Snap Judgments from the Week 8 early slate. For more, check out midday Snaps, late Snaps, our coverage of South Carolina-Florida, Kansas State-West Virginia, Oregon-Arizona State and our complete Top 25 review.
• No. 7 Ohio State 29, Purdue 22 (OT). Braxton Miller has been knocked out of games before. Buckeyes backup quarterback Kenny Guiton had seen action in five of Ohio State's seven games prior to Saturday, whether in mop-up duty or in temporary relief for an injured Miller. Guiton is a junior, albeit one with very limited meaningful game experience, but tonight in Columbus he'll be something of a local hero.
In the final minute of the third quarter, at the end of a 37-yard run, Miller was tackled hard and had to be helped off the field. He was taken to a local hospital, the nature and severity of his condition undisclosed at the time, although it has since been reported that he is symptom free and will return from the hospital soon. Still, even prior to being knocked out, Miller was having one of his worst statistical outings of the season. Through three quarters, he recorded just 47 rushing yards on 12 carries, completed 9-of-20 passes for 113 yards, fumbled twice and threw a pick.
At the time Miller went down, the Buckeyes trailed the Boilermakers 20-14 behind three explosive Purdue plays: an 83-yard touchdown pass from Caleb TerBush to Akeem Shavers on the first play from scrimmage, a 100-yard Akeem Hunt kickoff return at the end of the first quarter and a 31-yard TerBush pass to Gary Bush. Ohio State might have been even further behind had a 34-yard Paul Griggs' field goal attempt not been blocked on the previous drive. The Buckeyes dug themselves a little deeper with a missed 50-yard field goal attempt on the ensuing drive, but they held the Boilermakers near midfield -- only to be pinned at the one-yard line by Purdue's punt. Ohio State then committed a safety thanks to a block in the back in the end zone.
So you're a backup quarterback, down 22-14 in the fourth quarter, to a conference opponent, at home. What do you do, hotshot? If you're Guiton, the answer is "throw an interception, then lead a touchdown drive in the final minute, tie the game on a two-point conversion pass and lead another touchdown drive in overtime for the win." Carlos Hyde rushed in the Buckeyes' winning score from one yard out. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 6 LSU 24, Texas A&M 19. So, so close, Johnny Manziel. So perilously close. Let it be known that Manziel's third interception didn't even appear to be his fault, at least from the angle we saw it on the television, as it looked more like a well-thrown ball that just happened to bounce out from between the hands of receiver Mike Evans. The rest of the game, however, was pure Johnny Random Football Generator: 29-of-56 passing for 282 yards to go with 27 yards rushing. Zach Mettenberger, for those of you scoring at home, was 11-of-29 passing for 97 yards to go with -10 yards on the ground. LSU's player of the game: Jeremy Hill, with 18 carries for 127 yards.
Manziel scrambled out of bounds deep in his own territory with A&M trailing by five points with one second remaining on the clock. But you can't fault the Aggies for moxie with what happened next: Manziel scrambled, running a complete circle around a defender, then completed a pass, which turned into seven subsequent laterals. It was ultimately unsuccessful, but still a delight to watch. You lost today, kid. But that doesn't mean you have to like it. (Settles Indiana Jones' fedora on Manziel's head.) [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 14 Clemson 38, Virginia Tech 17. Five sacks, while exasperating, don't endanger the game too much when one's opponent cannot score. Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins combined for 152 receiving yards on nine receptions; Andre Ellington had a 96-yard rushing performance; and Tajh Boyd went 10-of 19 for 160 yards, a touchdown and an interception. [BOX | RECAP]
• Vanderbilt 17, Auburn 13. No, wait, it gets worse: Auburn loses Philip Lutzenkirchen and Avery Young for the rest of the season. We will particularly miss watching Lutzenkirchen, who seemed to have the power in seasons past to make touchdowns materialize through personal magnetism. It's not going to be the same without him around these parts. [BOX | RECAP]