Max Shortell replaced an injured MarQueis Gray and passed for 188 yards and three touchdowns, helping Minnesota overcome a sluggish start to beat Western Michigan 28-23 on Saturday.
Gray hurt his left leg late in the second quarter with the Gophers (3-0) trailing, but Shortell steered a six-play, 78-yard march for the go-ahead score that A.J. Barker capped with his second of three touchdown receptions.
The Broncos went three and out, and Shortell found Barker open on the sideline for a 53-yard catch-and-run to make it 21-10 with 30 seconds left before halftime.
Dareyon Chance rushed 29 times for 144 yards and a touchdown for the Broncos (1-2). Jaime Wilson caught 10 passes for 117 yards, but Alex Carder had a number of overthrows while finishing 24 for 44 for 209 yards and one interception.