Braxton Miller threw a career-high four touchdown passes in his first game in three weeks and No. 4 Ohio State ran the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games with a 31-24 victory over No. 23 Wisconsin on Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.
Miller was back after missing the last two games with a sprained left knee and didn’t show the slightest bit of rust. The junior threw three touchdown passes in the first half, including a 40-yarder to Corey Brown with one second left that put Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) up, 24-14.
Joel Stave and Jared Abbrederis kept the Badgers (3-2, 1-1) in it. Stave threw for 295 yards and two TDs. Abbrederis caught 10 passes for a career-best 207 yards and a score, winning most of his one-on-one matchups with star cornerback Bradley Roby. James White ran 17 yards for a touchdown with 13:47 left in the fourth quarter to cut Ohio State’s lead to 31-21.
Wisconsin got within 31-24 on a 42-yard field goal by Kyle French with 2:05 left in the fourth, and got the ball back at its own 10 with 1:29 left but Ohio State didn’t even give up a first down.
The Buckeyes’ first big game of the season was big enough to bring Ohio native LeBron James to the Horseshoe and turn Ohio Stadium into the most-scarlet place on earth. Just about everyone in the crowd of 105,826 — third-largest in Ohio State history — was donning the Buckeyes’ shade of red.
The Buckeyes had been off the radar for the first four weeks of the season, beating up on overmatched foes and dropping a couple of spots in the polls.
The only news from Columbus was Miller’s injury early in the second game of the season, though the Buckeyes didn’t miss a beat without him. Kenny Guiton stepped in, led Ohio State to three blowout victories, and won consecutive Big Ten offensive player of the week honors.
No quarterback controversy here. Miller passed for 198 yards and ran for 83.
Oklahoma 35, Notre Dame 21 — Blake Bell threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard in the fourth quarter and the No. 14 Sooners (4-0) took a two-touchdown lead in the opening three minutes and beat the No. 22 Fighting Irish (3-2) in South Bend, Ind.
It was the Sooners’ second win over the Fighting Irish in 11 meetings.
The Sooners had three interceptions that led to TDs, including a 24-yard score by linebacker Corey Nelson. Damien Williams, suspended the previous game against Tulsa for violating team rules, added an 11-yard TD run after an interception by linebacker Frank Shannon as the Sooners went ahead, 14-0.
Bell threw a 26-yard TD pass to Lacoltan Bester to cap an 88-yard drive after an interception by cornerback Julian Wilson late in the second quarter.
Alabama 25, Mississippi 0 — T.J. Yeldon rushed for 121 yards, Kenyan Drake gained 99, and a dominating defense powered the No. 1 Crimson Tide past the No. 21 Rebels in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Yeldon scored on a 68-yard run and Drake added a 50-yard scamper to revive a struggling running game for Alabama (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), which outgained the Rebels, 434-205.
Ole Miss (3-1, 1-1) was seeking its first 4-0 start in 43 years.
AJ McCarron completed 25 of 32 passes for 180 yards with an interception for the Crimson Tide, who came in ranked last in the league in rushing. Alabama was held to 36 rushing yards in building a 9-0 halftime lead but gained another 218 on the ground in the second half.
Bo Wallace was 17-of-30 passing for 159 yards for the Rebels.
Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 33 — Johnny Manziel accounted for 320 total yards of offense and threw two touchdown passes to Mike Evans as the No. 10 Aggies pulled away from the host Razorbacks.
Manziel, who totaled 557 yards of offense in a win over the Razorbacks last season, was 23-of-30 passing for 261 yards and he rushed for 59 yards for the Aggies (4-1, 1-1 SEC).
Trey Williams had 83 yards rushing to lead Texas A&M, which finished with 262 yards rushing on 44 carries.
Brandon Allen returned from a shoulder injury for Arkansas (3-2, 0-1), finishing 17-of-36 passing for 282 yards and two touchdowns.
West Virginia 30, Oklahoma State 21 — Clint Trickett threw a touchdown pass, Ishmael Banks returned an interception for a touchdown, and the host Mountaineers shocked the No. 11 Cowboys.
Josh Lambert kicked three field goals for West Virginia (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), which rebounded from a shutout loss to Maryland to outlast the mistake-prone Cowboys (3-1, 0-1).
South Carolina 28, Central Florida 25 — Mike Davis rushed 26 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns as the No. 12 Gamecocks (3-1) overcame an injury to their starting quarterback, four turnovers, and a 10-0 halftime deficit to beat the host Knights (3-1).
Davis picked up the slack for a Gamecocks offense that played the final three quarters without starting QB Connor Shaw. He left the game with a sprained right shoulder following a hard tackle during South Carolina’s first series.
Washington 31, Arizona 13 — Bishop Sankey carried a school-record 40 times for 161 yards and a touchdown and Keith Price threw for two touchdowns to help the No. 16 Huskies beat the visiting Wildcats.
Sankey surpassed the school record of 38 carries set by Corey Dillon in 1996 against Washington State as stormy conditions forced both teams to limit their passing games.
Florida 24, Kentucky 7 — Matt Jones rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown and Tyler Murphy threw for 156 yards and a score as the No. 20 Gators (3-1, 2-0 SEC) beat the host Wildcats (1-3, 0-1) for the 27th straight time. Murphy also rushed for a 3-yard TD.