Iowa quarterback Matt Rodgers engineered the game-winning touchdown drive in the closing minutes yesterday and the No. 22 Hawkeyes stayed unbeaten in the Big Ten by turning back 10th-ranked Michigan, 24-23, in Ann Arbor, Mich.
It was the first win at Michigan Stadium since 1981 for Iowa (5-1 overall, 3-0 Big Ten). It marked the first time since 1967 that Michigan (3-3, 1-2) had either lost a homecoming game or been beaten in consecutive games at home. The Wolverines, then ranked No. 1 but now 10th, lost by 28-27 to Michigan State last week.
The Iowa defense, which leads the conference with 20 takeaways, recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass and held Michigan to three first downs in the second half.
Trailing by 23-17 with 4:22 remaining, the Hawkeyes marched 85 yards in nine plays for Paul Kujawa's one-yard touchdown. The extra point by Jeff Skillett provided the difference. Rodgers, who completed 27 of 37 passes for 276 yards, completed five of six for 67 yards in the final drive.
"This has to be the biggest victory I have every played in," Rodgers said. "We just went with what was working. We knew we had the ability to pass well, and we knew Michigan would give us the short pases and dump-offs."
Illinois 15, Michigan State 13: In Champaign, Ill., Doug Higgins's fifth field goal of the game, a 48-yarder with 42 seconds to play, lifted the No. 8 Illini to a Big Ten win over the 24th-ranked Spartans.
A 26-yard pass from Jason Verduzco to Steven Mueller helped set up the winning kick 59 seconds after John Langeloh gave Michigan State a 13-12 lead with a 35-yard field goal.
Higgins opened the game with a career-long 55-yard field goal and also converted on kicks of 28, 36 and 27 yards.
The victory enabled Illinois (5-1, 3-0) to retain its share of first place in the Big Ten race with Iowa and Minnesota. Michigan State fell to 2-3-1 and 1-2, losing its Rose Bowl hopes.
Minnesota 12, Indiana 0: Brent Berglund kicked two short field goals and the Gophers shut out the nation's fourth-highest scoring offense to stay tied for the Big Ten lead. The Gophers (4-2, 3-0) got their first shutout since beating Illinois, 21-0, in 1977.
No. 20 Indiana (4-1-1, 1-1-1 conference) crossed midfield only three times and got no closer than Minnesota's 21.
Iowa St. 33, Oklahoma 31: Chris Pederson, after baffling the Sooners all day with his scrambling ability, snuck in from the 1 with 35 seconds left to give the Cyclones (3-3-1, 1-1-1 Big Eight) the victory over the 16th-ranked hosts.
The Cyclones came back from deficits of 14-0 and 28-14 in beating Oklahoma (5-2, 2-1) for the first time since 1961.
Pederson gained 148 yards in 29 carries, most of those coming after he was forced to run. He also threw for 102 yards and a touchdown. Oklahoma was ranked fourth before last week's loss to Texas.
Northwestern 44, Wisconsin 34: In Evanston, Ill., running back Bob Christian rushed 42 times for 220 yards and one touchdown and caught passes for two scores to help the Wildcats (2-4, 1-2) to their first Big Ten victory in two years. The Badgers (1-5, 0-3) have not won a conference road game since defeating Northwestern in 1986.
Nebraska 31, Oklahoma St. 3: In Lincoln, Neb., two kick returns by Tyrone Hughes and a recovery of a fumbled kickoff by Robert Hicks for a touchdown sparked the fourth-ranked Cornhuskers.
Quarterback Mickey Joseph also ran for one touchdown and passed for one for Nebraska (7-0 overall, 3-0 Big Eight), which has not lost to the Cowboys in the last 29 meetings and have an NCAA-record 29 consecutive winning seasons. The victory was Coach Tom Osborne's 175th in 18 seasons at Nebraska.
Nebraska failed to solve Oklahoma State's blitzing defense until the second half, getting only a 12-yard touchdown on Leodis Flowers's fourth-and-one run with 5:50 to go in the first quarter. Flowers carried 21 times for 138 yards, his fifth straight game with more than 100 yards.
Colorado 41, Kansas 10: Eric Bieniemy rushed for 174 yards and scored three touchdowns, pacing the 14th-ranked Buffaloes (6-1-1, 3-0 Big Eight) in Lawrence, Kan.
Colorado also got a 90-yard touchdown punt return from Dave McCloughan in winning its 11th consecutive conference game. Kansas is 1-5-1, 0-2-1.
Missouri 31, Kansas State 10: In Columbia, Mo., Kent Kiefer passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns, and helped set up two more, as the Tigers (3-4, 1-2) won their first homecoming since 1987.
Kansas State is 4-3, 1-2.
Ohio State 42, Purdue 2: In West Lafayette, Ind., flanker Jeff Graham caught two touchdown passes and threw for a touchdown to quarterback Greg Frey for the Buckeyes (3-2-1, 1-1-1).
Purdue (1-5, 0-3) had minus-seven yards rushing in the first half, four yards on 16 carries total.