Questionable calls lift Michigan to win

Michigan prevailed in a high-scoring battle for early-season Big Ten supremacy.

Anthony Thomas scored on a 3-yard run with 2:30 left as No. 10 Michigan (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) beat the No. 19 Illini (3-1, 0-1) 35-31. Michigan took advantage of two late Illinois fumbles and rallied from a 21-7 third-quarter deficit after the return of injured quarterback Drew Henson.

After missing the first three games with a broken right foot, Henson replaced an ineffective John Navarre late in the second quarter.

“Drew was a tremendous lift for everybody,” Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. “I’ve never been prouder of a group of kids.”

On the play before the winning touchdown, Thomas dropped the ball near the goal line, but officials ruled he was down. A replay appeared to show otherwise.

PURDUE 38, MINNESOTA 24: If Purdue quarterback Drew Brees got to play Minnesota every week, he’d probably already have a couple of Heisman Trophies by now.

Brees set Big Ten career records for completions and attempts Saturday, throwing for 409 yards and two touchdowns as No. 21 Purdue (3-1, 1-0) shredded Glen Mason’s Golden Gophers.

In three games against Minnesota (2-2, 0-1) as a starter, the senior has completed 92 of 127 passes for 1,214 yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception.

“Brees is a great quarterback. Saying that, he’s got a darn good supporting cast,” Mason said.

In his 36-game career, Brees has 1,325 attempts, 820 completions, 9,487 yards and 73 touchdown passes. He topped the Big Ten marks of 797 completions set by Illinois’ Jack Trudeau and 1,309 attempts by Purdue’s Mark Herrmann in the win.

His total offense of 497 yards made him the second player in conference history to accumulate 10,000 yards. Brees has 10,036 and needs 219 to top the record set by Iowa’s Chuck Long.

OHIO STATE 45, PENN STATE 6: Six players scored touchdowns for No. 14 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0) in a romp over hapless Penn State (1-4, 0-1), handing Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno his most lopsided loss and his worst start ever.

“We can’t go out and buy a bottle of medicine that will make everybody better,” Paterno said. “We have to work at it.”

The loss gave Penn State its first 1-4 start under Paterno, matching the school’s worst record through five games since 1964 when Rip Engle was head coach.

The margin eclipsed a 49-11 loss to UCLA in 1966 — Paterno’s first season as the head coach of the Nittany Lions — and a 44-6 loss to Nebraska in the 1983 Kickoff Classic.

MICHIGAN STATE 27, NOTRE DAME 21: Freshman quarterback Jeff Smoker threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Herb Haygood with 1:48 left, lifting No. 23 Michigan State (3-0, 0-0) to a victory over No. 16 Notre Dame (2-2).

“The corner who was covering me blitzed so I was wide open,” Haygood said. “I caught the ball, I looked up and all I saw was cheerleaders.”

T.J. Duckett also had 26 carries for 141 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans.

Michigan State has won nine consecutive games at home, while the Irish have lost eight straight on the road.

NEBRASKA 42, IOWA 13: Eric Crouch only threw 13 passes for the No. 1 Cornhuskers (4-0), but five of them went for touchdowns in a drilling of lowly Iowa (0-4, 0-0).

“You like our new offensive approach?” Crouch joked after matching the school record for TD passes in a game.

Nebraska nearly had three 100-yard rushers in the game — Dan Alexander ran for 113 yards, Correll Buckhalter had 100 and Crouch finished with 93 on the ground.

INDIANA 42, CINCINNATI 6: Indiana (1-2, 0-0) earned a surprising blowout by jumping to an early lead against the Bearcats (2-2).

The Hoosiers scored on its first four possessions, including a 50-yard scoring pass from Antwaan Randle El to Jerry Dorsey late in the first quarter.

Last week, Indiana led Kentucky 20-7 before losing 41-34. This time, the Hoosiers never let up against the Bearcats, who managed only a pair of field goals by Jonathan Ruffin.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.