College football: Purdue topples No. 2 Iowa; No. 1 Georgia routs No. 11 Kentucky

Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell, right, and wide receiver David Bell celebrate Oct. 16, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa.
Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell, right, and wide receiver David Bell had big days in lifting the Boilermakers to a 24-7 win at No. 2 Iowa on Saturday.
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Aidan O’Connell threw for 375 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, David Bell had a career-best 240 yards receiving, and Purdue continued its recent mastery over No. 2 Iowa with a 24-7 upset Saturday in Iowa City, Iowa.

The Boilermakers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) have won four of their last five games against the Hawkeyes (6-1, 3-1). The loss ended Iowa’s 12-game winning streak.

Purdue beat its highest-ranked opponent on the road since a victory at No. 2 Notre Dame in 1974. It was the second time in four seasons Purdue has knocked off a No. 2-ranked team. The Boilermakers won at home against a second-ranked Ohio State in 2018.


“Basically, they outdid us in every category,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “The bottom line is we didn’t get it done.”

O’Connell was 30-for-40 passing with two touchdowns and he also ran for a score. He got the most work on a day when Purdue used backup quarterbacks Jack Plummer and Austin Burton in select situations. All three were in on different plays during the Boilermakers’ first-quarter drive that ended with O’Connell’s six-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead.

“It was just so fun,” O’Connell said, comparing the quarterback shuffle to line changes in hockey.

UCLA sputtered after a strong start, but Dorian Thompson-Robinson made key fourth-quarter plays as the Bruins recovered to win 24-17 at Washington.

Oct. 16, 2021

O’Connell threw a three-yard touchdown pass to TJ Sheffield in the final minute of the first half to give Purdue a 14-7 halftime lead. He threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Bell in the fourth quarter.

“Sometimes when you try to use some creativity, it works,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said of the quarterback changes. “Sometimes it looks [bad]. We took some chances with it, and fortunately today it worked.”


Bell had 11 receptions. He has a combined 37 catches for 558 yards and five touchdowns against Iowa in three seasons.

“I think the reason he’s been able to exploit them is he’s one of the best receivers in the country,” Brohm said.

O’Connell said the quiet Bell is “so destructive of a player for a defense.”

Bell didn’t know how many yards he had until he heard it from his mother after the game.

“It was definitely nice hearing it from her,” said Bell, who set a stadium record with his receiving yards.

Iowa’s offense was ineffective against Purdue, which came in third in the Big Ten in total defense and scoring defense. The Hawkeyes’ only score was a three-yard touchdown run by Ivory Kelly-Martin in the second quarter, and Iowa had just 271 yards of offense.

Iowa scored its fewest points at home since a 13-7 loss to Nebraska in 2012. The 17-point margin was the Hawkeyes’ largest in a home loss since Wisconsin won 28-9 at Kinnick Stadium in 2013.

The Hawkeyes’ defense, which came in leading the nation with 20 takeaways and a plus-15 turnover margin, only had one takeaway. That came in the third quarter when Sheffield, trying to dive for the end zone, had the ball slip out of his hand, hit the pylon and go out of bounds for a touchback.

Purdue intercepted Spencer Petras four times, the most thrown in a game by Iowa in 12 years.

“They made it tough on us,” Petras said.

at No. 1 Georgia 30, No. 11 Kentucky 13

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett throws against Kentucky on Oct. 16, 2021.
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett threw for three touchdowns.
(Butch Dill / Associated Press)

With Georgia playing its first game as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team since 2008, Stetson Bennett threw three touchdown passes and the Bulldogs (7-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) got another stifling defensive effort to beat the Wildcats (6-1, 4-1).

Bennett, starting his third straight game in place of the injured JT Daniels, hooked up with freshman tight end Brock Bowers on a pair of scores. The senior quarterback was 14 for 20 for 250 yards in another solid performance with Daniels watching from the sideline.

Bowers, who has emerged as one of Georgia’s most dynamic offensive weapons in his first college season, had five receptions for 101 yards.

Georgia’s defense gave up two touchdowns in a game for the first time all season — the second with four seconds remaining after Kentucky called a timeout to take one last shot at punching it in from the one.

Otherwise, Georgia’s top-ranked defense lived up to the billing, limiting Kentucky to 249 total yards and blocking a pair of kicks.

at No. 3 Cincinnati 56, Central Florida 21

Jerome Ford rushed for a career-high 189 yards and four touchdowns, helping the Bearcats (6-0, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) roll past the Knights (3-3, 1-2).

Desmond Ridder passed for 140 yards and a touchdown to help Cincinnati extend the nation’s second-longest home winning streak to 24 games. Bearcats senior cornerback Coby Bryant ran back an interception 74 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Cincinnati led 35-0 at halftime, outgaining UCF 314-99.

at No. 4 Oklahoma 52, Texas Christian 31

Caleb Williams had a big starting debut for the Sooners (7-0, 4-0 Big 12), throwing for 295 yards and four touchdowns and running for another score in a victory over the Horned Frogs (3-3, 1-2).

The freshman from Washington, D.C., unseated Spencer Rattler as the starter after leading a comeback victory over Texas last week in Dallas. He started fast against TCU with an opening 75-yard touchdown drive that took just less than three minutes.

Williams was 18 for 23 and ran for 81 yards in nine carries. He had a 41-yard scoring run, juking a defender at the line of scrimmage and taking off.

Oklahoma had three consecutive touchdown drives to open the third quarter, including two touchdown connections between Williams and receiver Jadon Haselwood.

No. 5 Alabama 49, at Mississippi State 9

Former Santa Ana Mater Dei standout Bryce Young threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns, and the Crimson Tide (6-1, 3-1 SEC) rebounded from a loss to rout the Bulldogs (3-3, 1-2).

A week after falling at Texas A&M, Alabama had 543 yards of total offense and recorded seven sacks. The Crimson Tide converted 12 of 16 third-down opportunities.

Mississippi State had 24 first downs but managed only 299 total yards and had three turnovers. Mike Leach’s team finished with minus-one yard rushing.

Alabama’s Brian Robinson Jr. rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 68 yards and another touchdown. John Metchie had seven catches for 117 yards and a touchdown.

No. 10 Michigan State 20, at Indiana 15

Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III runs past Indiana's Cam Jones during the second half.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Matt Coghlin’s 51-yard field goal to open the second half gave Michigan State the lead, and Payton Thorne’s 12-yard touchdown pass provided the margin the Spartans (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) needed to hold off the Hoosiers (2-4, 0-3).

Michigan State will remain atop the Big Ten’s East Division at least two more weeks after reclaiming the Old Brass Spittoon.

And while this one certainly didn’t follow the usual script — Kenneth Walker III, the nation’s top rusher, carried 23 times for 84 yards and the Spartans punted on their first six possessions — Michigan State still managed to hand the Hoosiers their third loss in four games.

No. 12 Oklahoma State 32, at No. 25 Texas 24

Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders is tackled by Texas defensive backs Josh Thompson and Brenden Schooler.
Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders is tackled by Texas defensive backs Josh Thompson, left, and Brenden Schooler during the first half.
(Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

Tanner Brown kicked a go-ahead field goal and Spencer Sanders followed with a 10-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter, and the Cowboys (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) stayed undefeated with a win over the Longhorns (4-3, 2-2).

Texas built leads of 17-3 and 24-13 behind three touchdowns from Bijan Robinson before Oklahoma State’s defense and punishing running game behind Jaylen Warren took over.

The Longhorns surrendered a big lead in a tough loss for the second consecutive week. Texas led Oklahoma 28-7 before losing 55-48 last week.

Oklahoma State allowed Texas just 317 total yards. Warren finished with 193 yards rushing in 33 carries, pounding out 154 yards in the second-half rally.

Robinson led the Longhorns with 135 yards in 21 carries.

No. 13 Mississippi 31, at Tennessee 26

Mississippi (5-1, 2-1 SEC) held off Tennessee (4-3, 2-2) after Rebels coach Lane Kiffin avoided being hit by golf balls as Volunteers fans pelted the field with objects in the chaotic final minutes.

Ole Miss stopped Tennessee a yard shy of a first down on a fourth-and-24 pass with just more than a minute left. After that play, and the review that confirmed the spot of the ball, Tennessee fans pelted the field with objects. The Volunteers’ cheerleaders, dance team and band were ordered out of the stadium, and police cleared the student section.

Play resumed after about a 20-minute delay.

“I don’t know if I’m more excited that we found a way to win or that I didn’t get hit with the golf balls that they were throwing at me,” former Volunteers coach Kiffin told the SEC Network, holding up a yellow golf ball.

Matt Corral threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 195 yards for Mississippi. Hendon Hooker threw for 233 yards and a touchdown for Tennessee and rushed for 108 yards and a score.

Auburn 38, at No. 17 Arkansas 23

Bo Nix threw for 292 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, Auburn’s defense contributed a score and a key fourth-down stop in the third quarter, and the Tigers (5-2, 2-1 SEC) upset the Razorbacks (4-3, 1-3).

Auburn won its sixth straight in the series and handed Arkansas its third consecutive loss.

The Tigers took a third-quarter lead when Derick Hall sacked and stripped Arkansas’ KJ Jefferson in the end zone and Marcus Harris pounced on the ball for the touchdown. On the next series, Harris stuffed Jefferson on an attempted fourth-down conversion at the Auburn 29-yard line. One play later, Nix found Demetris Robertson for a 71-yard score.

The Tigers flipped a three-point deficit into an 11-point lead in just more than three minutes.

Jefferson went 21 for 35 for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 66 yards in 18 carries but was sacked three times.

at Utah 35, No. 18 Arizona State 21

Utah quarterback Cameron Rising scores against Arizona State on Oct. 16, 2021.
Utah quarterback Cameron Rising scores against Arizona State in the first half.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Cameron Rising threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, rallying the Utes (4-2, 3-0 Pac-12) to a victory over the Sun Devils (5-2, 3-1).

Rising added 59 yards and a touchdown in six carries. Tavion Thomas ran for 84 yards and a score. Utah took over sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 South and is the last unbeaten team in conference play.

Jayden Daniels threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns to lead Arizona State. Daniels rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown. The Sun Devils surrendered 28 unanswered points after halftime.

Utah scored on four straight drives in the second half to erase a 14-point halftime deficit.

Anthony Brown scored on an 11-yard keeper with 4:50 remaining, and No. 9 Oregon held off surprisingly tenacious California 24-17 on Friday night.

Oct. 16, 2021

at Baylor 38, No. 19 Brigham Young 24

Abram Smith ran for 188 yards with three touchdowns, Baylor linebacker and part-time fullback Dillon Doyle scored on both of his offensive touches, and the Bears (6-1) beat the future Big 12 foe Cougars (5-2).

Baylor led by only three points midway through the third quarter before Doyle caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Gerry Bohanon. Smith ran for a seven-yard score about 3½ minutes later to make it 31-14, after TJ Franklin’s sack that forced a fumble by BYU quarterback Jaren Hall.

Last month, BYU accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference starting in the 2023 season. The Cougars have lost back-to-back games after a 5-0 start that included three wins over Pac-12 teams and peaking at No. 10 in the Associated Press top 25.

Hall finished 22-for-31 passing for 342 yards and had a nifty 56-yard touchdown run.

at Louisiana State 49, No. 20 Florida 42

Tyrion Davis-Price ran for a Louisiana State-record 287 yards and had three touchdowns, and a banged-up defense for the Tigers (4-3, 2-2 SEC) came up with four interceptions against the Gators (4-3, 2-3).

The stirring performance produced thunderous roars from a Death Valley crowd that came in with low expectations after unranked LSU dropped its previous two games against Auburn and Kentucky, fueling speculation that coach Ed Orgeron’s hold on his job was tenuous at best.

After Damone Clark’s interception of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson’s pass, Davis-Price literally and fittingly ran out the final 1:59 on the Gators. Price ran for two more first downs and broke the previous LSU single-game rushing record of 285 yards by Derrius Guice.

The Tigers’ Max Johnson passed for 133 yards and three touchdowns — all to Jaray Jenkins.

No. 21 Texas A&M 35, at Missouri 14

Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller, left, runs past Missouri defensive back Shawn Robinson during the first quarter.
(L.G. Patterson / Associated Press)

Texas A&M’s running back duo of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane combined for 292 rushing yards and three touchdowns to power the Aggies (5-2, 2-2 SEC) past the Tigers (3-4, 0-3).

Spiller rushed 20 times for 168 yards and one touchdown, and Achane added 16 carries for 124 yards and two scores to help Texas A&M avoid a letdown after last week’s upset of Alabama.

Missouri has the nation’s worst run defense — allowing 287 yards rushing per game — and it offered little resistance.

The Aggies’ Zach Calzada completed 13 of 25 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns — both to Ainias Smith.

No. 22 North Carolina State 33, at Boston College 7

Devin Leary scrambled free and threw a jump pass to Thayer Thomas, who took it 79 yards for a touchdown to help the Wolfpack (5-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) run away from the Eagles (4-2, 0-2).

Leary threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns, also completing a 40-yard scoring pass on the opening drive on a throw that bounced off the back of the defender before Devin Carter gathered it in.

N.C. State also scored when Boston College punter Grant Carlson muffed the snap and Devan Boykin picked up the ball and ran in from 34 yards out.

at Colorado 34, Arizona 0

Colorado linebacker Carson Wells celebrates as he scores a touchdown Oct. 16, 2021, in Boulder, Colo.
Colorado linebacker Carson Wells celebrates scoring a touchdown on an interception return.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The Buffaloes (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) scored touchdowns on a blocked punt and an interception in their win over the Wildcats (0-6, 0-3) that extended the nation’s longest losing streak to 18 games.

Stumbling since a season-opening rout of Northern Colorado, Colorado shook off its four-game losing streak thanks to Trevor Woods’ 36-yard scoop-and-score of the punt he blocked and defensive end Carson Wells’ 50-yard interception return for a touchdown on consecutive Arizona possessions.

Brendon Lewis followed up with a 62-yard scoring strike to Brenden Rice that put the Buffaloes ahead 27-0 late in the third quarter.

Lewis finished 12 for 19 for 248 yards and two touchdowns, and Rice caught three passes for 111 yards.

at Washington State 34, Stanford 31

Max Borghi scored on a two-yard run with 1:30 left in the game as the Cougars (4-3, 3-2 Pac-12) came back to beat the Cardinal (3-4, 2-3) in what was possibly the last game for Washington State coach Nick Rolovich because of his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

The state of Washington has set a deadline of Monday for all public employees — including the Cougars’ coach — to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Rolovich has applied for a religious exemption, and his future with the team hangs on the answer.

Borghi’s winning score was set up by a 41-yard pass reception by Calvin Jackson Jr. Borghi finished with 89 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Jayden de Laura threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns for Washington State, which won its third straight game and holds a five-game winning streak against Stanford.

Austin Jones and Benjamin Yurosek caught touchdown passes for the Cardinal.