With star quarterback Braxton Miller on the way to the hospital for evaluation, backup Kenny Guiton took his place and led the seventh-ranked Buckeyes to a tying touchdown and 2-point conversion with three seconds left to force overtime against Purdue.
Guiton wasn’t done. He then guided Ohio State into position for Carlos Hyde’s 1-yard touchdown run that ended up the difference in a heart-stopping 29-22 win over the Boilermakers on Saturday.
Many in the crowd of 105,290 thought the Buckeyes had little or no chance of winning after Miller lay on the turf for several minutes after being thrown down on the next-to-last play of the third quarter.
After Guiton threw an interception to Landon Feichter with 2:40 left that could have ended Ohio State’s hopes, Meyer grabbed Guiton.
‘‘I said, ‘You’re going to win us a game,’ ’’ Meyer said. ‘‘He looked right at me. I think he was down but I think that moment kind of picked him up.’’
Guiton came out with just 47 seconds left, Ohio State trailing, 22-14, and 61 yards remaining to get to the end zone.
Guiton marched the Buckeyes downfield, and on the seventh play of the drive, hit Chris Fields with a 2-yard scoring strike. Then, Guiton found Jeff Heuerman for the tying 2-point conversion.
Ohio State got the ball first in overtime and scored on Hyde’s short plunge. When it was Purdue’s turn, Caleb TerBush, who had two TD passes, misfired on four passes.
Miller completed 9 of 20 passes for 113 yards with an interception and ran for 47 yards on 12 carries before leaving the game.
He ran the ball on first down from his own 24, stiff-armed a defender, and sped around right end for 37 yards before being caught by cornerback Josh Johnson, who threw him hard to the turf on his left shoulder.
Miller didn’t get up for several minutes — he was in obvious pain — while he was attended by several doctors and trainers.
After the game, team spokesman Jerry Emig said Meyer told him Miller is “doing fine.”
Alabama 44, Tennessee 13 — A.J. McCarron tossed four touchdown passes as the No. 1 Crimson Tide defeated the host Volunteers.
McCarron went 17 of 22 for a career-high 306 yards for Alabama (7-0, 4-0).
Tennessee (3-4, 0-4) has lost 11 of its last 12 SEC games and is 0-14 against the Top 25 since Derek Dooley took over the program in 2010.
Florida 44, South Carolina 11 — Jeff Driskel threw four touchdown passes — three of them after turnovers — in the third-ranked Gators’ drubbing of the ninth-ranked Gamecocks in Gainesville, Fla.
Florida (7-0, 6-0) can clinch a spot in the SEC championship game by beating No. 13 Georgia next week in Jacksonville.
The Gators held South Carolina (6-2, 4-2) to 191 yards, including minus-1 in the third quarter.
Kansas St. 55, West Virginia 14 — Collin Klein ran for four touchdowns and threw three TD passes as the fourth-ranked Wildcats trounced the No. 17 Mountaineers in Morgantown, W. Va.
Klein was 19 for 21 for a career-high 323 yards and ran for 41 yards for the Wildcats (7-0, 4-0).
West Virginia (5-2, 2-2) lost to its second straight Big 12 foe. Geno Smith threw his first two interceptions of the season, finishing 21 of 32 for 143 yards.
Notre Dame 17, BYU 14 — Theo Riddick ran for a career-high 143 yards and Cierre Wood added 114 yards as the fifth-ranked Irish rallied by the visiting Cougars.
Riddick had runs of 55 and 27, the two longest of his career, to pace Notre Dame (7-0).
USC 50, Colorado 6 — Matt Barkley threw for 298 yards and six touchdowns for the 11th-ranked Trojans (6-1, 4-1 Pac 12) in a win over the Buffaloes (1-6, 1-3 Pac 12) in Los Angeles — setting school and conference records for career TD passes.
Barkley threw his 100th career touchdown pass in the second quarter, surpassing Matt Leinart’s 99.
Robert Woods hauled in four touchdown receptions, setting a single-game school record, and passed Dwayne Jarrett on the Trojans’ career catches list with his 217th.
Oklahoma 52, Kansas 7 — Landry Jones threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns as the 10th-ranked Sooners clobbered the visiting Jayhawks.
Oklahoma (5-1, 3-1 Big 12) scored on kickoff and punt returns.
Georgia 29, Kentucky 24 — Aaron Murray threw for 427 yards and four touchdown passes to rally the No. 13 Bulldogs past the host Wildcats.
Former Dartmouth High standout Arthur Lynch hauled in a score for the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC).
Mississippi St. 45, Middle Tenn. 3 — Johnthan Banks tied a school record with his 16th career interception, helping the No. 15 Bulldogs (7-0) pull away from the Blue Raiders (4-3) in Starkville, Miss.
Louisville 27, South Florida 25 — Teddy Bridgewater threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Eli Rogers with 1:35 left, and 16th-ranked Louisville (7-0, 2-0 Big East) remained perfect by edging the Bulls (2-5, 0-3) for the Cardinals’ best start since 2006.
Texas Tech 56, TCU 53 — Seth Doege threw for 318 yards and seven touchdowns — three in overtime — to lead the No. 18 Red Raiders (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) to a triple-overtime victory against the Horned Frogs (5-2, 2-2) in Fort Worth.
Rutgers 35, Temple 10 — Gary Nova threw four second-half touchdown passes and Jawan Jamison amassed 195 total yards to lead the 19th-ranked Scarlet Knights (7-0, 4-0 Big East) to a comeback victory over the host Owls (3-3, 2-1).
Toledo 29, Cincinnati 23 — Jeremiah Detmer made all five of his field goal attempts as the host Rockets (7-1) handed the No. 21 Bearcats (5-1) their first loss of the season.
Stanford 21, California 3 — Stepfan Taylor ran for a career-high 189 yards and one touchdown, and the No. 22 Cardinal (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) overwhelmed the Golden Bears (3-5, 2-3) for a third straight Big Game victory.
Michigan 12, Michigan St. 10 — In Ann Arbor, Brendan Gibbons made a 38-yard field goal with five seconds left, lifting the No. 23 Wolverines over the Spartans for the program’s 900th win.
Michigan (5-2, 3-0 Big Ten) beat Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) for the first time since 2007.
Boise St. 32, UNLV 7 — D.J. Harper rushed for two scores and the No. 24 Broncos (6-1, 3-0 Mountain West) routed the Rebels (1-7, 1-2) in Boise.