• The Go­phers aren’t the only Big Ten team that loves its defense. Northwestern leads the na­tion in scor­ing defense (5.3 points per game), and four oth­er teams rank in the top 17: O­hi­o State (12.3), Mich­i­gan (12.7), Wis­con­sin (12.7) and Penn State (14.7). Minnesota (16.7) is tied for 26th.

• Mean­while, defense is con­cern No. 1 for new Ne­bras­ka coach Mike Ri­ley. The Corn­husk­ers have sur­ren­dered 26 points per game. They’ve giv­en up a con­fer­ence-high 13 plays long­er than 30 yards. The Go­phers, by com­par­i­son, have al­lowed two. Ne­bras­ka ranks 127th out of 128 FBS teams in pass defense (357 yards per game). The old Blackshirts wouldn’t have it. Ne­bras­ka is also the na­tion’s fourth-most pe­nal­ized team, committing 10.3 pen­al­ties per game.

• Rut­gers in­ter­im head coach Norries Wil­son has been a breath of fresh air, with Kyle Flood ser­ving a three-game sus­pen­sion, and the team at 1-2, amid a swirl of oth­er bad off-field news. The 6-6 Wil­son was a cap­tain and two-year start­ing of­fen­sive line­man for the Go­phers be­fore gradu­at­ing in 1989. The Il­li­nois na­tive was the head coach at Co­lum­bia be­fore be­com­ing the run­ning backs coach at Rut­gers. Play­ers love his no-non­sense, down-to-earth style.