spearhead the victors. After barely playing in the rain last week against Oregon, Jared Goff found the dry conditions a little more to his liking on Saturday. While Cal wasn't able to win, Goff still completed 33 of his 59 passes for 504 yards and two touchdowns. The main recipient of Goff's passes was Chris Harper, who caught 14 passes for 216 yards. Goff was able to hit Harper for a 89-yard touchdown in the middle of the second quarter to pull Cal cut the Washington State lead to 14-12, but that was as close as Cal would get. Aside from not being able to stop Washington State's passing attack, the major problem for Cal in the game was turnovers. The Golden Bears fumbled three times and threw two interceptions in the game.
The only win for California so far this season has been against FCS school Portland State, and a win against a FBS team might not be coming soon. Cal will travel south this week to try and spring an upset against UCLA. Undoubtedly the Golden Bears will have their hands full with UCLA's dual-threat quarterback, Brett Hundley.
Wisconsin (3-2), Bye Week, NEXT GAME: vs. #19 Northwestern, Saturday 3:30 PM
Wisconsin didn't play this past weekend, but they surely were watching a game between the team they played last and the team they play next. The Badgers will try and keep Northwestern reeling on Saturday when the Wildcats come to Madison. Melvin Gordon and James White must have been licking their chops at what Carlos Hyde was able to do against Northwestern's defense on Saturday night. With Gordon averaging 10.3 yards/carry and White average 6.9, the Wildcat defense could be in for a long day trying to stop those two.
#19 Northwestern (4-1), LOSS vs. #4 Ohio State (40-30), NEXT GAME at Wisconsin, Saturday 3:30 PM
If watching Saturday's game wasn't enough for you, there are a couple in-depth recaps of the game from LGHL's Andrew Lind as well as SBNation's Steven Godfrey, along with tons of tremendous GIFs from Luke. Northwestern gave the Buckeyes all they could handle, but Carlos Hyde proved to be too much for the Wildcats. The good news for Northwestern is they were able to get Venric Mark back into the lineup after he missed most of the early season due to injury. Mark was able to compile 60 yards rushing and 43 yards receiving for Northwestern. Most of Northwestern's damage was done through the air, as they passed for 343 yards while only gaining 94 yards on the ground. Had Northwestern been able to turn some of their field goals into touchdowns they might be the team that is sitting undefeated after Saturday night's game. Jeff Budzien hit three field goals for the Wildcats, but the longest one was only from 32 yards away.
Even with the loss to Ohio State, Northwestern showed they are gonna be a tough out in the Big Ten this year. The Wildcats still have matchups left against Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, and this week's opponent Wisconsin. It wouldn't be a big surprise to see Northwestern in Indianapolis coming out of the Legends division in a potential rematch with Ohio State. To get to Indianapolis the Wildcats will have to take it one game at a time, and that starts on Saturday in Madison against the Badgers.
Iowa (4-2), LOSS vs. Michigan State (26-14), NEXT GAME at #4 Ohio State, October 19th 3:30 PM
Iowa saw their four-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday, as the Michigan State defense stifled the Hawkeyes running attack. After running for 100 or more yards in four of five games coming into this contest, Mark Weisman was held to nine yards on seven carries on Saturday. After the Hawkeyes came into the matchup averaging over 244 yards/game on the ground, the FBS' second-ranked run defense held Iowa to only 23 yards rushing on the day. The Spartans jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but Iowa was able to take a 14-10 lead into halftime behind two Jake Rudock touchdown passes. It wasn't meant to be for the Hawkeyes though, as those were the only two scores of the game for Iowa. Michigan State played keep-away in this game as they held nearly a 15 minute advantage in time of possession over Iowa. Kevonte Martin-Manley, Iowa's leading receiver on the season, left the game in the first quarter due to a right leg injury.
Martin-Manley will have some time to recover and the rest of the Hawkeyes will have a week to prepare for their trip to Ohio Stadium next Saturday. With four wins on the season the Hawkeyes have already bettered last year's win total, but their schedule the rest of the way is pretty tough. With Ohio State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan, and Nebraska left, the Hawkeyes will have to spring an upset or two to get bowl-eligible.
Penn State (3-2), LOSS at Indiana (44-24), NEXT GAME vs. #18 Michigan, Saturday 5:00 PM
While Penn State lost for the first time in school history to Indiana, it is hard to fault Christian Hackenberg and Allen Robinson for the loss. Hackenberg went 30 of 55 through the air for 340 yards and three touchdown passes, finding Robinson 12 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns. The second Robinson touchdown catch of the day, a 26-yarder, gave the Nittany Lions a 14-13 lead early in the 3rd quarter, but that was the last lead Penn State would hold on the day. Indiana's quick strike offense was just too much for Penn State to handle. The Nittany Lions had over a 10-minute edge in time of possession, but still ended up being outgained 486-410 by the Hoosiers. Penn State wasn't able to accomplish much rushing the football, only totaling 70 rushing yards on the day.
Penn State will have to recover quickly from their first conference loss on the season with Michigan coming into Happy Valley on Saturday afternoon. Bill O'Brien's team will now try and play spoiler and hand Michigan their first loss on the season.
Purdue (1-4), Bye Week, NEXT GAME vs. Nebraska, Saturday 12:00 PM
The bye week couldn't have come soon enough for Purdue after their horrible start to the season. The Boilermakers lone win this season came against FCS team Indiana State, and that was only a six-point victory. The bye week gave Darrell Hazell a chance to do some shuffling at the quarterback position. Danny Etling is now the starting QB for Purdue, with Rob Henry moving to the defensive side of the football. Etling's first act as starting QB will be to take on the Nebraska defense, which has been suspect against the pass this season.
Illinois (3-2), LOSS at Nebraska (39-19), NEXT GAME vs. Wisconsin, October 19 8:00 PM
While Taylor Martinez didn't play on Saturday for Nebraska, Ameer Abdullah picked up the slack for the Cornhuskers. Abdullah rushed for a career-high 225 yards and scored two touchdowns against Illinois. After coming into the game with 12 touchdown passes on the season, the Nebraska defense held quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase in check. For the game, Scheelhaase only completed 13 of 26 passes for 135 yards with no touchdowns and a interception. Illinois fell behind early, heading into halftime trailing 23-5, and wasn't ever able to get back into the game. The lone bright spot for Illinois was Josh Ferguson, who rushed 19 times for 114 yards and touchdown, and caught eight passes for 82 yards. Illinois had to know that it wasn't there day when Kenny Bell was making catches like this.
After the dud in their Big Ten opener, Illinois will now have some extra time to try and figure out what went wrong. The Fighting Illini doesn't play until next Saturday when Wisconsin comes into Champaign. After seeing what Abdullah was able to do to Illinois on Saturday, the Fighting Illini will have their hands full trying to stop the Badgers rushing attack.
Indiana (3-2), WIN vs. Penn State (44-24), NEXT GAME at Michigan State, Saturday 12:00 PM
After going 0-16 against Penn State heading into Saturday's game, Indiana was finally able to earn a win over the Nittany Lions. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld was able to bounce back from a shaky performance against Missouri to throw for 321 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday. Cody Latimer was able to keep his hot run of play going, catching nine passes for 140 yards. It was the third straight game that Latimer broke the 100-yard receiving mark. Through three quarters the game was a tight one, with Indiana holding a 21-17 advantage through 45 minutes of play. The fourth quarter allowed Indiana to pull away, with the Hoosiers outscoring the Nittany Lions 23-7 in the final quarter. While there was questions as to how the Hoosiers would use Sudfeld and back-up QB Tre Roberson, Sudfeld got most of the play in the passing game while Roberson added two rushing touchdowns.
Now Kevin Wilson will be tasked with trying to find ways to find some holes in the very tough Michigan State defense this week. The Hoosiers will head to East Lansing on Saturday, which will be their first of two straight games in the state of Michigan.
#18 Michigan (5-0), WIN vs. Minnesota (42-13), NEXT GAME at Penn State, Saturday 5:00 PM
After two straight nailbiters against Akron and UConn, Michigan looked like they were able to make some adjustments during the bye week, and had a little easier time against Minnesota. While the final score makes the game look like a little bit more of a blowout than it actually was, Michigan was in control for most of the contest. The teams headed to the break with Michigan leading 14-7, but the Wolverines scored four touchdowns in the second half, including two in the last three minutes of the game. Devin Gardner looked sharp in the game, completing 13 of 17 passes for 235 yards with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. Devin Funchess pulled in over half of Gardner's passes, catches seven balls for 151 yards. Fitz Toussaint found the end zone twice on the ground for the Wolverines while freshman Derrick Green added his second career rushing touchdown. The capper for Michigan was Blake Countess' 72-yard interception return for a touchdown with just over a minute left in the game.
Now Michigan will take their unblemished record into Happy Valley on Saturday evening to take on Penn State. Greg Mattison's defense will be tasked with trying to slow down Penn State's combination of Christian Hackenberg and Allen Robinson. This will be the first meeting between the teams since 2010, which Penn State won 41-31. The Nittany Lions have won the last three meetings in the series after Michigan had won the previous nine.