Despite 573 yards of offense for the Gophers, it was a fumble recovery by Aaron Hill in the final seconds of the fourth quarter that ultimately gave Minnesota the victory over the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday, 42-39, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington.
With under 30 seconds in regulation, the Hoosiers were in the red zone and within distance for a field goal to send the game into overtime. Instead, a lateral pass on second and goal was dropped by Indiana’s Tevin Coleman and was recovered by Hill to seal the game for Minnesota.
The win is Minnesota’s seventh of the season, but it was perhaps the most challenging win for the Gophers’ defense as they had allowed Indiana to score 26 consecutive points prior to the fumble. Yet despite the defensive lapses that allowed the Hoosiers to get back into the game in the second half, the Minnesota defense deserves praise for slowing down a high-powered Indiana passing attack to just 269 yards — more than 70 yards less than their average this season.
While the defense did their job, the Minnesota offense stepped up in a big way — the 573 yards of offense ranks in the top 15 all time in Minnesota program history.
Led by sophomore Philip Nelson who threw for 298 yards and four touchdowns, the Gophers got out to a quick start, scoring 28 points by halftime. In addition to the passing attack, Minnesota also rushed for 248 yards — 188 of which belonged to David Cobb, who rushed for more than 100 yards for the third straight game.
Next up, Minnesota will host Penn State on Nov. 9 at TCF Bank Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT.