Saturday’s Big Ten: Iowa slips past Minnesota
Minneapolis — Iowa was reeling from a pair of losses to teams the Hawkeyes were favored to beat, pushing that 12-0 regular season from 2015 to the back of the memory bank.
They got back on track with a gritty victory over rival Minnesota.
Akrum Wadley took off for a 54-yard touchdown run with 5:28 left and the Hawkeyes hung on to beat the Gophers, 14-7, on Saturday to hoist the Floyd of Rosedale trophy for the second straight year.
“We just kept grinding,” said Wadley, who had 14 carries for 107 yards for Iowa (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten), which matched the program record with an eighth straight road win despite two interceptions thrown by C.J. Beathard.
Iowa has won four of the last five meetings and 12 of 16. Minnesota still leads the overall series 62-46-2.
“I would like to say we wanted it more,” said Beathard, whose streak with a touchdown pass in nine straight games was stopped.
Floyd, the 98-pound bronze pig first awarded in 1935 as a bet between the governors of the two states, must’ve felt unwanted for most of the game.
Mitch Leidner completed only 13 of 33 passes for 166 yards and also was picked off twice for the Gophers (3-2, 0-2), who were flagged eight times for 58 yards and lead the conference in penalties.
After one of Ryan Santoso’s nine punts went only 30 yards, Wadley scored on the next play. Sophomore safety Jacob Huff, subbing for an injured Antoine Winfield Jr., went the wrong way at the snap and missed a futile diving attempt at the tackle. LeShun Daniels Jr. ran in the 2-point conversion.
“Sooner or later, they slip up and it will be a long one,” Wadley said. “Either LeShun or me was going to hit it.”
The Gophers overcame Leidner’s second interception and regained the ball with no timeouts and 86 seconds remaining. Leidner moved the ball to the 13 with four completions, but his fourth-down fade throw to Brian Smith in the end zone fell short with 43 seconds left.
“This one really hurt,” Gophers linebacker Jonathan Celestin said, “especially losing at home.”
Shannon Brooks gave Minnesota a 7-6 lead midway through the third quarter with a 9-yard run, but the Gophers didn’t take full advantage of an Iowa defense that was leaking an average of 183 rushing yards per game. Brooks and Rodney Smith combined for only 21 carries.
“I think the holes were there,” Brooks said. “Maybe try to break more tackles.”
(At) Penn State 38, Maryland 14: Penn State coach James Franklin said this week that the Nittany Lions needed to show opponents the ability to win games solely by the pass if the ground game goes awry. With 372 yards rushing against the Terrapins, it’s a theory they didn’t need to prove.
Saquan Barkley ran for 202 yards, quarterback Trace McSorley added 81 more and threw a pair of touchdown passes for Penn State in front of a homecoming crowd of 100,778.
McSorley accounted for 233 total yards, throwing for 152, as Penn State (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) had a season-high 524 total yards and snapped Maryland’s five-game win streak.
“It’s simple,” Franklin said. “It’s upfront. If you’re good up front across the offensive line and the defensive line, you have a chance to be successful.”
Penn State has gotten off to slow starts in each of its games this season. The Nittany Lions shook that off with a seven-play, 84-yard touchdown drive on its opening possession that featured four plays of 17 yards or more and was capped by a 5-yard scoring pass from McSorley to tight end Mike Gesicki.
“It was huge for us to get that first touchdown,” said McSorley. “We were able to get Beaver Stadium rocking.”
Barkley averaged 6.5 yards on 31 carries.
Penn State had four sacks and limited Maryland (4-1, 1-1) to 270 total yards, including 170 on the ground. The Terps came in averaging 300 yards rushing per game in victories over Howard, Florida International, Central Florida and Purdue. Lorenzo Harrison led the Terps with 76 yards rushing.
Maryland was forced to play without veteran quarterback Perry Hills during the second half; Hills injured his shoulder on a second-quarter keeper deep in Penn State territory and Maryland coach D.J. Durkin said it was not in Hills’ best interest to return in the second half.
Maryland closed to within 17-14 late in the first half when Tyrrell Pigrome, subbing for the injured Hills, scored on his first snap with a 7-yard run. But Barkley peeled off a 25-yard run and one play later a 45-yard scoring jaunt to put the Lions up by 10 at the half.
Penn State penalties and a Barkley fumble enabled the Terps to stay within striking distance until McSorley hooked up with DeAndre Thompkins on a 70-yard scoring pass late in the third quarter to make it 31-14.
Purdue 34, (at) Illinois 31: Freshman kicker J.D. Dellinger hit a 28-yard field goal in overtime for the Boilermakers.
Purdue (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) battered Illinois with a run game that piled up 231 yards, and relied on the run and a turnover to get the win in the first overtime.
Illinois took the ball first but sophomore quarterback Chayce Crouch fumbled and Purdue safety Leroy Clark recovered.
From there running back Richie Worship moved the ball 15 yards on three carries to set up Dellinger.
Kicker Chase McLaughlin had a chance to win the game for Illinois (1-4, 0-2) on the final play of regulation, but his 41-yard attempt clanged squarely off the right upright. McLaughlin made three field goals, including one from 47 yards, and had been a perfect 8-for-8 on the year.
In his first start, freshman running back Brian Lankford-Johnson led the Boilermakers with 18 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown. He started in place of the injured Markell Jones, who did not play.
Crouch took over in the second quarter for injured Illini quarterback Wes Lunt. Crouch, a sophomore, carried the ball 17 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
Lunt was knocked out of the game in the second quarter on a big hit by linebacker Danny Ezechukwu, who was flagged for roughing the passer. The extent of his injury was not immediately known.