GOPHERS 28, WESTERN MICHIGAN 23
The recap: Max Shortell jump-started a sluggish offense with three touchdown drives in relief of injured quarterback MarQueis Gray.
What was learned: Even a 250-pound quarterback can get hurt. And it's a good thing the Gophers gave Shortell so much attention in practice.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
• All four of the Gophers' touchdowns came via the air, with Gray throwing one scoring pass and Shortell accounting for the other three. It's the first time since Halloween 2009, when Adam Weber threw five touchdown passes against Michigan State, that the Gophers had at least four.
• A.J. Barker has four touchdown receptions already, tying him with Purdue's Antavian Edison and Penn State's Allen Robinson for the Big Ten lead.
• With Drew Goodger grabbing a 9-yard strike from Shortell in the third quarter, Gophers tight ends have caught TD passes in each of the first three games.
• Ra'Shede Hageman appeared to intercept a pass in the third quarter, but review officials determined the ball had hit the ground before tailback Dareyon Chance flipped it into the air. Had the play stood, Hageman would have become the first Gophers defensive lineman with an interception since tackle Anthony Montgomery caught one at Indiana on Nov. 5, 2005.
UP NEXT: SYRACUSE
7 p.m. Saturday, TCF Bank Stadium
TV: BTN • Radio: 100.3-FM
Records: Gophers 3-0, Syracuse 1-2
The skinny: In its final Big East season before moving on to the ACC, the Orange took advantage of FCS-level Stony Brook on Saturday to end its seven-game losing streak. But it wasn't easy: The Seawolves led at halftime. Syracuse, which lost 42-41 to Northwestern in its opener before being beaten by 12 points against Southern California, is led by senior receiver Marcus Sales, who has more than 100 yards in four consecutive games.