Alabama looked every bit the part of a national title contender, with a point-a-minute attack and a defense that planted a goose egg on one of the nation’s most prolific offenses.
Blake Sims passed for 268 yards and three touchdowns and scored on a 43-yard run while leading the seventh-ranked Crimson Tide to 35 second-quarter points and a 59-0 pummeling of No. 21 Texas A&M on Saturday.
The Tide (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) shut down the nation’s No. 4 offense and dominated a game that had produced two straight thrillers.
“I think this is as close as we can get to the Alabama football that we want to try to get from our players in terms of effort, toughness, emotional excitement and execution that we got throughout the game,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
Led by Sims, T.J. Yeldon and Amari Cooper, Alabama outgained the Aggies 602-172.
Texas A&M (5-3, 2-3) has lost its past three games, all to teams now ranked in the top 10.
Alabama set a school record for most points in a quarter and matched the second-most scored in a half while racing to a 45-0 halftime lead.
It was Alabama’s largest margin of victory since a 62-0 defeat of Tulane in 1991. It was also the Tide’s most lopsided SEC win since beating Vanderbilt, 66-3, in 1979
No. 3 Mississippi 34, Tennessee 3
Bo Wallace threw two touchdown passes and the Rebels had another dominating defensive performance in a victory at Oxford, Miss.
Ole Miss (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) fell behind 3-0 early in the second quarter, but scored the next 34 points. With a relatively easy win, the Rebels continued their best start since 1962.
Wallace completed 13 of 28 passes for 199 yards, throwing touchdown passes to Vince Sanders and Evan Engram. Sanders had 108 yards receiving.
Ole Miss came into the game giving up just 11.8 points per game, which ranked first in the SEC and second in the country. The Rebels lived up to those numbers, stuffing Tennessee’s running game and harassing quarterback Justin Worley nearly every time he tried to throw. Worley threw three interceptions and the Volunteers (3-4, 0-3) also lost a fumble.
No. 8 Michigan State 56, Indiana 17
Connor Cook threw three touchdown passes, Jeremy Langford ran for three more scores and the Spartans scored the final 35 points to win in a rout at Bloomington, Ind.
Cook finished with 332 yards, Langford and Nick Hill each topped 100 yards on the ground and Tony Lippett had 123 yards receiving as coach Mark Dantonio moved into a tie for second on the school’s all-time victory list with No. 70.
The Spartans (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) have won five straight overall, 13 consecutive games over conference foes and tied the school record with an eighth straight road win in league play. The Hoosiers (3-4, 0-3) also had a scary moment when left tackle Jason Spriggs was carted off the field with 4:54 to play and taken to away in an ambulance. Team officials didn’t have an immediate update on the injury.
No. 10 Georgia 45, Arkansas 32
Nick Chubb ran for 202 yards and two touchdowns and the Bulldogs dominated on the road for the second straight week with the win at Little Rock, Ark.
The Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference), playing their second straight game without suspended running back Toddy Gurley, led 38-6 at halftime. They were sparked by a defense that followed up its shutout of Missouri by forcing three first-half turnovers.
Chubb had a pair of first-half touchdowns, including a 43-yard sprint, and Hunter Mason added 179 yards on 10-of-17 passing. Georgia has won five straight following a loss at South Carolina on Sept. 13.
Jonathan Williams had 108 yards rushing to lead the Razorbacks, (3-4, 0-4). They have lost 16 straight SEC games.
No. 12 Texas Christian 42, No. 15 Oklahoma State 9
Trevone Boykin threw for a career-high 410 yards with three touchdowns, two on long plays to Josh Doctson in the first quarter, and the Horned Frogs emphatically bounced back to thump the Cowboys at Fort Worth, Texas.
Doctson had seven catches for 225 yards, a yard short of TCU’s school record even with the scores of 77 and 84 yards. B.J. Catalon ran for 102 yards and two scores for the Horned Frogs (5-1, 2-1 Big 12).
Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1), which had won five in a row, was outgained 676 to 258 and held without a touchdown for the first time since a 27-0 loss to Oklahoma in the 2009 regular season finale. TCU quickly erased any notion of a hangover effect from its wild 61-58 loss at Baylor a week earlier, jumping ahead 21-3 on Doctson’s early touchdowns.
No. 13 Ohio State 56, Rutgers 17
J.T. Barrett completed his first nine passes, ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns while he threw for three more scores to lead the Buckeyes to the easy victory at Columbus, Ohio.
The Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) have averaged 56 points in a four-game win streak since losing at home to Virginia Tech.
Eli Apple, a New Jersey native, added a fumble return for a score.
The victory was Ohio State’s 18th in a row in the Big Ten, drawing within two of tying the conference mark set by the 2005-07 Buckeyes.
It was the worst loss in 12 years for Rutgers (5-2, 1-2), which had a three-game winning streak end. The Scarlet Knights played before their largest crowd ever (106,795).
No. 19 Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17
Ameer Abdullah had four 1-yard touchdown runs and quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. scored on a 16-yard reception, leading the Cornhuskers to the win at Evanston, Ill.
Abdullah finished with 146 yards on 23 carries as the Cornhuskers (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) bounced back from a 27-22 loss at Michigan State. Abdullah had only 45 yards in the loss to the Spartans on Oct. 4.
Northwestern (3-4, 2-2) wasted another big game for freshman Justin Jackson in its second consecutive loss. Jackson had 128 yards and two touchdowns in his third straight 100-yard game. The Wildcats got a scare in the third quarter when receiver Miles Shuler had his head down when he slammed into Nebraska safety Corey Cooper after a short reception. Shuler held up his right arm to acknowledge the cheers as he was taken off the field on a stretcher. The school said he was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
No. 24 Clemson 17, Boston College 13
C.J. Davidson ran for a 32-yard touchdown with 9:35 to play and the Tigers stopped an Eagles drive in the final minutes to secure the win in Boston.
Cole Stoudt completed 29 of 45 passes for 285 yards, and the Tigers (5-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) got help from a missed BC extra point. The Eagles (4-3, 1-2) moved to the Clemson 29, converted a fourth-and-1 and then Tyler Murphy found an open receiver streaking for the end zone.
But Tyler Rouse couldn’t hold onto the ball, and Clemson took over on downs and ran out the clock.
Murphy ran for 55 yards on 13 carries and also completed 8 of 19 passes for 108 yards.
No. 25 Marshall 45, Florida International 13
Rakeem Cato set an NCAA record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass with 39, finishing with four scoring tosses to help Marshall remain unbeaten with the win in Miami.
From Miami, Cato broke a tie with Russell Wilson for the Football Bowl Subdivision mark, connecting with Ryan Yurachek for the record-breaking score with 5 seconds left in the first quarter for Marshall (7-0, 3-0 Conference USA).
Devon Johnson caught two touchdown passes, finishing with 117 yards rushing and 79 more receiving for the Thundering Herd. Corey Tindal ran an interception back for a score and Angelo Jean-Louis had a scoring catch for Marshall, which was playing as a ranked team for the first time since 2002.
Alex McGough had a 1-yard touchdown run for FIU (3-4, 2-3).
Minnesota 39, Purdue 38
David Cobb rushed for 194 yards and a touchdown while Ryan Santoso kicked a 52-yard field goal with 4:59 left to give the Gophers a victory in Minneapolis and their first 3-0 start in Big Ten play since 1990.
Cedric Thompson had two interceptions for Minnesota (6-1, 3-0), including a diving pickoff of Austin Appleby with 2:28 remaining to seal it. This was the first time in 23 games under coach Jerry Kill that the Gophers rallied from a halftime deficit to win.
Appleby threw three first-half touchdown passes for the Boilermakers (3-5, 1-3), but he was only 4 for 10 for 18 yards in the second half. Raheem Mostert rushed for 115 yards on five carries and Akeem Hunt added 98 yards on 17 attempts, but Purdue’s bid to spoil the 100th homecoming at Minnesota fell excruciatingly short
Maryland 38, Iowa 31
Will Likely returned an interception 45 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, and the Terrapins rallied from an early 14-point deficit to win at College Park, Md., for their first Big Ten home victory.
Maryland (5-2, 2-1) scored 24 straight points after falling behind by two touchdowns with 8 1/2 minutes elapsed. It was 24-21 before Likely picked off a Jake Rudock pass and sprinted untouched into the end zone with 12:29 left.
Stefon Diggs caught nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown for Maryland, playing its first season in the Big Ten after leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Terps are now 1-1 at home in league play after losing 52-24 to Ohio State two weeks ago. Iowa (5-2, 2-1) committed three turnovers, sputtered offensively after its quick start and had its three-game winning streak end. Rudock went 32 for 56 for 317 yards and two touchdowns.
Duke 20, Virginia 13
Backup quarterback Thomas Sirk threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to David Reeves with 7:23 left to help the Blue Devils win at Durham, N.C.
Anthony Boone was 22 of 37 for 176 yards with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Eric Schneider.
The Blue Devils (6-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) reached bowl eligibility for the third straight year and took the early edge in the Coastal Division race.
Matt Johns was 21 of 44 for a career-high 306 yards with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Khalek Shepherd. Miles Gooch had six catches for a personal-best 129 yards for Virginia (4-3, 2-1).
Shaq Powell carried four times for 32 yards on the decisive drive and Boone took a zone-read keeper 23 yards to the Virginia 7.
Sirk — who regularly replaces Boone in short-yardage situations — then faked a quarterback draw and hit a wide-open Reeves with a jump pass in the end zone.
Syracuse 30, Wake Forest 7
Syracuse had two defensive touchdowns, and freshman quarterback AJ Long ran for another score as the Orange won at Winston-Salem, N.C.
Robert Welsh returned an interception 42 yards for a TD and Micah Robinson scored on a 51-yard fumble return to give Syracuse its first win since Sept. 13 when they beat Eastern Michigan.
The Orange (3-4, 1-2 ACC) knocked out Wake Forest starting quarterback John Wolford in the second quarter, rendering the Demon Deacons already struggling offense even more ineffective. His replacement Tyler Cameron was benched in the fourth quarter.
Syracuse limited Wake Forest (2-5, 0-3) to 89 yards after Wolford left the game while outgaining the Demon Deacons 370-170.
Long completed 22 of 32 passes for 171 yards and had a 4-yard touchdown run in his second start, while Devante McFarlane ran for 114 yards on 10 carries.
South Carolina 41, Furman 10
Mike Davis rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns as Gamecocks ended a two-game losing streak with a victory over an FCS opponent at Columbia, S.C.
The Gamecocks (4-3) also got a pair of touchdown passes from Dylan Thompson in putting away the Paladins (2-5), the defending Southern Conference champions who have lost five straight this season.
The win moved South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier to 51-0 all-time against teams outside the Power 5 of BCS qualifying conferences. Davis went over 100 yards for the third straight game and fourth time this season. His 5-yard TD run in the opening quarter broke a 7-all tie and put the Gamecocks ahead to stay. He added a 2-yard scoring run just before halftime for a 28-7 lead.