No. 4 Ohio State laid another beating on an overmatched conference foe, and No. 24 Michigan State took control of the Big Ten’s other division with a rout of Michigan.
The Buckeyes, coming off 49-point victory over Penn State, crushed Purdue 56-0 in West Lafayette, Ind. Ohio State has won 21 straight and has been far and away the Big Ten’s most impressive team.
The Buckeyes appear to be cruising toward a Leaders Division title and their first Big Ten title game. They have a one-game lead over Wisconsin, a team they’ve already beaten, and have games left against Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
Michigan State and the nation’s No. 1 defense were even more impressive. The Spartans pummeled their rivals 29-6 in East Lansing, Mich., and have a game and a half lead in the Legends Division. Michigan State plays second-place Nebraska in two weeks. The Huskers kept pace by beating Northwestern 27-24 on a last-play touchdown pass.
No. 4 OHIO STATE 56, PURDUE 0
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Doran Grant picked off Purdue’s first pass, returning it for a touchdown, and Braxton Miller threw for 233 yards and four touchdowns as Ohio State extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 21.
The Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) have not lost in 22 months. Coach Urban Meyer also won his 22nd straight game, tying a personal best established at Florida. Ohio State scored the most points and produced the most lopsided scoring margin in the 56-game history of this series. Both topped the marks set in Ohio State’s 49-0 victory in 2010.
Purdue (1-7, 0-4) lost its sixth in a row.
Gray’s interception helped the Buckeyes take a 28-0 lead after one quarter, and they extended it to 42-0 at the half.
No. 24 MICHIGAN STATE 29, No. 23 MICHIGAN 6
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Shilique Calhoun, Ed Davis and the rest of Michigan State’s defense battered rival Michigan, and the Spartans remained unbeaten in the Big Ten.
Michigan State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) has won five of the last six meetings with the Wolverines, and this was the Spartans’ most lopsided win in the series since 1967. They held Michigan (6-2, 2-2) to minus-48 yards rushing, the worst output in the Ann Arbor program’s history.
Connor Cook threw for a touchdown and ran for one, but this game belonged to Michigan State’s defense, which solidified its spot among the nation’s best with an overwhelming performance on a rainy afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
Calhoun and Davis each had 2½ sacks.
No. 9 CLEMSON 59, VIRGINIA 10
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Tajh Boyd threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score and Clemson broke the game open with three touchdowns in the last 4:18 of the first half.
The Hampton, Va., native became the Atlantic Coast Conference’s career leader in touchdown-making with a 33-yard pass to Sammy Watkins to start the scoring for the Tigers (8-1, 6-1 ACC). It broke a tie at 112 TDs with North Carolina State’s Philip Rivers. Boyd later added TD throws of 10 yards to Roderick McDowell and 96 yards to Watkins, and scored on a 1-yard run 13 seconds before halftime to make it 35-7.
Virginia (2-7, 0-5) lost its sixth in a row and for the 15th time in its last 19 games. It also suffered its second 59-10 loss at home this season, having lost by the same score against No. 2 Oregon in the second week of the season.
No. 14 SOUTH CAROLINA 34, MISSISSIPPI STATE 16
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Connor Shaw threw for four touchdowns, Mike Davis ran for 128 yards to move past 1,000 yards this season and South Carolina tied a school record with its 15th straight home victory.
Shaw matched his personal best for TD throws after missing two days of practice with a virus. Davis, the SEC’s leading rusher, had his seventh game reaching the century mark and became the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Marcus Lattimore gained 1,197 yards his freshman season three years ago.
South Carolina (7-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) won its seventh in row over the Bulldogs (4-4, 1-3) and tied the record for consecutive victories at Wlliams-Brice Stadium, equaling the mark set from 1978-80. The Gamecocks will get the chance to break the record in two weeks when they close league play at home against Florida.
No. 21 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 63, MASSACHUSETTS 19
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Jordan Lynch ran for 119 yards and four touchdowns and threw for another in just over a half to help Northern Illinois stay unbeaten.
The Huskies (9-0, 5-0 Mid-American Conference) scored touchdowns on their first five possessions and six of their seven drives in the first half. Cameron Stingily rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown, and Tommylee Lewis also ran one in for Northern Illinois.
Lynch, who leads all active FBS players in rushing yards, also completed 10 of 14 passes for 160 yards and threw for at least one touchdown for the 22nd consecutive game. He played one series in the third quarter.
No. 22 WISCONSIN 28, IOWA 9
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — James White ran for 132 yards and a pair of late touchdowns as Wisconsin won its third straight.
Joel Stave added two touchdown passes for the Badgers (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten), who are bowl eligible for the 12th year in a row.
Wisconsin’s Pat Muldoon intercepted Iowa backup C.J. Beathard at the Hawkeyes 25 with 7:43 left, setting up an 11-yard TD run by White.
White added a 2-yard touchdown with 1:35 left for the Badgers, who won despite a season-low 62 yards rushing from Melvin Gordon.
Hawkeyes quarterback Jake Rudock had 109 yards passing for the Hawkeyes (5-4, 2-3) before leaving the game in the third quarter with an apparent left leg injury.