Saturday’s Big Ten: Dobbins, Young star as Ohio State smothers Wisconsin
Columbus, Ohio – J.K. Dobbins rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns, Chase Young was nearly unblockable with four sacks and No. 3 Ohio State routed No. 13 Wisconsin 38-7 on Saturday.
Dobbins slashed Wisconsin’s top-ranked defense for long gains in the second half, including scoring runs of 9 and 14 yards in a game played from beginning to end in the driving rain. He outperformed Badgers Heisman Trophy candidate Jonathan Taylor, who could muster only 52 yards rushing against the Buckeyes (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) after averaging almost 137 per game coming in.
Young looked like the Heisman contender on his day, tying a school record for sacks in a game, including two strip sacks that led to fumbles recovered each time by linebacker Pete Werner.
“Big time players step up in big time games,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said.
Justin Fields was harassed and sacked five times but – as he has been all season – was masterful at extending plays at critical times for the Buckeyes. He finished 12 for 22 for 167 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for a score.
Chris Olave caught two touchdowns passes and had seven catches for 93 yards.
Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2) scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Coan to A.J. Taylor early in the second half after the Badgers blocked an Ohio State punt and started with a short field. That made it 10-7, but Ohio State immediately answered with a touchdown drive and was never threatened again.
“It’s a really good defense,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. “The things we had to do to try to help ourselves, we didn’t do them well enough.”
Ohio State has outscored opponents 386-63 and hasn’t played a close game yet.
More Big Ten games
No. 20 Iowa 20, (at) Northwestern 0: Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley had 179 yards passing with a touchdown and the Hawkeyes’ defense allowed just 202 yards of total offense.
Mekhi Sargent had a rushing touchdown and Tyler Goodson added 58 yards rushing on 11 carries as Iowa (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) won its second straight.
Quarterback Aidan Smith completed 18 of 32 passes for 138 yards with an interception for Northwestern (1-6, 0-5), which dropped its fifth straight.
Iowa entered the game fifth in the nation in scoring defense (11.6 points) and 10th in total defense (275 yards per game). Northwestern’s deepest advance into Iowa territory was the 28-yard line late in the third quarter.
With his TD pass, Stanley has 62 in his career and moved into second place on Iowa’s all-time list. He entered tied with Drew Tate at 61. Former Detroit Lions QB Chuck Long heads the list with 74.
Illinois 24, (at) Purdue 6: Dre Brown ran for a career high 131 yards and Tony Adams returned an interception for a touchdown for Illinois.
The Fighting Illini (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten) won their second straight game and claimed the Cannon Trophy for the first time since 2015. Purdue (2-6, 1-4) has lost two in a row and five of its last six.
It sure wasn’t easy for the offenses in a steady storm with puddles forming around the end zones and sidelines. The Boilermakers gained only 271 total yards – 99 coming on a fourth-quarter drive for their only points.
Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters scored on a 1-yard TD run late in the first half but was just 3 of 6 with 26 yards through the air.
(At) Rutgers 44, Liberty 34: Quarterback Johnny Langan had a career day, completing 15 of 21 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns, and adding 21 rushes for 118 yards and a touchdown to lead Rutgers.
Isaih Pacheco ran for 107 yards and a score for the Scarlet Knights (2-6). It was the fourth time in his career he topped 100 yards.
Langan had a 51-yard pitch-and-catch to Isaiah Washington for Washington’s first career touchdown and Rutgers’ first lead of the game at 28-21 with 12 minutes left in the third quarter. It was also Rutgers’ first lead since they were ahead of Boston College 10-7 in an eventual 30-16 loss five games ago.
On the ensuing possession, a false start by right tackle Sam Isaacson on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line forced Liberty to kick the field goal to make it 28-24 with 6:53 left in the third quarter. However, with Rutgers’ offense humming for the first time since the season-opening win against UMass, Liberty’s defense was unable to make the stops needed.
Liberty is 5-3.
(At) No. 17 Minnesota 52, Maryland 10: Rodney Smith ran for 103 yards to become Minnesota’s career leader in all-purpose yards and Seth Green had two touchdown runs for the Golden Gophers.
Tanner Morgan was 12-of-21 passing for 138 yards and two touchdowns to help the Gophers (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) reach 8-0 for the first time since 1941. Minnesota has the nation’s fourth-longest winning streak at 10, trailing Clemson, Ohio State and Appalachian State.
The Gophers were national champions when they started 8-0 in 1941. The 5-0 start in conference play is their first since 1961, the last year they earned a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Maryland (3-5, 1-4) lost for the fifth time in six games while again losing a starting quarterback. Tyrrell Pigrome was injured late in the first half. He was helped off the field favoring his left leg.
Javon Leake had a team-high 44 rushing yards and the Terrapins were held to 79 yards rushing as a team. In wins over Minnesota the past two seasons, Maryland had a combined 577 yards rushing.
On the second play from scrimmage, Pigrome’s pass to Dontay Demus Jr. was tipped and intercepted by Antoine Winfield Jr. Morgan capped the ensuing drive with a touchdown pass to Rashod Bateman.
Coney Durr later intercepted Pigrome’s pass, on another tip by Demus, and returned it 72 yards for a touchdown.
For the second time this season against a ranked opponent, Maryland’s running game was shut down. The Terrapins entered the game third in the Big Ten in rushing averaging 207.1 yards per game. Anthony McFarland Jr. returned after missing a game with an ankle injury and had 38 yards on 10 carries. The road ahead isn’t any easier with two more ranked opponents the next two weeks.
The Gophers have taken care of their schedule to date. Now comes the challenge with home games against No. 6 Penn State and No. 13 Wisconsin and road games at No. 20 Iowa and Northwestern in the season’s final month. Minnesota has a two-game lead in the Big Ten’s West division and likely would appear in the conference championship game with a victory against the winner of next week’s Iowa at Wisconsin game.
Indiana 38, (at) Nebraska 31: Peyton Ramsey passed for a career-high 351 yards and two touchdowns, Whop Philyor caught 14 balls for 178 yards, and Indiana became bowl eligible with a win over Nebraska.
The Hoosiers (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) won a third straight conference game in the same season for the first time since 1993 and won in Lincoln for the first time since 1959. Nebraska (4-4, 2-3) lost its second straight.
Indiana players yelled “We’re going bowling” as they walked into their locker room after the game.
“Being so far from home, being our first time here at Nebraska, it was awesome,” Ramsey said. “It was a fun deal and we’re going to celebrate it.”
Ramsey, making his third start of the season in place of an injured Michael Penix Jr., put the Hoosiers up 31-24 with a 2-yard pass to tight end Matt Bjorson on the last play of the third quarter.
Kanawai Noa fumbled on the Huskers’ next possession, and the Hoosiers went 57 yards for a two-touchdown lead with 12 minutes left.
Ramsey, the two-year starter before being beaten out by Penix in the preseason, completed 27 of 40 passes while making Indiana eligible for a bowl for the first time since 2016. Philyor caught 14 passes in a game for the second time this season.
“It’s so inspiring to watch,” Ramsey said. “He’s a tough little dude. He’s a fun guy to throw the ball to. You know you’re going to get yards after the catch.”
Nebraska started Noah Vedral in place of the injured Adrian Martinez, and he was helped off the field in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury.
Freshman Luke McCaffrey entered and, on his second series, led a six-play, 74-yard touchdown drive for a 21-16 halftime lead.
David Ellis put the Hoosiers up 24-21, and it was tied after Barret Pickering’s 30-yard field goal for Nebraska.
The Hoosiers regained the lead on Ramsey’s 2-yard pass to Bjorson, and after Noa fumbled, Steve Scott ran 9 yards for a two-touchdown lead after the Hoosiers converted a fourth-and-7.
McCaffrey led a quick scoring drive that Wan’Dale Robinson finished with a 4-yard run to pull the Huskers within seven.
Vedral returned for the Huskers’ final drive, but they turned the ball over on downs near midfield and the Hoosiers ran out the clock.
“It’s frustrating,” Nebraska coach Scott Frost said. “We’ve got a lot of guys on this team who really care. We have some guys who are tough and dedicated enough. We don’t have enough of them yet.
“We’re just OK right now. I’m not going to be happy with just OK. Just OK can’t exist around here.”