Michigan State staged the biggest comeback in I-A history to beat Northwestern.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Mike Hart and the Michigan defense brushed off the burden that has come with being No. 2 by bullying Iowa around the Big House.
Hart grinded out 126 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries to back up another punishing defensive performance by Shawn Crable and crew as the Wolverines defeated the Hawkeyes 20-6 Saturday.
With Northwestern, Ball State and Indiana coming up for Michigan, the Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) appeared to be the only serious stumbling block between the Wolverines (8-0, 5-0) and an undefeated record going into the Ohio State game Nov. 18.
It was Michigan's first game without injured receiver Mario Manningham.
Michigan State 41, Northwestern 38
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Michigan State staged the biggest comeback in I-A history, rallying from a 35-point third-quarter deficit.
Brett Swenson kicked the winning 28-yard field goal with 13 seconds remaining following a key interception by Travis Key. The result dramatically ended a four-game losing streak for the Spartans (4-4, 1-3 Big Ten) and took some of the heat off coach John L. Smith.
Until this riveting game, the biggest comeback in major NCAA football was 31 points -- when Maryland beat Miami 42-40 on Nov. 10, 1984 and when Ohio State defeated Minnesota 41-37 on Oct. 28, 1989.
Northwestern (2-6, 0-4) led 24-3 at the half, and the crushing defeat sent the Wildcats to their fifth straight loss.
No. 21 Wisconsin 24, Purdue 3
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- P.J. Hill ran for 161 yards and two touchdowns and John Stocco completed 13 of 21 passes for 201 yards for the Badgers (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten).
Purdue's Curtis Painter completed 20 of 40 passes for 187 yards. He entered the game ranked second in the nation in passing yards, but never found a rhythm.
Wisconsin, which entered the game with the nation's sixth-ranked defense, held the nation's fourth-ranked offense to 286 yards, 185 below its average. It was the first time since a 31-3 loss to Michigan on Oct. 25, 2003, that Purdue failed to score at least 10 points.
Minnesota 10, North Dakota St. 9
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota blocked Shawn Bibeau's field goal as time ran out.
Amir Pinnix rushed 25 times for 97 yards and a 5-yard score with 10:36 remaining to give Minnesota (3-5) its first lead of the afternoon against the ninth-ranked team in I-AA.
Bibeau made kicks of 30, 39 and 41 yards for the Bison (6-1), but his 21-yard try in the third quarter banged off the left upright.
Steve Walker, who went 22-for-37 for 237 yards and one interception, drove NDSU into range as the seconds ticked away and set Bibeau, a freshman, up for a 42-yard attempt. The snap by Jeff Curtis was low, and a strong surge of Gophers overpowered the Bison line to get in the backfield for the dramatic block.
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