The Gophers are bowl eligible after defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 34-23, at TCF Bank Stadium — the biggest win in the stadium’s five year history.
The win was everything a Gopher fan hoped for — solid running, smart passing, and a dash of trickery on offense combined for 430 total yards, while the defense held Nebraska to just 139 passing yards.
Redshirt freshman Mitch Leidner started for Minnesota, but sophomore Philip Nelson finished the game. He took over after the first quarter and threw for 152 yards and a touchdown, including a 33-yard strike on fourth and ten to Derrick Engel in the second quarter that handed Minnesota the lead for good.
Nelson was also superb on his feet — he rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns, including a fourth quarter touchdown with 0:48 to go that sealed the game.
More impressive on offensive was tailback David Cobb, who rushed for 138 yards on 31 carries. The junior was not on the preseason depth chart but has rushed for 100-plus yards three times this season — this was his second consecutive game.
Optimism is high with Tracy Claeys at the helm for Jerry Kill. The second straight win is confidence that Minnesota will need for next weekend’s matchup at Indiana.
The win snaps a 16-game losing streak to Nebraska that dates back to when Dwight Eisenhower was President, but most of all, it’s the first win over a ranked opponent for Kill and his staff.