Early Big Ten action Saturday afternoon included one game that wasn't much of a game and another that looked like it was going to beg for shouts of "BEAT 'EM DOWN" that actually stayed close and provided an exciting come-from-behind win at the end.
Minnesota falls to No. 19 Michigan, 31-0: The Minnesota Golden Gophers got blasted by the Michigan Wolverines, getting out-gained offensively 172 total yards to 580. The Gophers couldn't get anything going offensively, even having Michigan's defense score on an 83-yard fumble return. Denard Robinson's stat line wasn't eye popping, but when you're consistently given a short field to work you don't need to pile up the yards. Robinson ended the day with 169 passing yards with two passing touchdowns, as well as 51 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Wolverines ran at will, with running backs Fitzgerald Toussaint and Thomas Rawls rushing for 108 and 73 yards respectively. Both averaged over seven yards a carry.
Northwestern fails to pull the upset over No. 24 Illinois, losing 38-35: Taking a four-point lead into halftime didn't feel like it would be enough for Northwestern, and it wasn't. The Wildcats failed to heed the warning to cover Illinois Fighting Illinis wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, as Jenkins had an absolutely monster day with 12 catches for 268 yards and three touchdowns. On the final drive of the game, a pass interference call on Jeravin Matthews set the Fighting Illini up on the 4-yard line. After three attempts to get into the endzone by Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, he finally punched in the winning touchdown on a sneak.
For more on Minnesota Vs. Michigan, visit The Daily Gopher and Maize n Brew, SB Nation's Gophers and Wolverines blogs. For more on Northwestern and Illinois, visit Sippin' on Purple and Hail to the Orange, SB Nation's Wildcats and Illini blogs.