Rodney Smith rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries to help No. 20 Minnesota cruise to a 42-7 victory over host Rutgers on Saturday in Big Ten play at Piscataway, N.J.
Austin Winfield intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, as the Golden Gophers improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1960. Minnesota has won nine straight games dating to last season.
Tanner Morgan completed 15 of 28 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Johnson had six receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown and Rashod Bateman caught a scoring pass for Minnesota (4-0 Big Ten), which compiled a 443-189 edge in total offense.
Rutgers (1-6, 0-5) lost its sixth straight game and third in a row under interim coach Nunzio Campanile. The Scarlet Knights have been outscored 207-14 in Big Ten games.
Johnny Langan was 9-of-19 passing for 48 yards and three interceptions. One week earlier, Langan threw for just 1 yard in a 35-0 setback against Indiana.
Kay'Ron Adams scored on a 5-yard run with 5:53 remaining to keep Rutgers from being blanked for the fourth time this season.
Smith, who topped 100 yards for the fourth straight game, scored his second touchdown in the third quarter to give Minnesota a 21-0 lead. He took the carry and headed to his right before cutting back and sprinting for a 16-yard scoring run.
Mohamed Ibrahim tacked on a 6-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 to increase the margin to 28 with 11:25 left in the game. On Rutgers' next play, Langan was intercepted by Winfield, who returned it 33 yards to make it 35-0.
The onslaught continued when a wide-open Johnson caught a 56-yard scoring pass from Morgan with 9:03 left in the contest.
The catch gave Johnson his 12th career 100-yard receiving game, most in school history as he snapped the mark he shared with Tutu Atwell (1994-97) and former NFL player Eric Decker (2006-09).
The Golden Gophers had a 235-29 edge in first-half total offense but only held a 14-0 lead.
Smith scored the game's first touchdown with a 3-yard run with 1:31 left in the opening quarter.
Minnesota stretched the lead to 14 when Morgan tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Bateman with 4:40 remaining in the first half.
--Field Level Media