MINNEAPOLIS -

Donnell Kirkwood rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns and the Minnesota defense showed it is no longer the pushover it has been for decades in a 17-10 victory over Syracuse on Saturday night.

The Golden Gophers forced four turnovers and Max Shortell threw for 231 yards in place of injured starter MarQueis Gray to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2008.

Ryan Nassib threw for 228 yards and a touchdown for Syracuse (1-3), but he was intercepted twice and lost a fumble. The Orange also committed 10 penalties, including four false starts in suddenly rowdy TCF Bank Stadium.

The gem of a stadium on Minnesota's campus has been awfully quiet for most of its three seasons of existence. But a sellout crowd of 50,805 gave the Gophers a big advantage.