Gophers run away in must-win against Spartans

John Eligon

Minnesota got all-star performances from not one, but two of its running backs on Saturday.

Golden Gophers starter Tellis Redmon ran for 126 yards and a touchdown, and backup Marion Barber III racked up 158 yards and two scores in Minnesota’s 28-19 Homecoming victory against Michigan State. It was the second time this season that the Gophers have surpassed 300 yards rushing.

The win takes some pressure off the Gophers, who, if they had lost, would have had to win their five remaining games to become bowl eligible.

Despite completing only 4 of 18 passes last week against Northwestern, Minnesota quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq got the starting nod over Travis Cole. Abdul-Khaliq was 11-for-22 for 124 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 42 yards.

Although Minnesota came out on top, the Spartans offense was strong. Quarterback Jeff Smoker was 21-for-33 for 258 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Michigan State wideout Herb Haygood caught eight passes for 117 yards, and Charles Rogers had seven receptions for 91 yards.

Illinois 42, Wisconsin 35: For the second week in a row, Wisconsin was looking to pull off a second-half comeback win on the road. But Illinois spoiled the Badgers’ rally, as Fighting Illini quarterback Kurt Kittner used late-game heroics to lead his team to victory.

With the game tied at 35 in the fourth quarter, Kittner – who ended the day 24 of 45 for 401 yards and four touchdowns – threw a 22-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd. The wideout finished the game with eight catches for 129 yards.

Illinois controlled most of the game, holding a 22-7 halftime lead.

But starting in the third quarter, the Badgers came storming back with four straight touchdown-scoring possessions.

Wisconsin even took a 35-28 lead early in the fourth, before Illinois came back.

Illinois tied a school record by kicking five field goals.

Iowa 42, Indiana 28: Both Iowa and Indiana received impressive performances from their quarterbacks, but the Hawkeyes’ Kyle McCann held the upper hand in crunch time to lead his team to a win.

McCann, coming off a shoddy performance against Michigan State the previous week, finished 12 of 16 for 223 yards with one interception on Saturday.

Hoosiers quarterback Antwaan Randle El had 127 yards on 26 carries. Randle El also became Indiana’s all-time career passing leader, going 14 of 27 for 160 yards.

In a back-and-forth game, McCann found wideout Kahlil Hill on a 75-yard touchdown pass on the third play from scrimmage. Iowa had a 28-21 halftime lead, but Randle El led his team on a 98-yard touchdown drive and two 80-yard scoring drives to keep the game close.

Ohio State 27, San Diego State 12: The Ohio State defense looked unpenetrable in the second half of Saturday’s game against San Diego State, leading the Buckeyes to a comeback win over the Aztecs.

Ohio State cornerback Derek Ross intercepted two passes and the Buckeyes forced turnovers on five consecutive second-half possessions to help seal its home victory.

Ohio State’s offense once again struggled, finishing with 334 total yards. Quarterback Steve Bellisari – who finished 15-for-28 for 198 yards and an interception – was booed in a packed Ohio Stadium each time the offense faltered.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.