#2 Iowa vs. Purdue
Purdue, WR David Bell continue dominance over No. 2 Iowa with stunning upset win
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Aidan O'Connell threw for 375 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, David Bell had a career-best 240 yards receiving, and Purdue continued its recent mastery over No. 2 Iowa with a 24-7 upset Saturday.
The Boilermakers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) have won four of their past five games against the Hawkeyes (6-1, 3-1). The loss ended Iowa's 12-game winning streak.
Purdue beat its highest-ranked opponent on the road since a victory at No. 2 Notre Dame in 1974. It was the second time in four seasons Purdue has knocked off a No. 2-ranked team. The Boilermakers won at home against a second-ranked Ohio State in 2018.
"Basically they outdid us in every category,'' Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "The bottom line is we didn't get it done."
O'Connell was 30-of-40 passing with two touchdowns, and he also ran for a score. He got the most work on a day when Purdue used backup quarterbacks Jack Plummer and Austin Burton in select situations. All three were in on different plays during the Boilermakers' first-quarter drive that ended with O'Connell's 6-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead.
"It was just so fun,'' O'Connell said, comparing the quarterback shuffle to line changes in hockey.
O'Connell threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to TJ Sheffield in the final minute of the first half to give Purdue a 14-7 halftime lead. He threw a 21-yard TD pass to Bell in the fourth quarter.
"Sometimes when you try to use some creativity, it works," Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said of the quarterback changes. "Sometimes it looks [bad]. We took some chances with it, and fortunately today it worked.''
Bell had 11 receptions. He has a combined 37 catches for 558 yards and five touchdowns against Iowa in three seasons.
"I think the reason he's been able to exploit them is he's one of the best receivers in the country," Brohm said.
O'Connell said the quiet Bell is "so destructive of a player for a defense.'' Bell didn't know how many yards he had until he heard it from his mother after the game.
"It was definitely nice hearing it from her," said Bell, who set a stadium record with his receiving yards.
Iowa's offense was ineffective against Purdue, which came in third in the Big Ten in total defense and scoring defense. The Hawkeyes' only score was a 3-yard touchdown run by Ivory Kelly-Martin in the second quarter, and Iowa had just 271 yards of offense.
"They made it tough on us,'' Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras said.
Iowa scored its fewest points at home since a 13-7 loss to Nebraska in 2012. The 17-point margin was Iowa's largest in a home loss since Wisconsin won 28-9 at Kinnick Stadium in 2013.
The Hawkeyes' defense, which came in leading the nation with 20 takeaways and a plus-15 turnover margin, had only one takeaway. That came in the third quarter when Sheffield, trying to dive for the end zone, had the ball slip out of his hand, hit the pylon and go out of bounds for a touchback.
Purdue intercepted Petras four times, the most picks thrown in a game by Iowa in 12 years.
"It's no fun losing,'' Petras said. "Credit to Purdue, they played well. We didn't do enough. It's definitely no fun.''
Though the loss was a major hit to Iowa's hopes of making the College Football Playoff, the Hawks still hold a half-game lead over Minnesota and Purdue in the Big Ten West.
"Our goals are all in front of us at this point,'' Petras said. "One thing we can't do is be undefeated, but everything else is out there for our taking. We've done a lot of good the first seven weeks, a lot of bad, most of that today. We have to regroup.''
Iowa trailed 7-0 after the first quarter. The Hawkeyes have been outscored 41-29 in first quarters this season, including 28-6 in the past three games.
The Hawkeyes, who had their highest ranking since 1985 after last week's 23-20 win over Penn State, should take a big fall in the rankings this week. Iowa has been in the top 10 since the second week of the season.
It was an uncharacteristic performance by Iowa's defense, which gave up its most passing yards since 2016 and most total yards at home since 2012. Now the Hawkeyes face back-to-back road games against Wisconsin and Northwestern. Iowa has lost seven of its last nine games to Wisconsin and four of its last five to Northwestern.
Purdue's offense showed some life. The Boilermakers had scored 13 points in each of its last three games, and Bell's 240 receiving yards were second-most by a Bowl Subdivision player this season.
Purdue: Hosts Wisconsin on Oct. 23.
Iowa: Visits Wisconsin on Oct. 30.
#10 Michigan State vs. Indiana
No. 10 Spartans stay perfect with 20-15 win at Indiana
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- — Matt Coghlin's 51-yard field goal to open the second half Saturday gave No. 10 Michigan State the lead and Payton Thorne's 12-yard touchdown pass provided the margin the Spartans needed to hold on for a 20-15 victory over Indiana.
The Spartans (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) will remain atop the conference's East Division at least two more weeks after reclaiming the Old Brass Spittoon.
And while this one certainly didn't follow the usual script — Kenneth Walker III, the nation's top rusher, carried 23 times for 84 yards and Michigan State punted its first six possessions — the Spartans still managed to hand the Hoosiers (2-4, 0-3) their third loss in four games.
Coghlin's field goal on Michigan State's first second-half possession made it 10-9 and Thorne's TD pass to Tyler Hunt with 1:49 left in the third extended the margin to 17-9. Coghlin's 49-yard field goal with 8:31 remaining sealed it.
Jack Tuttle started in place of injured Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. but the Hoosiers' offensive woes continued. The Hoosiers thought they had finally scored their first touchdown against league competition early in the fourth — only to have it overturned on replay review.
Two plays later, Stephen Carr plunged in from 1 yard out to make it 17-15. But Michigan State's defense stopped the 2-point conversion attempt.
The only first-half touchdown came on Cal Haladay's 30-yard interception return — the first for Michigan State since the 2019 Pinstripe Bowl.
Michigan State: Last week, the Spartans cracked the top 10 for the first time since September 2015. Saturday's victory may put them on the verge of matching their highest ranking (No. 8) in more than six years — just in time to take on rival No. 8 Michigan in two weeks.
Indiana: Maybe coach Tom Allen belongs on the CFP selection committee after a brutal first half schedule. The hard-luck Hoosiers have now lost road games to No. 2 Iowa and No. 7 Penn State and home games against No. 3 Cincinnati and the Spartans.
Michigan State: Has an open date before facing the Wolverines at home on Oct. 30.
Indiana: Hosts No. 6 Ohio State on Oct. 23.
Minnesota vs. Nebraska
Missed opportunities hurt Huskers in 30-23 loss to Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS -- — Tanner Morgan threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns and Bryce Williams rushed for 127 yards and another score on Saturday as Minnesota defeated Nebraska 30-23.
The Gophers dominated the first half, taking a 21-9 lead behind near-perfect passing from Morgan. But Nebraska (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) flipped the script in the second half, forcing two interceptions to get back into the game. However, a number of missed opportunities prevented the Huskers from taking the lead and allowed Minnesota (4-2, 2-1) to hang on.
"Little details got us beat," Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said. "I know the guys are kind of tired of hearing that. I'm tired of saying that, but that's what it is. We got to do little things a little bit better and get this much better."
Given short fields twice in the third quarter after Minnesota punts, the Huskers drove deep into Gophers territory but came up empty both times. First, the Gophers defense made three consecutive stops at the goal line to force a turnover on downs. Then Nebraska kicker Connor Culp missed a 27-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Huskers faced another decision midway through the fourth quarter when it was fourth-and-10 from the Minnesota 34. Trailing 21-16, Frost elected to go for it, but a heavy pass rush forced an incompletion and another turnover on downs.
"I'm proud of these guys for the way they came together," said Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck. "When the momentum was shifting, they didn't blink one bit. It wasn't going our way at times, but they never blinked."
Offensively, the Gophers were practically flawless in the first half. They scored touchdowns on three of their first four drives. The only blemish came early in the second quarter, after Minnesota had driven to the Nebraska 33. On second-and-8, the Gophers tried a trick play — a double-reverse flea flicker — that Huskers cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt blew up for a 12-yard loss. That possession ended with Minnesota missing a 50-yard field goal.
Morgan was 14-for-15 for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. He went on to set a school record with his 16th consecutive completion early in the third quarter, though his streak was snapped when Taylor-Britt picked off his next pass in the end zone.
Morgan's next pass was intercepted, too, and this time the Huskers took advantage. Safety Deontai Williams' pick set up Nebraska at the Gophers 45, and three plays later Rahmir Johnson scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run to cut Minnesota's lead to 21-16.
With five minutes to play and Minnesota leading 21-16, the Gophers punted instead of electing to go for it on fourth-and-1 near midfield. On first down from his own 11, Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez was wrapped up in the end zone by Esezi Otomewo. Martinez threw the ball away but was called for intentional grounding, resulting in a safety that made it 23-16.
Minnesota got the ball back after the safety and pushed its lead to 30-16 on a 56-yard touchdown run by Bryce Williams with 2:12 to play. Nebraska managed a late touchdown, but Minnesota recovered an onside kick to seal the victory.
The Huskers have lost five games this year by a total of 28 points. Their largest margin of defeat was an eight-point loss at Illinois in the season opener. They've also lost by seven at then-No. 3 Oklahoma, and by a field goal against ranked teams in Michigan and Michigan State.
"It's hard to point at one thing besides executing down there," Martinez said. "There's 11 guys on the offensive side. One guy can't make a mistake. Everyone's got to be on the same page. The amount of detail, attention to detail, it's something we've been working on. It's something we know is a focal point for us. We just have to keep pushing forward, have to continue to work on those things and go from there."
Gophers wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell has been in and out of the lineup this year, missing two full games and most of another with injuries. But he and Morgan showed what a devastating combo they can be on Saturday as they hooked up 11 times for 103 yards and a highlight-reel touchdown as Autman-Bell made a leaping catch in the corner of the end zone. His return to full health couldn't have come at a better time, according to Morgan.
"It's a huge difference, because of his leadership and obviously because of his playmaking," Morgan said. "The energy he brings to the field — 7 (Autman-Bell's number) really gets me going. Chris knows me really well, he knows how to get me motivated."
Nebraska: Culp, the reigning Big Ten kicker of the year, had a rough outing on Saturday. Despite making a 50-yard field goal, he missed an extra point in addition to pushing a 27-yard field goal attempt wide. Those misses loomed large as Frost kept his offense on the field twice on fourth downs in Minnesota territory.
Minnesota: The Gophers were playing their first game without running back Trey Potts, who became the main man in the backfield when Mohamed Ibrahim, the Big Ten's leading rusher last year, was lost for the season in Week 1. Potts had three straight 100-yard games before suffering a season-ending injury against Purdue. On Saturday, Williams emerged as the next man up, rushing for 127 yards on 17 carries.
Nebraska: The Huskers are off until Oct. 30, when they host Purdue.
Minnesota: The Gophers host Maryland on Saturday afternoon.
Northwestern vs. Rutgers
Hilinski’s two TD passes push Northwestern over Rutgers 21-7
By CASEY DROTTAR | Associated Press
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Ryan Hilinski threw for 267 yards and two touchdown passes on Saturday afternoon to boost Northwestern to a 21-7 victory over Rutgers.
Hilinski, making his third start since transferring from South Carolina, opened the scoring for the Wildcats (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) by capping off a 98-yard drive in the first quarter, hitting Malik Washington for a 64-yard touchdown pass. The completion — Hilinski's longest as a Wildcat — helped his team secure its first conference win of the season.
"I think one of the biggest things is that we're continuing to have fun," Hilinski said. "This is a game we played when we were 5 years old. I personally play best when I'm having fun and just recognizing that this is a game we've been playing our whole lives."
Washington plowed through a downfield defender on his touchdown grab and finished with 84 receiving yards on five catches. Fellow wideout Stephon Robinson Jr. had 115 yards, taking pressure off a Wildcats rushing attack that struggled to get going throughout the day. Often a key to Northwestern's offensive approach, the ground game combined for just 135 yards on 48 attempts.
"Really proud of the squad," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "The way they bounced back this game and these last couple weeks. I thought they put a ton of work in to get better fundamentally. We were able to carry our preparation over into the game."
Northwestern appeared to be a favorable matchup for the Scarlet Knights (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten), who were coming off three consecutive games against opponents currently ranked in the top 10. But with five of its first six drives ending in punts, Rutgers couldn't muster enough offense to avoid opening conference play with four straight losses. Though quarterback Noah Vedral hit all four of his passes on Rutgers' only scoring drive of the game, he put together an altogether inconsistent day, going 18 of 30 for 152 yards.
"It's very disappointing," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "We certainly have to assess where we are and why we're here, and see what we can do to fix it. Some of it is personnel, some of it is execution. We're trying to find an answer."
Marshall Lang added a 2-yard touchdown reception in the second and Andrew Clair's fourth-quarter TD run padded the lead for Northwestern, which led 14-7 at halftime.
The Scarlet Knights came up short on an opportunity to tighten the game in the third, as Valentino Ambrosio missed a 33-yard field goal after a delay of game penalty forced the team to scrap an attempt to go for it on fourth down.
Rutgers: After losing four straight, the Scarlet Knights' 3-0 start to the season is drifting further into the rear-view. Ending this skid will require improved play from a defense which has allowed a combined 1,531 yards over its last three games. Another shaky performance from Vedral means coach Schiano likely won't be dodging questions about a QB swap anytime soon. Rutgers will get a chance to regroup with a bye this coming week, followed by a visit to Illinois.
Northwestern: The Wildcats needed a win to salvage their season after being blown out by Nebraska on Oct. 2. They got one Saturday, thanks to Hilinski and improved play from a Wildcats defense that allowed just 222 total yards. While one strong showing against an average Rutgers offense won't solve all of Northwestern's defensive concerns, the performance can certainly serve as a building block. The Wildcats will need to maintain as much momentum from the victory as possible, as their next three weeks include games against two top-10 opponents in Michigan and Iowa.
Hilinski opened the year at third string for the Wildcats, but has seen his weekly pass yardage climb with each start. Northwestern cycled through three quarterbacks within its first three games, and will need stability at that position if it wants to recover from a shaky start to the season. With yet another productive performance, Hilinski may just be able to provide that for the Wildcats.
PROPS TO THE PUNTER
Fresh off winning the Ray Guy Punter of the Week award for the third time this season, Rutgers punter Adam Korsak put forth another solid effort on Saturday. He logged 403 yards on nine punts, four of which landed inside the 20-yard line.
Rutgers entered the game tied with the second-fewest penalties in the Big Ten this season, but was flagged frequently Saturday. The Scarlet Knights were hit with 11 penalties for 91 yards, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for sideline interference that helped Northwestern keep a fourth-quarter scoring drive alive.
Rutgers: At Illinois on Oct. 30.
Northwestern: At Michigan on Saturday.
Wisconsin vs. Army
Chenal's big game helps Wisconsin outlast Army 20-14
MADISON, Wis. — The one big weakness of Wisconsin's otherwise outstanding defense this season has been its inability to force turnovers.
But the Badgers finally produced a takeaway at a critical moment Saturday late in the fourth quarter and outlasted a pesky Army team 20-14.
Army (4-2) trailed 13-7 and had the ball when Leo Chenal delivered a punishing hit that knocked the ball loose from quarterback Jabari Laws. Wisconsin's Keeanu Benton recovered the fumble at Army's 1-yard line with 2:55 remaining.
On the next play, Graham Mertz scored on a quarterback keeper for his second touchdown run of the night.
"It was definitely the game-changing moment we needed," Benton said.
Wisconsin (3-3) entered the weekend having allowed the second-fewest yards per game of any Football Bowl Subdivision program, but the Badgers were among the nation's worst teams at forcing turnovers.
Laws' fumble was just Wisconsin's fourth takeaway of the season.
"We always want to be going for that ball," said Chenal, who also had a career-high 17 tackles. "We need to be creating more turnovers than we are right now."
Army cut the lead to 20-14 on A.J. Howard's 6-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds left, but Jack Sanborn recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the victory.
"When we practiced it this week, I actually messed up that exact same play and our onside team recovered it in practice," Sanborn said. "I told everyone that I got it out of the way that day and that Saturday I would get it. I knew it was coming my way."
Wisconsin's Braelon Allen rushed for 108 yards on 16 carries, including a 33-yard touchdown.
This marked the second straight game in which Allen rushed for at least 100 yards. The 17-year-old freshman ran for 131 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries last week in a 24-0 victory at Illinois.
"I definitely feel myself getting more comfortable and confident," Allen said. "My line's done a great job. I've had huge holes to run through these past two weeks."
Army (4-2) played a second straight game without usual starting quarterback Christian Anderson, who is dealing with a shoulder injury. The Black Knights lost 28-16 to Ball State without Anderson two weeks ago.
Tyhier Tyler and Laws both played quarterback in Anderson's absence. Tyler started, played most of the game and rushed for 90 yards on 17 carries. Laws had all of Army's pass attempts and went 5 of 6 for 87 yards.
But the Black Knights once again came up just short against a Power Five team. Army lost in overtime to Oklahoma in 2018 and in double overtime at Michigan in 2019 before falling 24-21 to West Virginia in last season's Liberty Bowl.
"Our team expected to win," Army coach Jeff Monken said. "The only people that are shocked are the guys in our locker room. Shocked that they didn't win. Our guys expect to win the game. That's just the way they roll."
Wisconsin (3-3) led 13-0 at halftime and outgained Army 230-48 in the first two periods before the Black Knights rallied, thanks to Tyler's tenacity.
Tyler took a big hit while executing a pitch early in the fourth quarter and stayed on the ground for a few minutes before walking to the sideline under his own power. Monken said Tyler had the wind knocked out of him.
After sitting out just one play, Tyler returned to the game and promptly raced 36 yards on a keeper. Two plays later, Tyler ran into the end zone from 5 yards out on third-and-goal to cut Wisconsin's lead to 13-7 .
GUERENDO'S SEASON OVER
Wisconsin announced before the game that reserve running back Isaac Guerendo will miss the remainder of the season due to a injured left leg.
Guerendo hadn't played since a 38-17 loss to No. 8 Michigan on Oct. 2. He finishes the season with 160 yards rushing on 23 carries, including an 82-yard touchdown against Eastern Michigan.
Army: Although his team lost the game, Andre Carter continued his outstanding season by forcing a fumble on a sack and blocking an extra-point attempt. Carter increased his season sack total to 8 ½. He entered the weekend leading all Football Bowl Subdivision players in that category.
Wisconsin: The Badgers won thanks to huge efforts from their two outstanding inside linebackers. Chenal delivered the best performance of the night, but Sanborn added 12 tackles and a couple of big plays on special teams. Before recovering an onside kick in the closing seconds, Sanborn took a snap and ran 8 yards on a successful fake punt attempt that set up a second-quarter touchdown.
Army: Hosts No. 16 Wake Forest on Saturday.
Wisconsin: At Purdue on Saturday.
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