This week in college football

Gophers

Minnesota has a chance to go 8-0 by beating Maryland. That would be the first time the Gophers won eight consecutive games to start a season since 1941. Coincidentally, that 1941 season is also the last time the Gophers went undefeated — that team played only eight games the entire season. This incarnation of the Gophers still has four regular-season games left after Maryland, but they have been making huge strides all season.

Big Ten

Wisconsin is coming off a shocking loss to Illinois. The Badgers hadn’t trailed all season until the clock struck zero Saturday, and the result dropped them seven spots in the AP poll to No. 13 and might have derailed their playoff hopes. If the Badgers lose to No. 3 Ohio State (7-0) this Saturday at Ohio Stadium, the Gophers could have a two-game lead in the Big Ten West.

National scene

Alabama quarterback and Heisman Trophy contender Tua Tagovailoa endured a high ankle sprain against Tennessee and will miss this weekend’s game against Arkansas after having surgery Sunday. While he could return for a pivotal No. 1-vs.-No. 2 matchup with Louisiana State on Nov. 9, Mac Jones will have to fill in at least against Arkansas.

Heisman watch

With Tagovailoa’s injury, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow now appears to be the Heisman favorite. Against Mississippi State on Saturday, he set the Tigers single-season record for TD passes, recording four in the game to reach 29 in 2019.

Stat of the week

Tyler Johnson is 543 yards away from Eric Decker’s Gophers career receiving yards record (3,119), and he has five games left to reach that goal. He also needs only five more touchdowns to match Ron Johnson’s career TD reception record (31).

MEGAN RYAN