This young team was coming off a 2-9 season. And last week it had a four-game winning streak broken at home against Richmond.
Now the Wildcats are 5-2, 3-1 in the CAA, heading to Georgia State (1-6, 1-3) and outgoing coach Bill Curry. The Panthers are coming off a 41-7 win at winless Rhode Island.
ODU is 5-1, 2-1. Taylor Heinicke, who had been and still could be the front-runner for the Walter Payton Award, threw for 239 and two scores. He was averaging 456 and four. That's what happens when the other team runs for 376, and keeps the ball for nearly 40 minutes.
John Robertson, one of the 16 candidates for the Jerry Rice Award as that level's top freshman, rushed for 189 and threw for 151. He accounted for four TDs.
The Wildcats, who won the second half 24-0, had twice as many first downs (30-15).
PENN 24, COLUMBIA 20
The Quakers were down 10 with under 8 minutes to play, at home, against a team that hadn't beaten them since 1996.
They scored twice in the final 7:27. The winning TD came on a 6-yard pass from Billy Ragone to running back Lyle Marsh with 50 seconds left.
Columbia, starting from its 35, then drove to the Penn 19 with 12 seconds to go. Following an incompletion, Sean Brackett hit Hamilton Green at the 2, where Dan Wilk made a game-saving tackle.
Penn is 2-3, 2-0 in the Ivy League. The Lions are 1-4, 0-2. The 16 consecutive wins over one opponent is the longest active annual streak in FCS.
On their go-ahead drive, the Quakers went 62 yards in eight plays. On fourth-and-7 from their 41, Ragone and Marsh hooked up for a 41-yard gain.
Ragone threw for three scores and had 66 of Penn's 96 on the ground.
Columbia, which finished with 142 more yards, was ahead 6-3 at the half.
The Quakers are at Yale (1-4, 0-2) next.
GOOD TO BE IRISH
The dream lives on.
Notre Dame, which hasn't given up a defensive TD since Sept. 8 against Purdue, beat Stanford at home in the rain in OT, 20-13, by stopping the Cardinal just short of the end zone. Well, maybe.
After ND got a TD on its possession, Stanford had a first and goal from the 4. Stepfan Taylor ran for a yard on first down, 2 on second (when it appeared he might have made it in) and inches on third. He got it one more time and hit a wall. Yet he kept turning and moving with bodies underneath him, his knee never hitting the ground, before reaching the ball just across the plane of the goal line. The officials ruled it was too late. So they went to the replay booth, which upheld the call on the field.
Stanford had won the last three meetings, with Andrew Luck. Speaking of quarterbacks, former starter Tommy Rees had to come in after Everett Golson took a helmet to the head during ND's tying field-goal drive late in the fourth quarter. He had a 7-yard TD pass in OT, one play after completing a 16-yarder on third-and-8.
West Virginia's Geno Smith still hasn't thrown an interception, in 259 throws. But he had 26 incompletions in a 35-point loss at Texas Tech. That's only 12 fewer than he had in the first five games. Of course, it helps if your team also plays some defense once in a while, although that seems to be a theme in the Big 12 anymore.
It's the second straight year the Red Raiders have beaten a Top 10 team. In 2011 they did it to No. 3 Oklahoma on the road. This time they had 18 plays of 15 yards or more, getting TDs on five of seven first-half possessions. Seth Doege was intercepted once, after having five in the previous two games.
A week after they converted all five fourth-down tries in a 48-45 win at Texas, the Mountaineers went 1-for-6. Just like Old Dominion, they were averaging 52 a game.
Toledo 52, Eastern Michigan 47, in front of 2,837 in Ypsilanti. Toledo won the third quarter, 28-27. And EMU was ranked 121st in offense. The teams combined for 1,279 yards, and 536 on kickoff returns (but only 6 on punt runbacks).
Then there was once-beaten Texas A&M 59, previously unbeaten Louisiana Tech 57, in one that was postponed from Aug. 30 by Hurricane Isaac. Their total was 1,293 yards. The 116 points was the second-most between ranked teams.
DID YOU NOTICE?
* Two top five teams lost, after three went down last week.
* Oklahoma has scored 55 or more on Texas four times in 13 years, including the last two.
* Alabama has won 10 straight, all by 19 or more.
* Indiana has lost 21 straight Big Ten games to teams not named Purdue.
* Oregon State is 5-0 for the first time since 1939, as junior backup Cody Vaz threw for 322 yards at BYU in his first start since high school.
* Rutgers is 6-0 for the third time since 1976.
* Ohio State's last two games have both had a combined 101 points.
* Kansas State (fourth) has its highest ranking in 12 years.
* Ohio, at No. 25, is ranked for the first time since 1968, when the rankings only went to 20.
* Missouri sophomore Marcus Murphy ran a kickoff back for a TD. He also has scored on three punt returns.
* Auburn lost at Mississippi, which had lost 16 in a row in the SEC, by 21.
MIKE KERN'S TOP 10
1. Alabama (6-0). Beat Missouri, 42-10. Beat Tennessee five straight. It was 37-6 at home last year.
Saturday: at Tennessee.
2. Oregon (6-0). Idle. Won last four trips to Arizona State.
Thursday: at Arizona State.
3. Florida (6-0). Beat Vanderbilt, 31-17. Lost two straight to South Carolina.
Saturday: vs. South Carolina.
4. Kansas State (6-0). Beat Iowa State, 27-21. Hasn't played West Virginia since 1931.
Saturday: at West Virginia.
5. Notre Dame (6-0). Beat Stanford, 20-13, in overtime. Hasn't played Brigham Young since 2005.
Saturday: vs. BYU.
6. Louisiana State (6-1). Beat South Carolina, 23-21. Lost four straight at Texas A&M. Last meeting was 1995.
Saturday: at Texas A&M.
7. South Carolina (6-1). Lost at LSU, 23-21. Old Ball Coach faces another easy road trip.
Saturday: at Florida.
8. Georgia (5-1). Idle. Can't be looking ahead to Florida.
Saturday: at Kentucky.
9. Oklahoma (4-1). Beat Texas, 63-21. Can't be looking ahead to Notre Dame, though it won't matter.
Saturday: vs. Kansas.
10. Ohio State (7-0). Beat Indiana, 52-49. Can't be looking ahead to Penn State.
Saturday: vs. Purdue.
* West Virginia: It might be OK to lose at Texas Tech, but certainly not by 49-14.
* Texas: It's always OK to lose to Oklahoma, but it should never be by 63-21.
* Oklahoma: For throwing a touchdown pass to go up 56-8 with 7 minutes to go.
* Michigan State: Shouldn't be losing at home to Iowa.
* Duke: Always OK to lose at Virginia Tech, even when Tech isn't all that, especially when you're a hoops school. But it probably shouldn't be by 41-20 after you score the first 20.