The Big Ten slate was headlined by a Top 7 matchup of Michigan State vs Ohio State, but there was plenty of other action going on in B1G Country throughout the day.
Best Team Performance: Ohio State
Goodness gracious. The Buckeyes left no doubt on Saturday afternoon, slaughtering the Spartans to the tune of 56-7 — and folks, it wasn’t even that close. Ohio State boat-raced Michigan State out of the date, going up 21-0 by the end of the 1st quarter, and heading into halftime up 49-0. The Buckeyes literally scored touchdowns on their first seven drives, while holding the Spartans scoreless on the other side of the ball.
In September, the Buckeyes looked very beatable. They lost to Oregon. They let Minnesota and Tulsa hang around for much longer than most anticipated. But Ryan Day has done an incredible job getting this team to improve over the season, with them now playing their best football of the year at just the right time. I think most would agree that Georgia is still the favorite for the national title, but this Buckeyes season is going eerily similar to 2014. We’ll see.
Best Group Performance: Ohio State’s Wide Receivers
CJ Stroud is obviously a good quarterback, but are we really going to act like his 32-of-35 performance for 6 touchdowns wasn’t because the Buckeyes have the best trio of wide receivers in the country? Chris Olave had 7 receptions for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. Garrett Wilson had 7 receptions for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jaxon-Smith-Njigba had 10 receptions for 105 yards and 1 touchdown. I mean, how are most college defenses supposed to defend that?
Stroud certainly deserves credit because he’s gotten better as the season has gone along, but the real MVPs of the Ohio State offense are the three No. 1 wideouts they have.
Toughest Loss (Again): Nebraska
The Cornhuskers fell to 3-8 after a 35-28 defeat at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers. The real story though is just how unlucky Nebraska has been in their losses. Seven of their eight losses have come in one-score games, with the lone two-possession loss coming by 9 points to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Is there something to Scott Frost not being able to win close games? Sure. But having eight games end that closely and yet losing all of them — I feel for the Cornhuskers. That’s tough.
Luckiest Moment of the Week: Purdue’s “Onside” Kick
On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes things just flat out work out for you.
That’s Purdue’s kicker slipping on the kickoff, causing him to misstrike the ball and yet Purdue came away with the recovery.
Freshman of the Week: Christian Veilleux
Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen certainly could have won this honor, given that he ran for 228 yards on just 22 carries. But given the circumstances that Veilleux played in — and the fact that this is a Penn State blog and I am biased — we’re going to go with the Penn State signal caller. Forced into action during the 1st quarter, Veilleux put together quite the game: 15-of-24 for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns to 0 zero interceptions against a solid Rutgers defense.