This is an archived story; this page is not actively maintained. Some or all of the links within or related to this story may no longer work.
For the latest University of Minnesota news, visit Discover.
Laurence Maroney led the Minnesota running attack with 145 yards on 24 carries. It was Maroney's fifth straight 100-yard rushing game.
Gophers beat Northwestern, remain undefeated
The Golden Gopher football team took care of business Saturday night at home, beating Northwestern 43-17 in the Big Ten opener before a crowd of about 45,000 at the Metrodome.
The outcome was largely decided in the first half, when the 18th-ranked Gophers rolled up 290 yards in offense while taking a 33-10 lead. Sophomore running back Laurence Maroney had 113 yards rushing and a touchdown in the half; freshman fullback Justin Valentine rushed for three touchdowns; and sophomore quarterback Bryan Cupito, returning to action after a head injury suffered against Colorado State the previous week, passed for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Minnesota's defense held the Wildcats to just six first downs and a field goal in the half; Northwestern's touchdown came on a 97-yard kickoff return.
The Gophers have now opened the season with four wins in a row for the third straight year, a feat last accomplished from 1934-36. After one week of Big Ten play, they sit atop the conference standings with the other four teams who won their openers--Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. Seventh-ranked Ohio State, which is not on the Gophers' schedule this year, was idle this weekend.
Minnesota will host Penn State at 7 p.m. this Saturday, October 2, at the Metrodome. The Gophers will then hit the road for two weeks for games with Michigan and Michigan State before returning to the Dome for a homecoming matchup against Illinois on October 23. For more Gopher football information, visit the team's Gophersports Web site.