No. 1 Ohio State 56, No. 13 Michigan 27
The Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0) and the Michigan Wolverines (9-3) took to the gridiron last Saturday afternoon for the 116th installment of what many consider the fiercest rivalry in college football. The rivalry’s history weaves a unique tapestry of grit, pride and utter disdain for anyone on the other side of the ball. Even the most perfect season is sullied by a loss in “The Game,” and for this reason players from each side play as if their lives depend on the contest’s outcome. For the past seven seasons, the Buckeyes had tormented the Wolverines by rattling off an impressive string of victories; this Saturday was no different. The top-ranked Buckeye squad thundered past the Wolverines, putting an exclamation mark on their perfect regular season campaign with a resounding 56-27 victory. Ohio State’s stars sparkled once again, as Justin Fields aired it out for 302 yards and four touchdowns and J.K. Dobbins churned out an absurd 211 yards to go with four touchdowns of his own. The Buckeyes now turn their gaze toward Indianapolis and the Wisconsin Badgers as they prepare to lock up another Big Ten title, while Michigan suffers yet another bitter defeat at the hands of their archrival.
No. 5 Alabama 45, No. 15 Auburn 48
Nick Saban’s squad looked to put the finishing touches on another excellent season as they clashed with the Auburn Tigers (9-3) Saturday afternoon. The annual meeting of these two sides is an occasion widely anticipated by sports fans everywhere; with two SEC heavyweights duking it out in a top-tier rivalry, the contest rarely disappoints. Viewers were given all they could hope for this weekend, as the Tigers emerged from the chaos with a spectacular three-point victory, during which the lead was snatched and surrendered several times by each side. While Auburn’s offense performed shakily, the defense picked up the slack, twice intercepting Alabama (10-2) quarterback Mac Jones and scampering across the opposite goal line. Special teams play once again proved to be the proverbial thorn in Alabama’s side; kicker Joseph Bulovas failed to split the uprights on a 30-yard field goal that would have evened the score late in the fourth. With the loss, Alabama’s College Football Playoff hopes vanish, while Auburn picks up its ninth win of the season in dramatic fashion.
No. 12 Wisconsin 38, No. 8 Minnesota 17
The stakes were high in Minneapolis Saturday afternoon as the Badgers (10-2) and Golden Gophers (10-2) battled for a berth in the upcoming Big Ten title game. Minnesota was unsuccessful in the quest for their eleventh win of the season as they were routed on their home turf at the hands of their greatest rival. The Gophers failed to contain standout Badger halfback Johnathan Taylor, as he found the end zone twice in another impressive performance. While Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan collected nearly 300 passing yards along with a pair of touchdowns, the rest of the offense sputtered at the hands of the rigid Wisconsin defense. The Badgers surrendered just 76 yards on the ground and held the Minnesota ball carriers without a single touchdown. With the victory, Wisconsin advances to the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis where they will collide for the second time with Justin Fields and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
No. 7 Oklahoma 34, No. 21 Oklahoma State 16
Chaos and hostility awaited the Sooners as they traveled to Stillwater to lock horns with their in-state rival under the lights on Saturday. The two sides traded blows for the first 30 minutes, until Oklahoma’s defense roared to life and held Oklahoma State without a point for the entirety of the second half. Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts did a little bit of everything, scoring through the air and on the ground as his squad collected a crucial road victory. Oklahoma halfback Kennedy Brooks navigated the turf with ease, cruising past the Cowboys defense for a smooth 160 yards and a critical touchdown late in the third quarter. While Heisman candidate Chuba Hubbard ground out a solid performance as well (104 rushing yards, one touchdown), a lack of production from quarterback Dru Brown diminished the efficiency of Oklahoma State’s offense. With the victory, Oklahoma’s playoff hopes remain intact — their fate depending on the outcome of their upcoming battle with the Baylor Bears, who they defeated earlier in the season.