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Big Ten roundup

Big Ten roundup — Sept. 28

Associated Press

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Northern Illinois 55, Purdue 24

Jordan Lynch threw for 207 yards and three touchdowns, and Northern Illinois scored on a kickoff return and an interception return to rout Purdue on the road.

It’s the first time a Mid-American Conference team has beaten two Big Ten foes during the same regular season, and the Huskies (4-0) made it look easy, tying the MAC record for victory margin over a Big Ten school. Toledo beat Minnesota by 31 in 2001.

Northern Illinois scored on its first four series, forced five turnovers and led 27-10 at the half as Lynch became the 26th player in Football Bowl Subdivision history to top 4,000 yards passing and 2,000 rushing in his career. He was 18 of 25 and had nine carries for 35 yards and a score.

Purdue (1-4, 0-1) was so bad, coach Darrell Hazell yanked starting quarterback Rob Henry and inserted true freshman Danny Etling late in the first half.

Things weren’t supposed to be this tough for Purdue, especially as it faced one of the nation’s worst defenses.

But the Boilermakers were just awful. Their first drive stalled after an offensive pass interference call, two more were stymied with the help of illegal formation and illegal shift penalties and two more ended with interceptions off of poor throws.

Northern Illinois, meanwhile, took full advantage of the miscues after trailing 7-3 early.

Lynch, the Heisman Trophy hopeful, connected on five straight passes, eventually hooking up with Da’Ron Brown on a 15-yard touchdown pass to give the Huskies a 10-7 lead. They never trailed again.

TommyLee Lewis also returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards, pushing the Huskies’ lead to 34-10.

Northern Illinois has won 11 straight on the road and scored a MAC record 55 points against a Big Ten school, breaking Ball State’s previous mark (41) last year at Indiana.

Etling finished 19 of 39 for 241 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Illinois 50, Miami (OH) 14

Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 278 yards and five touchdowns and Illinois used a 29-point second quarter to blow by Miami of Ohio at home.

The senior quarterback had all five touchdown throws for Illinois (3-1) by halftime. He finished 19 of 24 for 278 yards with one interception.

For Illinois, the blowout meant the third win of the season came early. A year ago the Illini never saw win No. 3, finishing 2-10 and closing with nine-straight losses.

Miami lost its third-straight game to a BCS school after falling to Cincinnati last weekend and Kentucky two weeks ago.

Quarterback Austin Boucher finished 7 of 13 for 95 yards and a touchdown. Fellow signal-caller Austin Gearing carried the ball 16 times for 81 yards.

Illinois opens the Big Ten season — where the Illini were winless last year — next Saturday at Nebraska.

Iowa 23, Minnesota 7

Jake Rudock threw for one touchdown and ran for another and Iowa beat Minnesota on both sides of the ball in a road victory.

Mark Weisman rushed for 147 yards on 24 carries, and Mike Meyer made three of his four field-goal attempts to help the Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-0) start the Big Ten with a bang. After losing their opener to Northern Illinois, they’ve outscored their last two opponents 82-10.

Senior linebackers Christian Kirksey, James Morris and Anthony Hitchens led a stifling effort on defense, including interceptions by Kirksey and Morris of Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson. Nelson hadn’t played in two weeks because of an injury, but he started ahead of Mitch Leidner for the Gophers (4-1, 0-1).

Nelson lost 18 yards on nine rushes and completed 12 of 24 passes for 135 yards and one touchdown to Derrick Engel, who had 67 yards on five catches.

Damon Bullock added 47 yards on only 11 carries on the ground for Iowa.

Iowa outgained Minnesota 464-165 in total offense and the Hawkeyes held the Gophers to just 30 yards rushing on 27 attempts.

Iowa next week will welcome Michigan State in Big Ten play. Minnesota has a tough matchup as well, as the Gophers travel to play Michigan on the road.


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