The 10th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers struggled through the first half of its home game with a combative Northwestern team Saturday, but they struck for two third-quarter touchdowns and another in the fourth to come away with a hard-fought 33-24 triumph.
The Badgers lost a fumble on their first play from scrimmage, and quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw two interceptions in the opening half. That allowed Northwestern to take a 10-7 halftime lead.
However, the Badgers came out with a strong purpose in the third quarter, stopping the Wildcats on their opening possession, and they regained the lead when Jonathan Taylor scored on an 11-yard run on the team's first possession of the third quarter. Wisconsin came right back to add to its lead when Hornibrook threw a five-yard TD pass to Danny Davis III.
Wisconsin scored its third touchdown of the second half when Natrell Jamerson returned a Clayton Thorson interception 36 yards for a touchdown. Thorson took the blame for that score.
"There [are] no ifs, ands or buts about it," Thorson said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "I've got to throw it away."
The Wisconsin defense brought the heat on Thorson throughout the game. The Badgers registered 10 sacks in the game, and they closed out the game when they hammered the Northwestern signal-caller down in the end zone for a safety.
It wasn't a surprise to see the seventh-ranked Georgia defeat Tennessee, and the Bulldogs made a statement in the process.
Georgia went on the road and dominated the Volunteers, winning 41-0 and taking their rivals apart in a decisive manner.
The Bulldogs had a huge edge on the ground, outgaining the Vols 294-62 for the game. Star running back Nick Chubb led the way with 109 and a 6.9 yards-per-carry average.
The Bulldogs have regularly fallen short in their biggest games, but this year's team may be writing a different story than college football fans are used to seeing.
Big Ten Network @BigTenNetwork
This man's just from another planet. Saquon Barkley's encore after last week's performance? A 98-yard TD return ON THE OPENING KICK: https://t.co/OfpOTrZNA42017-9-30 19:41:57
Top 25 Scores and Stats
No. 4 Penn State 45, Indiana 14: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley: 98-yard KO return for TD, one passing TD and one rushing TD.
No. 7 Georgia 41, Tennessee 0: Georgia: 264-62 advantage in rushing yards; Nick Chubb records 109 rushing yards.
No. 10 Wisconsin 33, Northwestern 24: Wisconsin averages 9.9 yards per pass; Northwestern averages 4.9 yards per pass.
No. 17 Louisville 55, Murray State 10: Louisville had a 676-80 advantage in total yards.
No. 18 South Florida 61, East Carolina 31: South Florida put up 390 rushing yards; four players recorded 65 rushing yards or more.
No. 21 Florida 38, Vanderbilt 24: Florida had a 218-46 edge in rushing yards.
Stars of the Week
Wisconsin LB Garret Dooley
The Wisconsin defense decided to send a loud-and-clear message to the rest of the Big Ten with its performance against Northwesetern.
The Badgers did not give Wildcats quarterback Thorson any room to breathe. They were all over him from start to finish, sacked him eight times and also intercepted the quarterback twice.
Nobody did more to punish Thorson and the Northwestrn offense than Garret Dooley. He registered eight tackles, including three of the solo variety. Dooley recorded 3.0 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss as he was simply too quick and powerful for Northwestern's blockers.
Florida RB Malik Davis
The Gators were fully dependent on their running game against the Vanderbilt Commodores, and Malik Davis was more than happy to do his part.
Florida lost quarterback Luke Del Rio to a broken left collarbone, so Davis was instrumental in a strong showing against Vanderbilt.
Davis carried the ball 17 times for 124 yards, and he also scored two touchdowns. He was complemented by Lamical Perine, who added 58 rushing yards and three more rushing TDs.
Louisville QB Lamar Jackson
While the competition from Murray State may not have been the stiffest, it's difficult not to be impressed with Lamar Jackson's achievements.
The quarterback completed 18 of 26 passes for 249 yards and three TD passes. He also ran the ball seven times for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 2016 and is making a case for scooping the award again this year. He has thrown for 1,636 yards and 13 touchdowns with just three interceptions this season.