AROUND THE NATION
N. Illinois 21, Nebraska 17: Jordan Huff scored the winning touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, and Northern Illinois (2-1) made two big defensive stops to finish an upset of host Nebraska (1-2). The Huskies became the first non-Power Five conference member or major independent to win in Lincoln since Southern Mississippi knocked off the Cornhuskers in 2004. Northern Illinois is now 4-1 against Big Ten teams under fifth-year coach Rod Carey. Nebraska was held scoreless in the first half at home for the first time since 2007, and the Huskers were booed as they headed to the locker room.
Minnesota 34, Middle Tennessee State 3: Kobe McCrary rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns and Jacob Huff returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown to lead host Minnesota (3-0) to a victory over Middle Tennessee State (1-2). Rodney Smith rushed for 107 yards in the first half before leaving with an injury and Conor Rhoda completed 11 of 18 passes for 122 yards in his first game since being named the fulltime starter for the Golden Gophers, who wore all gold for the first time since 1974. John Urzua was 19 for 34 for 135 yards and two interceptions for Middle Tennessee after starting quarterback Brent Stockstill was ruled out with a shoulder injury. Star receiver Richie James had just one catch before leaving early in the second quarter with an ankle injury.
Iowa 31, North Texas 14: Nate Stanley threw for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns and host Iowa (3-0) overwhelmed North Texas (1-2) to finish the non-conference season unbeaten. Freshman Ivory Kelly-Martin added 74 yards rushing and two TDs for the Hawkeyes, who played most of the second half without running backs Akrum Wadley and James Butler. Iowa pulled ahead 17-14 on a 23-yard TD pass from Stanley to Noah Fant — on fourth down and 5 — late in the third quarter. KellyMartin added a 2-yard touchdown, the first of his career, with 8:16 left to cap a drive that covered 87 yards and burned nearly nine minutes. Kelly-Martin also scored a 6-yard TD run with 1:47 to go.
Rutgers 65, Morgan State 0: Freshman quarterback Johnathan Lewis ran for four touchdowns and passed for another in part-time action, and host Rutgers (1-2) defeated Morgan State (0-3) to snap an 11-game losing streak. After gaining 22 yards and one first down on the first two drives against the FCS Bears, Rutgers’ offense was sparked by Robert Martin’s 13-yard touchdown run to cap a drive in which the running back had four carries for 32 yards.
Purdue 35, Missouri 3: David Blough passed for one touchdown and ran for another as Purdue (2-1) dominated host Missouri (1-2). The Boilermakers head into Big Ten Conference play just one win shy of last year’s total. It’s the fewest points allowed by Purdue since a 59-0 win over Southeast Missouri State in 2011. Purdue scored touchdowns on its first three drives and led 28-3 at halftime.
No. 3 Oklahoma 56, Tulane 14: The Sooners and Green Wave were tied at 14 in the second quarter before Oklahoma’s Parnell Motley returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown to turn the momentum for good. Oklahoma extended its nation-leading win streak to 13 games. Tulane scored on its first two drives and never scored again. Dontrell Hilliard ran for 104 yards and a touchdown to surpass 2,000 yards rushing in his career for the Green Wave.
No. 8 Oklahoma State 59, Pittsburgh 21: Mason Rudolph threw for five touchdowns, all in the first half, and Oklahoma State (3-0) drilled host Pittsburgh (1-2). Rudolph completed 23 of 32 passes for 497 yards and the five scores before being pulled in the middle of the third quarter with the Cowboys (No. 9 AP) in full command. Jalen McCleskey caught seven passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns for Oklahoma State. James Washington added 124 yards receiving. Marcell Ateman (109) and Dillon Stoner (100) also reached the 100yard receiving mark, the first time in 12 years a team has had four 100-yard receivers in the same game. The Cowboys reached the end zone on each of their first seven possessions.
No. 17 Auburn 24, Mercer 10: Kamryn Pettway ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns as host Auburn (2-1) overcame five turnovers to hold off FCS school Mercer (1-2) in another troubling performance by the Tigers’ offense. After being held without a touchdown in a 14-6 loss at Clemson the previous week, Auburn (No. 15 AP) could at least point to a stout defensive opponent as the reason for its troubles. Not this time. Mercer, which only resumed its football program five years ago and plays a division down in the Southern Conference, gave the Tigers all they could handle, much to a chagrin of a disgruntled crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium — many of whom didn’t bother returning to their seats after a lackluster first half in which the Southeastern Conference powerhouse led only 10-3.