J.T. Barrett hit Marcus Baugh with a 16-yard touchdown pass with 1:48 left in the fourth quarter and No. 6 Ohio State rallied from 11 points down in the final five minutes to hand No. 2 Penn State its first loss, 39-38, on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
Barrett played one of the best games of his decorated career, going 33 for 39 for 328 yards and four touchdown passes, three in the fourth quarter after the Buckeyes (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) were down 35-20.
Penn State led 38-27 with 5:42 left and it looked as if the Nittany Lions (7-1, 4-1) were going to knock the Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff race and put a firm grip on the Big Ten East. Saquon Barkley scored two long touchdowns for Penn State, but it was Barrett who surged into the Heisman Trophy race in what was billed as the Big Ten game of the year and lived up to the hype.
Barrett hooked up with Johnnie Dixon for two touchdowns in the fourth and then got the ball back down five with 3:20 left. The Buckeyes quickly marched down the field and then Barrett found his big tight end Baugh open for the lead.
The blackout crowd at the Horseshoe poured onto the field to celebrate with the Buckeyes after Barrett took a final knee. He calmly wandered through the mayhem, receiving pats on the back. The fifth-year senior, who some fans wanted bench after the Buckeyes’ offense struggled in a September loss to Oklahoma, had just delivered a performance to quiet any remaining doubters.
at No. 25 Iowa State 14, No. 4 Texas Christian 7: Kyle Kempt threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns as the Cyclones handed the Horned Frogs their first defeat and left the Big 12 Conference without an unbeaten team.
Marcel Spears intercepted a Kenny Hill pass with 1:16 left to seal it for the Cyclones (6-2, 4-1 Big 12), who forced a pair of turnovers in the red zone in the second half in winning their fourth straight game.
Kempt put Iowa State ahead 14-0 at the break with touchdown passes to Matt Eaton (17 yards) and Hakeem Butler (4 yards).
TCU (7-1, 4-1) answered to open the second half on a 94-yard kickoff return by KaVontae Turpin. But Brian Peavy intercepted Hill in the end zone in the third quarter and brought it back 70 yards, and Willie Harvey caused Hill to fumble a ball recovered by Iowa State at its own 15-yard line with 7:11 to go.
Hill had his worst game of the season, finishing 12 of 25 passing for 135 yards and those two very costly interceptions. The Horned Frogs also committed 11 penalties.
No. 5 Wisconsin 24, at Illinois 10: Alec Ingold and Garrett Groshek scored on short runs in the first half, offensive lineman Michael Deiter added another touchdown on a trick play late in the game, and the Badgers won on the road to remain unbeaten.
Star running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for just 73 yards but didn’t appear in the second half for Wisconsin because of a left leg injury. The freshman entered the game averaging 158.6 yards rushing.
Wisconsin (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) gained 306 yards, well below its season average of 462.7 yards, but was able to overcome a sluggish performance for its 11th consecutive conference victory.
The Illini (2-6, 0-5) finally scored on a 3-yard run by Kendrick Foster late in the fourth periods, but Thomas threw his second interception that ended any hopes of a comeback.
No. 8 Miami 24, at North Carolina 19: Malik Rosier threw for a career-high 356 yards with three touchdowns to help the Hurricanes to the win on the road.
Rosier had a 51-yard touchdown throw to Christopher Herndon IV late in the first half and a 78-yarder to Jeff Thomas to open the third quarter. His 5-yarder to Braxton Berrios gave the Hurricanes (7-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 24-13 fourth-quarter lead.
Still, Miami had to come up with a couple late plays after UNC made it a one-score game.
First the Hurricanes recovered a fumble by Jordon Brown after the Tar Heels had pushed near the Miami 35 with 2:11 left. Then Rosier ran for a chains-moving keeper near the 2-minute mark, allowing Miami to run out the clock.
Nathan Elliott threw for one touchdown and three interceptions for the Tar Heels (1-8, 0-6) after starter Chazz Surratt was knocked from the game in the opening quarter.
No. 3 Georgia 42, at Florida 7: Sony Michel put the Bulldogs up big early and put the Gators away late, scoring on two long runs in a drubbing that might have been the final game for Florida coach Jim McElwain.
Michel finished with 137 yards rushing on just six carries and helped the Bulldogs remain unbeaten and in control in the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division.
Nick Chubb also scored for the Bulldogs (8-0, 5-0 SEC), who ended a three-game losing streak in “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” and started 8-0 for the first time since 2002.
Florida (3-4, 3-3) started the day by responding to a tweet from a sports lawyer who said Florida and McElwain’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, have engaged in buyout negotiations and are “miles apart.”
at No. 9 Notre Dame 35, No. 14 North Carolina State 14: Julian Love returned his second interception of the season for a touchdown and running back Josh Adams had another big day, rushing for 202 yards, to help the Irish on a blustery day.
The sixth straight victory by Brian Kelly’s Irish, now 7-1, avenged a 10-3 loss at N.C. State last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. N.C. State (6-2) saw its six-game winning streak come to an end.
Love’s 69-yard return behind a convey of his defensive mates with 12:05 left in the third quarter ended N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley’s streak of consecutive passes without throwing an interception at 339. Love, who also broke up three other Finley attempts, had a 50-yard interception return for a TD in Notre Dame’s 38-18 victory at Michigan State.
Brandon Wimbush added three first-half touchdowns, his 11th rushing TD of the season and two scoring passes of 25 yards to Durham Smythe and 11 yards to Kevin Stepherson. The Irish, averaging just under 318 rushing yards a game, sixth best in the nation, finished right at 318 yards against N.C. State that had surrendered a paltry 91.3 yards a game coming in.
No. 11 Oklahoma State 50, at No. 22 West Virginia 39: Mason Rudolph threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead the Cowboys to the win on the road.
Freshman J.D. King ran for a season-high 142 yards and scored twice in place of Big 12 leading rusher Justice Hill for the Cowboys (7-1, 4-1 Big 12). In winning its fourth straight, Oklahoma State scored four touchdowns following West Virginia turnovers and the Mountaineers couldn’t come back from their biggest deficit of the season.
Rudolph finished 20 of 34 for 216 yards. He earned his 29th win as a starter, breaking the school record set by current coach Mike Gundy from 1986 to 1989. West Virginia (5-3, 3-2) entered the game fifth in total offense in the nation but was limited to 347 yards, 192 under its average.
at Northwestern 39, No. 16 Michigan State 31: Clayton Thorson threw a 22-yard touchdown to Flynn Nagel in the third overtime before Nate Hall intercepted Brian Lewerke’s pass to complete the victory.
The Wildcats had a third down at the 22 when Thorson hit Nagel on a slant for the go-ahead TD. Cameron Green caught the two-point conversion to make it an eight-point game, and two big plays by the defense preserved the victory.
Lineman Joe Gaziano stripped Brian Lewerke as he dropped back. Lewerke picked up the loose ball and fired toward the goal line, where Hall intercepted a pass intended for Matt Sokol.
Houston 28, at No. 17 South Florida 24: D’Eriq King kept the Cougars’ hopes alive with a 30-yard completion on a fourth-and-24 play, then finished a game-winning drive with a 20-yard touchdown run with 11 secondsleft.
The sophomore, who has split time between receiver and quarterback, replaced starter Kyle Postma in the first half. He began slowly before leading Houston (5-3, 3-2) on three long scoring drives to position themselves for an upset.
Quinton Flowers, who threw for 325 yards and scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards for USF (7-1, 4-1), did all he could to give the Bulls a chance to remain unbeaten.