Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers 27, Kansas 14
In a game which the college football Internets essentially dubbed a Power 5 cripple fight, Josh Hicks and Robert Martin both hit the century mark for rushing (with Hicks adding a pair of touchdowns, to boot) and Chris Laviano threw for a pair of touchdowns (and 2 interceptions) for 201 yards as BTPR handled the hapless Jayhawks (who one could easily dub the worst Power 5 team in the country let alone, one of the worst in FBS college football) and gave acting head coach Norries Wilson his first career FBS win. BTPR gets the week off before hosting Michigan State in Wilson's final head coaching stint before Kyle Flood is back on the sidelines. Have fun with that, Coach Wilson.
Michigan 31, BYU 0
The Wolverines avoided going 0-for-Utah in a rather impressive fashion by stifling BYU's offense and running the ball down the Cougars' throats. BYU QB Tanner Mangum was held to merely 55 yards on 12-for-28 passing while the ground game was held to 55 total yards. Meanwhile, DeVeon Smith rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown and Jake Rudock added 195 yards passing and three total touchdowns (two rushing, one passing).
Oh, and Amara Darboh does one hell of an Odell Beckham, Jr. impression:
Michigan State 30, Central Michigan 10
The final score in this one is rather misleading. Sparty jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half and appeared to be on their way to a comfortable win but Central Michigan clawed their way back to cut the deficit to 17-10 going into the fourth quarter before a pair of Gerald Holmes touchdowns runs sealed the deal. Connor Cook had a rather pedestrian afternoon, throwing for only 143 yards and a touchdown but more importantly (and worrisome) for Sparty was losing yet another key player to injury, this time in offensive tackle Jack Conklin.
Nebraska 36, Southern Mississippi 28
A week after rallying from a significant deficit at Miami (FL), Nebraska found themselves nearly pulling a reverse-Miami. The Huskers led 22-0 at halftime, thanks to five Drew Brown field goals and a touchdown catch from Jordan Westerkamp and went into the fourth quarter with a seemingly comfortable 29-7 lead before Southern Miss QB Nick Mullens and his favorite receiving target Casey Martin started acting like the CPU in NBA Jam, with Martin scoring back-to-back touchdowns in a 1:08 span. Ultimately, Nebraska would hang on to get the win, but it was one of those wins where the winning team's fans felt more relieved than confident about the remainder of their team's season. With conference play about to begin, learning how to finish off opponents ought to be at the top of the list on things Mike Riley needs to address.
Bowling Green 35, Purdue 28
Purdue was the latest B1G team to fall victim to #MACtion. After knocking off Maryland just a couple of short weeks ago, BG won in a back-and-forth affair with Purdue, with Travis Greene running in the game-winner with just nine seconds to play. BG's Matt Johnson was stellar once again, throwing for 402 yards with a TD and INT to show for it. Limping into B1G play at 1-3 overall, Purdue will have the fun task of rolling into East Lansing next weekend to play at Michigan State.
Indiana 31, Wake Forest 24
Indiana football is off to their first 4-0 start since the days when Vanilla Ice, New Kids On The Block, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a huge part of the American pop culture fabric (that's 1990, to be exact), thanks in large part to strong performances from Nate Sudfeld (205 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns) and Jordan Howard (168 rushing yards and a touchdown). The Hoosiers nearly blew their seemingly comfortable 31-10 fourth quarter lead however, which is something they will need to shore up in B1G play. That being said, IU's quest for its first bowl bid since 2007 is looking mighty promising at the moment, particularly with Maryland, Rutgers, and Purdue's struggles.
West Virginia 45, Maryland 6
In lieu of providing the typical game rundown replete with stat lines (shout-out to Caleb Rowe's four interceptions, which were uglier than Buzz's girlfriend - WOOF), we'll present you with some Terrapin schadenfreude courtesy of Twitter:
Unrealistic clamoring for Jim Tressel abounds!
Finally worked up the courage to check TestudoTimes dot com and oh good it's Jim Tressel time pic.twitter.com/ANqmjN6XgA— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) September 27, 2015
Things have gotten so dire that Testudo Times/The Mothership's Pete Volk is looking to adopt another team for the remainder of the season:
please, twitter, tell me why i should adopt your team for the rest of the season— #brand-y edsall (@Pete_Volk) September 26, 2015
Meanwhile, this dude just lets the hate flow from his keyboard (upon learning that Randy Edsall will start Caleb Rowe against Michigan this upcoming weekend):
@RandyEdsall you're a fucking idiot for starting Rowe again this week. I can't wait until you get fired.— Kevin Sims (@ksims42) September 27, 2015
Iowa 62, North Texas 16
Anytime you rack up 60+ points on a team, it's hard to find anything to complain about. Iowa's beatdown of North Texas was no exception to this theory, as C.J. Beathard threw for 278 yards and a pair of TD's while Jordan Canzeri added 115 yards and four TD's for the Hawkeyes. With Nebraska still struggling to find consistency, Minnesota struggling to put away MAC opponents, and Wisconsin's Corey Clement out for another 4-6 weeks, Iowa is suddenly looking like the favorite to win the wide-open B1G West. Imagine that being the case just a short month ago.
Minnesota 27, Ohio 24
Much like the Bowling Green-Purdue contest, this was also a back-and-forth nail-biter of an affair. Unlike the Bowling Green-Purdue contest, the B1G actually came out victorious in this one...barely. Shannon Brooks ran for the game-winning TD with 30 seconds left to cap off an 82-yard, two TD performance and to give Minnesota some momentum going into conference play.
Ohio State 38, Western Michigan 12
The Buckeyes did not let another MAC team hang around this week, as Cardale Jones (288 yards passing, two TD's) and Ezekiel Elliott (124 yards, one TD) led the way for the Buckeye offense. Adolphus Washington also added a pick-six for good measure. Next up, their B1G opener at also-undefeated Indiana.
Illinois 27, Middle Tennessee State 25
For the second straight week, Illinois looked pedestrian (at best) against a team with a pulse, blowing a 24-12 second half lead to Mid Tennessee State and needing Taylor Zalewski to nail a 51-yard field goal with two minutes to play to avoid an embarassing upset loss at home. The Illini may be 3-1, but this season is looking like deja vu all over again, as interim coach Bill Cubit's crew is crashing back to Earth in Beckman-like fashion.
Northwestern 24, Ball State 19
It was an ugly first half for the Wildcats, one which saw them scoring only seven points and trailing 10-7 at halftime to Ball State. Whatever Pat Fitzgerald said to his team in the locker room however, must have lit a spark in his team, because the offensive explosion began in the second half, with Clayton Thorson throwing for a pair of touchdowns, Justin Jackson doing work on the ground (184 yards rushing for Jackson), and Dan Vitale eclipsing the century mark in receiving (105 yards and two TD's). Ball State however, would whittle Northwestern's lead down to 24-19 but the Wildcat defense held tough to preserve the victory and remain undefeated heading into B1G play.
Wisconsin 28, THE MOTHERF***ING HAWAII RAINBOW WARRIORS 0
First things, first, h/t to Noel Purcell for the Hawaii nickname. It was the Taiwan Deal show for the Badgers, as Corey Clement's replacement starter at running back rumbled for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Dare Ogunbowale also added on a rushing TD himself and Joel Stave threw for 164 yards and a TD, for good measure in an otherwise uneventful evening in Madison.