Minnesota 34, No. 25 Nebraska 23
Philip Nelson rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another, guiding Minnesota to an upset Saturday of 25th-ranked Nebraska, the first win by the Gophers against the Cornhuskers since 1960.
Nelson made all of his seven completions count, totaling 152 yards, and carried the ball eight times for 55 yards.
He spun across the goal line from the 1 with 48 seconds left to seal the victory for the Gophers (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten), who became bowl-game eligible and stopped a 16-game losing streak to the Huskers.
Taylor Martinez returned from a toe injury that kept him out of the last three games for the Huskers (5-2, 2-1), but he had only 16 yards rushing on eight attempts and 139 yards on 16-for-30 passing, plus one touchdown and one interception.
David Cobb gained 138 yards on 31 rushes for the Gophers, who outgained the Huskers 271-189 on the ground.
Ameer Abdullah had 165 yards on 19 carries for Nebraska.
Nelson relieved Mitch Leidner on the fourth series, continuing the quarterback rotation for Minnesota, and delivered one of the best performances of his two seasons here.
He helped the Gophers improve to 12-0 when leading at halftime since coach Jerry Kill took over in 2011.
Kill watched from above in the box with his assistants, still on leave from his regular responsibilities while he’s managing his epilepsy.
This was the third consecutive game he wasn’t in charge, with defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys taking over on the sideline. Video of Kill addressing the players in the locker room a few minutes before the game was shown live on the giant scoreboard behind the west end zone.
Iowa 17, Northwestern 10
Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Jake Rudock in overtime to give Iowa a win over Northwestern.
Rudock rolled to his right and lofted a pass to his big tight end in the left corner of the end zone.
The Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) nearly blew another game after leading at halftime. Instead, Iowa snapped a two-game losing skid and handed Northwestern (4-4, 0-4) its fourth consecutive loss.
The Hawkeyes led at halftime in each of their three losses this season.
Iowa’s stingy defense was excellent again.
The Hawkeyes recovered two fumbles and totaled 12 stops in the backfield.
Iowa had a season-high six sacks — including one on the final play of the game when Louis Trinca-Pasat pulled down Northwestern’s Kain Colter to seal the win for the Hawkeyes.
Rudock completed 19-of-27 passes for 169 yards — none bigger than the third-down pass to Fiedorowicz in overtime.
Northwestern was in man-to-man defense. Fiedorowicz shook the coverage on his corner route.
Michigan State 42, Illinois 3
Two defensive stands by the nation’s top-ranked defense and a record-setting day from quarterback Connor Cook (Walsh Jesuit) was all the Spartans really needed on the way to a blowout of Illinois.
The Illini (3-4, 0-3 Big Ten) have lost 17 in a row in the Big Ten.
Cook set the all-time efficiency record for the Spartans (7-1, 4-0), picking the Illini apart on 15-of-16 passing for 208 yards and three touchdowns. He was just a week removed from almost being benched during a dismal performance against Purdue.
The Spartans defense played big, too, shutting down Illinois after an early field goal. Michigan State came into the game ranked first in the country in total defense at 228 yards a game.
Illinois managed just 128. At halftime the Illini had a single rushing yard.
Leading 14-3 after two goal-line stands in the first half, Cook opened the second half with a 13-yard touchdown to tight end Josiah Price for a 21-3 lead, and Michigan State was coasting.
Illinois senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase finished 13-of-21 for 103 yards and an interception.