Final Score: Minnesota 42, Rutgers 7

Brief Recap: Well, Saturday’s homecoming game for Rutgers was close at halftime, but that was about as long as it lasted. The Scarlet Knights actually came up with some tough defensive stops and limited Minnesota to 14 first-half points. Unfortunately, QB Johnny Langan threw for exactly one yard in a half for the second straight week. Coming out of the half, the Gophers started with the ball and marched down the field on a 10-play, 72-yard drive. Rodney Smith capped that drive with a 16-yard touchdown to make it 21-0 Gophers, putting the final outcome to bed early on. Minnesota cruised the rest of the way in a dominant win over the Scarlet Knights.

Key Moment: If there can be a key moment in a game that Minnesota never trailed in, it would have to be the first drive coming out of halftime. The Gophers missed a field goal just before halftime, and keeping the deficit at 14 points entering the break had to feel like a win for Nunzio Campanile and company. Coming out of the break with a 10-play drive to go up by 21 points crushed any hopes Rutgers had of keeping the game close and eased any pressure Minnesota was feeling at halftime.

Key Stat: In a game so lopsided, it is hard to find one key stat. So we’ll go with Tyler Johnson putting up 130 receiving yards and a TD in the win. Both the yardage and touchdown helped Johnson climb up Minnesota’s all-time ranks. He is now second all-time at Minnesota with 26 receiving TDs. Johnson also became the program’s all-time leader in 100-yard receiving games with his 12th.

Key Player: We’ll go with defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. for his multi-interception game. He had two picks in the game, including a pick-six that put an exclamation point on the win in the fourth quarter.

What it Means for Minnesota: For Minnesota, they are actually in the driver’s seat in the B1G West following Wisconsin’s upset loss at Illinois. The schedule does get noticeably tougher in November, but the Gophers are a legit 7-0 now. If they keep taking care of business, they could find themselves in a winner-take-all showdown against the Badgers for a trip to Indianapolis.

What it Means for Rutgers: It’s hard to know what this means for Rutgers, other than their path to relevance in the B1G continues to look tougher and tougher with each passing loss. Will the Scarlet Knights win again this season? Their best chance comes next week against Liberty.