Top 25 roundup: No. 13 Wisconsin thumps Wolverines in return
Graham Mertz threw two touchdown passes, Nakia Watson rushed for two more and 13th-ranked Wisconsin returned from a virus-induced layoff and pounded Michigan 49-11 in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday.
The Badgers (2-0) had their previous two games canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the program. The win held the largest margin of victory for Wisconsin in the long-running series against the Wolverines (79 games). The Badgers cruised to a 28-0 halftime lead.
Fullback Mason Stokke added a rushing and receiving touchdown for Wisconsin, which defeated Illinois 45-7 in its opener on Oct. 23. The Badgers rushed for 341 yards on 51 carries.
Wolverines starting quarterback Joe Milton was intercepted twice in the early going and was held to 98 passing yards before he was benched in the third quarter. Replacement Cade McNamara passed for the lone touchdown for Michigan (1-3).
No. 2 Notre Dame 45, Boston College 31
Ian Book completed 20 of 27 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns, all of which went to wideout Ben Skowronek, as the Fighting Irish pulled away for a victory against the host Eagles at Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Skowronek had a 10-yard, 13-yard and 7-yard touchdown reception as Notre Dame (8-0, 7-0 ACC) remained perfect on the season. Running back C’Bo Flemister added two touchdowns on the ground for the Fighting Irish. Book also rushed for 85 yards on 10 carries with another TD.
Phil Jurkovec completed 18 of 40 passes for 272 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for Boston College (5-4, 4-4). The redshirt sophomore transferred from Notre Dame before the start of this season.
No. 6 Florida 63, Arkansas 35
In a game full of big plays, the Gators rode the arm of quarterback Kyle Trask to a full-fledged rout over the visiting Razorbacks.
Trask threw five of his six touchdown passes in the first half as Florida (5-1) built a 35-14 lead. Trask finished the game having completed 23 of 29 passes for 356 yards, with 285 of those yards in a wild first two quarters. Trask, who has 28 touchdown passes, became the first player in Gator history to throw six passing touchdowns in multiple games in a single-season.
Former Florida QB Feleipe Franks threw for 250 yards and two long touchdown passes to Mike Woods for Arkansas (3-4). The Razorbacks played without head coach Sam Pittman, who could not be with the team after testing positive for COVID-19 last Sunday.
No. 9 Miami 25, Virginia Tech 24
D’Eriq King threw a go-ahead, 36-yard touchdown pass to Mark Pope with 5:59 left in the fourth quarter to rally the Hurricanes over the Hokies in Blacksburg, Va.
Miami (7-1, 6-1), which won its fourth straight game, stopped the Hokies on their final five drives, getting an interception from Te’Cory Couch, forcing three punts and earning a stop on Virginia Tech’s possession in the final seconds. King completed 24 of 38 passes for 255 yards with no interceptions.
The Hokies (4-4, 4-3 ACC) blew an 11-point third-quarter lead and lost their second straight game. Virginia Tech got two touchdown runs from Jalen Holston.
No. 10 Indiana 24, Michigan State 0
Sophomore quarterback Michael Penix Jr. passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns as the Hoosiers put forth a dominant defensive effort in a shutout win over the Spartans in East Lansing, Mich.
The Hoosiers (4-0, 4-0 Big Ten) forced four turnovers and held Michigan State to just 191 yards of offense. Indiana scored all 24 points in the first half. Senior wide receiver Ty Fryfogle had another huge day for Indiana with 11 catches for 200 yards and two TDs.
Michigan State (1-3, 1-3) benched starting quarterback Rocky Lombardi in the second quarter after he started the game 3-of-7 for 21 yards and two interceptions. His replacement, freshman Payton Thorne, fared not much better, completing 10 of 20 passes for 110 yards and an interception.
No. 11 Oregon 43, Washington State 29
Sophomore quarterback Tyler Shough, making his first career road start, threw four touchdowns as the Ducks rallied for a Pac-12 Conference victory against the Cougars in Pullman, Wash.
Shough completed 21 of 30 passes for 312 yards for the Ducks (2-0 overall, 2-0 Pac-12), who trailed by 12 points late in the first half.
Oregon’s CJ Verdell rushed 18 times for a game-high 118 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Jaylon Redd made five catches for 99 yards and running back Travis Dye caught two TD passes.
No. 16 Marshall 42, Middle Tennessee State 14
Freshman quarterback Grant Wells threw for 336 yards and five touchdowns as the Thundering Herd pulled away from the Blue Raiders in the third quarter for a Conference USA win in Huntington, W.Va.
Wells completed 25 of 37 passes with no interceptions as the Thundering Herd improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the conference. Marshall outgained the Blue Raiders (2-6, 2-4) 520-303, despite running back Brenden Knox being held to a season-low 70 yards on 16 carries.
Sophomore quarterback Asher O’Hara hit on 29 of 44 passes for 241 yards with a touchdown for Middle Tennessee and also led the team in rushing with 39 yards and a score on 11 carries. But his efforts weren’t enough for the Blue Raiders to solve one of the nation’s top defenses.
Tulsa 28, No. 19 SMU 24
Zach Smith passed for 325 yards and three touchdowns and Zaven Collins sealed the victory with a late interception as the host Golden Hurricane rallied from a three-touchdown deficit to stun the Mustangs.
Smith found tight end James Palmer for a 4-yard scoring pass with 2:11 remaining to complete the comeback. Collins, a standout linebacker, picked off SMU quarterback Shane Buechele at the 1:28 mark as Tulsa (4-1, 4-0 American) turned in a stifling second-half defensive performance to snatch the win.
SMU amassed just 148 yards following the intermission. Buechele, the leading passer in FBS, completed just half of his 36 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown. The Mustangs cashed in pick-6, a fumble recovery and a missed Tulsa field goal for a 21-0 lead with 14:58 left in the first half.
No. 20 USC 34, Arizona 30
Vavae Malepeai scored on an 8-yard run with 25 seconds left as the Trojans rallied for the second consecutive week, this time turning back the Wildcats at Tucson, Ariz.
USC (2-0, 2-0 Pac-12) went 75 yards in six plays for the winning points after Arizona slipped ahead with 1:35 to go on a 6-yard pass from Grant Gunnell to Stanley Berryhill. The Trojans won last weekend’s opener against Arizona State by scoring two touchdowns in the final three minutes.
The Wildcats (0-1, 0-1) reached their 47 in the final seconds but a final play with multiple laterals went nowhere. Arizona was playing its first game after its original opener at Utah was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Utes program.
USC won its eighth consecutive game against Arizona. The Wildcats lost their eighth game in a row, dating to last season.
No. 22 Liberty 58, Western Carolina 14
Quarterback Malik Willis passed for three touchdowns and ran for a pair as the Flames routed the Catamounts in Lynchburg, Va.
Willis, who played the first half and two series in the second, finished 14-for-19 for 306 yards. He also rushed for a game-high 97 yards on eight carries.
Kevin Shaa caught two passes for 137 yards and a TD for Liberty (8-0), which outgained Western Carolina (0-1) 633-282 in total yards.
No. 23 Northwestern 27, Purdue 20
Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman had a career-high three receiving touchdowns as the visiting Wildcats defeated the Boilermakers.
The victory keeps Northwestern (4-0, 4-0 Big Ten) at the top of the conference’s West standings with Purdue (2-1, 2-1) falling off the pace.
Chiaokhiao-Bowman, a senior wide receiver who entered the game with only one career touchdown, had eight catches for 86 yards.
No. 25 Louisiana 38, South Alabama 10
Led by senior quarterback Levi Lewis’ three touchdown passes, the Ragin’ Cajuns punched their return ticket to the Sun Belt Conference championship game with a victory over the Jaguars in Lafayette, La.
Louisiana (7-1, 5-1) clinched the top seed in the Sun Belt’s West division and will play for the conference championship for the third consecutive time since the title game was introduced in 2018. The Ragin’ Cajuns lost the previous two Sun Belt finals against Appalachian State.
Lewis, who announced earlier this week he would stay at Louisiana for one more season, completed 21 of 31 passes for 252 yards, one interception and threw his touchdown passes to three different receivers. Lewis completed passes to 12 different receivers overall.
–Field Level Media