Max Shortell replaced an injured MarQueis Gray and passed for 188 yards and three touchdowns, helping Minnesota overcome a sluggish start to beat Western Michigan 28-23 on Saturday. Gray hurt his left leg late in the second quarter with the Gophers (3-0) trailing, but Shortell steered a six-play, 78-yard march for the go-ahead score that A.J. Barker capped with his second of three touchdown receptions.
In the third quarter, Alex Carder fought back for Western Michigan. He threw for 66 yards and ran for seven yards and one touchdown, but the margin is still 11, as the Broncos trail 28-17. Western Michigan finished off a 71-yard drive when Carder turned a quarterback sneak into a one-yard touchdown run to make the score 21-17.
Minnesota gave up only 15 passing yards during the second quarter and the Golden Gophers now lead 21-10. Minnesota’s passing attack looked sharp, as the Golden Gophers threw for 125 yards in the quarter. Minnesota has scored 14 unanswered points.
Minnesota ran for 67 yards in the quarter, and the Golden Gophers lead 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Western Michigan got on the scoreboard first, rattling off a 10-play, 61-yard drive that ended in a score when Andrew Haldeman kicked a 35-yard field goal.
Every week, I rank the Big Ten’s slate of games. Where does your team’s Week 3 game fall on my list? Find out in this post. Remember, on gameday, BTN.com editors provide Rapid Recaps with quarterly updates from every game. And at the end of each game, I post my Saturday Snap Reactions.
Wow. Last week didn’t go so well. It was a not a pretty scene, as we sat, mouths agape, in the BTN green room and watched the Big Ten Conference suffer through a difficult Saturday. And that wasn’t just because Gerry DiNardo was drooling. Sorry, too easy. Not true. Though he did pull out his ubiquitous hankie a few times.
Another Saturday looms. And, I still have questions. For example, can the Iowa offense finally get started? Here are my most pressing queries for each Big Ten team entering Week 3. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here and don’t forget to send any of your questions my way for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners. After two weeks, it’s Tom and BTN.com fans on top, at 19-5, while Brent is in the cellar, at 17-7. See our Week 3 predictions and choose your winners in this post.