Ohio State was off this week, but that doesn’t mean your customary helping of college football madness went unserved over the weekend.
There’s still plenty to recap, dissect and discuss in our weekly stock report roundup, not least of which being the biggest upset in the sport, which just so happened to take place in the Big Ten.
Purdue knocked off No. 2 Iowa to shake things up in the Big Ten West, and there’s no better starting point when it comes to teams that vaulted their stock into a higher bracket on Saturday.
It doesn’t matter if they’re unranked. If there’s one squad no top-two team in college football should want to face – regardless of the year – it’s the Boilermakers.
After handing Iowa a sound 24-7 beating on the road this weekend, Purdue now has the most wins over top-two teams in the AP Top 25 Poll as an unranked team in college football history, with nine such victories to the program’s credit. No other team has more than four. It was the 13th occasion on which Purdue has beaten a top-two team in general, and the second in just the past four years, as Ohio State fans will remember not-so-fondly.
This time it was David Bell, not Rondale Moore, that delivered the goods from the wide receiver position for the Boilermakers, as the 2020 first-team All-Big Ten honoree raked in 240 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches in the 17-point win.
We could watch @DB3LL's performance vs. No. 2 Iowa on repeat— Purdue On BTN (@PurdueOnBTN) October 17, 2021
11 Rec, 240 Yards, 1 TD
Recorded 200+ Rec Yards for First Time in Career
Tied @BoilerFootball Record for Most Career 100-Yard Receiving Games (14)
37 Rec, 558 Yards, 5 TD in Career vs. Iowa pic.twitter.com/9ZeSSfJP17
Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell, ever capable of a monster day in the passing game, finished with his second straight 370-yard performance through the air, completing 30 of 40 pass attempts for a season-high 375 yards and two scores. O’Connell tacked on another touchdown on the ground to cap off a memorable showing.
Now at 4-2 for the year, Purdue snuck into the AP Poll for a No. 25 ranking to mark the program’s first appearance in the poll since 2007.
Oklahoma has found its man at quarterback.
After leading a jaw-dropping comeback off the bench against Texas the week prior, Caleb Williams’ first start as a Sooner shot his Heisman Trophy odds straight into most top-10 lists on Saturday.
In a 52-31 win over TCU, the true freshman went 18-for-23 with 295 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. Williams added a 41-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give him a fifth total score, and the dual-threat weapon now has touchdown runs of at least 40 yards in each of the past two games.
He may only have 59 pass attempts under his belt at the college level, but Williams has the highest Pro Football Focus position grade (94.3) out of any quarterback in the country. When Oklahoma fans began chanting for Williams during Spencer Rattler’s struggles just a few weeks ago, it seemed a bit premature. Now though, Williams looks like the next star Sooner quarterback with nothing but time and potential on his hands.
The TCU win gave Oklahoma its widest margin of victory since beating Western Carolina 76-0 Week 2, and the Sooners are sitting pretty with a 7-0 record and the No. 3 ranking in the AP Poll.
Oklahoma’s not the only undefeated Big 12 team this season, as Mike Gundy’s Cowboys have quietly climbed to 6-0 and into the AP Top 10.
Despite entering Saturday’s matchup ranked 13 spots ahead of then-No. 25 Texas in the AP Poll, Oklahoma State was actually the underdog in the contest. But with a 16-0 run in the fourth quarter and a streak of 19 unanswered points to end the game, the Cowboys handed Texas its second deflating loss to a team from the state of Oklahoma in as many weeks.
Oklahoma State’s first three wins of the season were far from impressive. The Cowboys beat Missouri State by just a touchdown before a five-point win against Tulsa and a 21-20 victory at unranked Boise State. The past three wins, however, have each come against ranked opponents, with Oklahoma State beating Kansas State, Texas and Baylor in consecutive weeks.
The runway might be clear for the Cowboys to remain undefeated until at least their regular season finale, as Oklahoma State doesn’t have another ranked opponent on the docket before its showdown with Oklahoma on Nov. 27.
If not for Williams’ sudden emergence at Oklahoma, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett would be the highest-rated quarterback in the country, per PFF.
Pickett’s 241-total-yard, three-touchdown performance in Pitt’s 28-7 win over Virginia Tech this past weekend was not his finest of the year, but it was yet another rock-solid showing in what has become a dark horse Heisman Trophy campaign.
Only 10 QBs in the country have more passing yards than Pickett’s 1,934, and of the six players that have thrown 20 touchdowns so far this season, he’s the only one who has just one interception. Pickett is also among the nation’s top 10 in completion percentage (69.8), and his 181.8 passer rating ranks behind only C.J. Stroud and Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall.
The 23rd-ranked Panthers are actually 3.5-point favorites to beat Clemson in their forthcoming matchup, and Pickett’s play is a chief reason why.
Ed O’s repeated appearances in the stock report (and not on the good side) have foreshadowed the inevitable for several weeks now.
Still, the news that Orgeron is out at LSU seemed strange in that it came directly after the Tigers notched an upset win over then-No. 20 Florida this past weekend. Perhaps the timing didn’t seem quite as out of place when further details regarding Orgeron’s demise as head coach came to light.
Orgeron will be around for the remainder of the season, but no upset win or homestretch turnaround will allow the 2019 national championship-winning coach to unseal his ultimate fate in Baton Rouge.
A Letter from Scott Woodward, LSU's Director of Athletics pic.twitter.com/eVGmqqIRbK— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 17, 2021
It looked like Iowa had already cleared its most difficult regular-season challenge when the Hawkeyes came out of Oct. 9’s matchup with then-No. 4 Penn State victorious.
But in an ultimate letdown game this past weekend, the Hawkeyes stumbled against unranked Purdue to lose both their undefeated status and No. 2 ranking in the AP Poll simultaneously. In one fell swoop, Iowa went from the class of the conference to the fifth-highest ranked team in the Big Ten, dropping to No. 11 in the AP Poll behind Ohio State (No. 5), Michigan (No. 6), Penn State (No. 7) and Michigan State (No. 9).
Hawkeye quarterback Spencer Petras had a particularly regrettable evening in the 24-7 loss, throwing for just 195 yards and no touchdowns while tossing twice as many interceptions (four) as he had all season up to that point.
Iowa’s impotent offense finally caught up with it, and Purdue put up more total yards on the Hawkeye defense than any team this season.
Maybe Rutgers is still just Rutgers after all.
Word of a total program turnaround had been trumpeted from the Piscataway mountaintops following the Scarlet Knights’ 3-0 start to the year, and even a 20-13 loss to Michigan appeared to be a promising sign.
Since then, Greg Schiano and company have only continued to slide, as Rutgers has now lost four games in a row since beginning Big Ten play.
You’ll excuse the Scarlet Knights for losses to Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State, but this past weekend’s 21-7 defeat to a mediocre Northwestern team was no doubt the worst of the bunch. Duke, a team that just lost 48-0 to Virginia, has a win over Northwestern this season, and Nebraska (1-4 in league play) beat the Wildcats by nearly 50 points.
Any praise for Rutgers’ supposed reformation has come to a halt in a hurry, but the Scarlet Knights’ stock will really take a nosedive if they fail to get past Illinois after a bye this week.
Volunteers fans are fed up, and they let the whole country know about it Saturday.
Bottles, boxes, cans and condiments came flying from the stands – and many in the direction of former Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin – after Vols tight end Jacob Warren was ruled to be inches short of converting a 4th-and-24 in the fourth quarter of a frustrating home loss to Ole Miss.
The field at Tennessee pic.twitter.com/SZXhC0YovW— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 17, 2021
The incident created nearly a half-hour stoppage in play, and ended up costing the Tennessee program a $250,000 fine from the SEC thereafter.
Whatever the intended effect, the incident succeeded in being a general embarrassment for all parties involved, and a memorable one at that.