Saturday's Big Ten: C.J. Stroud throws 5 TD passes, No. 6 Ohio State routs Purdue
Columbus, Ohio — C.J. Stroud threw for 361 yards and five touchdowns, freshman TreVeyon Henderson rumbled for two more scores and No. 6 Ohio State struck early and rolled over Purdue 59-31 on Saturday.
The Buckeyes (9-1, 7-0 Big Ten, CFP No. 4) scored on all seven of their first-half possessions, piling up 45 points against a Purdue team that hadn’t allowed more than 30 in any game this year.
Ohio State has been wobbly at times the past two weeks and was understandably wary of Purdue, which already upset two top-five teams this season.
“It’s going to build a lot of confidence,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “I don’t think our guys were lacking confidence, I just think after the last two weeks – we were on edge a little bit this week, to be honest with you. We just wanted to get back in this game, score in the red zone and get our nose dirty a little bit, and I think we did that.”
The Buckeyes romped early, capitalizing on two Boilermakers turnovers, the second of which was a fumbled kickoff recovered on the Purdue 14. The 12-yard catch by Garrett Wilson two plays later gave the Buckeyes two touchdowns in 14 seconds.
“We were lucky to hold them to 59,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said.
Wilson, who was unavailable last week for unspecified reasons, had 10 catches for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Jaxson Smith-Njigba followed up a 15-catch, 240-yard effort last week with nine catches for 139 yards a a TD.
Chris Olave had nine receptions for 85 yards a touchdown, the 33rd of his career and one away from the school record. Miyan Williams rushed for 117 yards and Henderson had 98.
The Ohio State defense wasn’t outstanding, but Stroud and Co. painted over it. Purdue quarterback Aiden O’Connell was 40 for 52 and threw four touchdown passes. He never faced much pressure and wasn’t sacked. David Bell had 11 catches for 103 yards as the Boilers (6-4, 4-3) piled up a respectable 481 yards.
Other Big Ten games
►Rutgers 38, Indiana 3: Isaih Pacecho scored two touchdowns Saturday and Rutgers took advantage of six turnovers to rout Indiana 38-3, putting the Scarlet Knights on the cusp of postseason play.
They are one win away from becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2014.
Rutgers (5-5, 2-5 Big Ten) converted the turnovers into 17 points and finished with its most lopsided conference win since joining the Big Ten – easily surpassing the previous best, 22 points, against Indiana in 2015.
The Hoosiers (2-8, 0-7) have lost six straight.
And this one went awry immediately – when quarterback Donoven McCulley botched a handoff on the first play. Rutgers defensive end Mohamed Toure recovered at the Hoosiers 21-yard line and four plays later, Pacheco scored on an 8-yard TD run.
It was just the start.
Pacheco’s 3-yard scoring run late in the first quarter made it 14-0 and Tyreem Powell’s interception led to a 38-yard field goal that gave Rutgers a 17-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter.
All the Hoosiers could muster was a 47-yard field goal to close the half.
Rutgers sealed it early in the third quarter when Ty Fryfogle fumbled a punt return at the Indiana 10.
Aaron Young’s 10-yard TD run on the next play gave Rutgers a 24-3 lead, and the Scarlet Knights capped the victory with a backward pass from Noah Vedral to tackle Raiqwon O’Neal, who rumbled in from 7 yards for a 31-3 edge.
►(At) No. 20 Wisconsin 35, Northwestern 7: Braelon Allen rushed for 173 yards and three touchdowns to help Wisconsin to its sixth consecutive victory on Saturday. Graham Mertz threw two touchdown passes, and Wisconsin’s defense recorded four interceptions. Northwestern’s Andrew Marty was picked off three times for a second straight week.
Wisconsin (7-3, 5-2 Big Ten, No. 18 College Football Playoff) entered the day in a four-way tie for the Big Ten West lead with Minnesota, No. 19 Iowa (No. 20 CFP) and Purdue (No. 19 CFP). The Badgers already have beaten Iowa and Purdue. They visit Minnesota on Nov. 27 to close the regular season.
Northwestern (3-7, 1-6) lost its fourth straight.
►(At) No. 19 Iowa 27, Minnesota 22: Alex Padilla threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in his first career start, and Iowa withstood three fourth-quarter comeback attempts.
The Hawkeyes (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) led 24-16 before Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Chris Autman-Bell with 5:28 to play. The Gophers (6-4, 4-3) went for the two-point conversion, but Morgan’s pass was tipped by Iowa safety Dane Belton and fell incomplete.