Michigan State routs Northwestern to clinch Legends Division; early Snap Judgments
• No. 15 Michigan State 30, Northwestern 6: The Spartans will host Minnesota in their regular-season finale next weekend, but after a dominant victory over the Wildcats, they might have another opponent on their minds: Ohio State.
Michigan State clinched the Big Ten Legends Division with a 30-6 thumping of Northwestern, a result that guarantees the Spartans a spot in the conference championship game on Dec. 7. Coach Mark Dantonio’s team will meet the Buckeyes in Indianapolis.
On Saturday, Michigan State’s vaunted defense held the Wildcats to just 319 yards of total offense, including 80 rushing yards on 26 carries (3.1 yards per attempt). Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter left the game in the first quarter after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Spartans safety Isaiah Lewis, and while backup Trevor Siemian passed for 227 yards, he also threw two interceptions to cornerback Darqueze Dennard and safety Kurtis Drummond. The Wildcats have now dropped seven straight games since they opened the season 4-0.
Meanwhile, Michigan State’s offense looked sharp. Quarterback Connor Cook completed 16-of-23 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns, and tailback Jeremy Langord carried 25 times for 150 yards and two scores. The Spartans, who came in averaging 377 yards per game, gained 464 yards of total offense. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 25 Duke 28, Wake Forest 24: Coach David Cutcliffe’s Blue Devils are one step closer to securing a trip to the ACC title game. After falling behind the Demon Deacons 14-0 early in the second quarter, Duke stormed back to earn its seventh straight win. Quarterback Anthony Boone completed 24-of-29 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns, while Wake Forest mustered only 244 yards of total offense and committed two turnovers. The Blue Devils’ eight victories match their school single-season record, and a win next Saturday at North Carolina would lock up a spot for them in Charlotte opposite Florida State. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 22 Oklahoma 41, Kansas State 31: Bob Stoops passed Barry Switzer as the winningest coach in Sooners history. Stoops won his 157th game thanks largely to a big day from running back Brennan Clay. Clay rushed for a career-high 200 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Trevor Knight stepped in for an injured Blake Bell and accounted for 253 total yards (171 passing, 82 rushing) and two scores. Oklahoma was able to overcome a monster performance from Wildcats wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who caught 12 passes for a school-record 278 yards — 206 in the first half — and three touchdowns.
• No. 7 Clemson 52, Citadel 6: Tajh Boyd didn’t disappoint in his final home game at Clemson. The Tigers’ redshirt senior quarterback tossed five first-half touchdowns and completed 21-of-28 passes for 288 yards. Boyd has now thrown five touchdown passes on six different occasions in his career, tying a school record. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 21 Louisville 24, Memphis 17: The Cardinals’ offense needed some time to get going, but it came alive in time to take down the Tigers on Saturday. Louisville didn’t score an offensive touchdown until late in the second quarter, but quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed passes to 10 different receivers. The Cardinals won their fourth straight game since they lost a 38-35 heartbreaker to UCF on Oct. 18. [RECAP | BOX]
• Cincinnati 24, Houston 17: Are the Bearcats the most overlooked nine-win team in the country? Cincinnati won its sixth straight as quarterback Brendon Kay threw for 386 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for another score. The Cougars, who opened the season 7-1, have now lost three in a row. [RECAP | BOX]
• Iowa 24, Michigan 21: The Hawkeyes charged back from a 21-7 halftime deficit to clinch a winning season one year after they went 4-8. Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock threw three interceptions, but completed 18-of-29 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns. The Hawkeyes held Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner to a meager 110 total yards (98 passing, 12 rushing). [RECAP | BOX]
• North Carolina 80, Old Dominion 20: Midway through the third quarter, the Tar Heels had already set program records for points and touchdowns in a single game. North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams completed 20-of-27 passes for 409 yards and five touchdowns, as the Tar Heels rolled to 721 yards of total offense (an average of 10.6 yards per play). [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 1 Alabama 49, Chattanooga 0: AJ McCarron became with winningest quarterback in Crimson Tide history with his 36th victory as a starter. Alabama cruised past the Mocs behind McCarron’s 171 passing yards and two touchdowns. The senior improved to 36-2 as a starter, passing Jay Barker for the school record. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide’s defense held Chattanooga to 175 yards of total offense. [RECAP | BOX]
• Harvard 34, Yale 7: Crimson receiver Paul Stanton Jr. caught two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores as Harvard upended the Bulldogs for the seventh consecutive time in The Game. [RECAP | BOX]