SHORT TAKES

• Rutgers probably postponed the inevitable by suspending coach Kyle Flood for three games instead of firing him. He contacted a professor multiple times, trying to improve one of his player’s grades. Flood wrote to the professor, “I am sending it from my personal e-mail to your personal e-mail to ensure there will be no public vetting of the correspondence.” Flood knew he was breaking the rules and tried to hide it.

• With Melvin Gordon, Tevin Coleman, Ameer Abdullah and David Cobb now in the NFL, the Big Ten has introduced new blood at running back. Some impressive freshmen so far: Penn State’s Saquon Barkley (8.9 yards per carry), Michigan State’s LJ Scott (6.4) and Madre London (5.2), Purdue’s Markell Jones (5.3) and the Gophers’ Rodney Smith (5.3).

• North Dakota and North Dakota State played each other for 109 consecutive years until 2003, when NDSU moved from Division to I-AA. North Dakota moved to that level (now called the Football Championship Subdivision) in 2008. The teams will renew their rivalry Saturday at the Fargodome, but they’re not scheduled to play again until 2019. UND leads the all-time series 62-45-3, but NDSU has won four consecutive FCS titles.