Game 3: Western Illinois at Minnesota

Go Gophers! Rodrick Williams ran for a career high 148 yards at New Mexico State.
Go Gophers!
Rodrick Williams ran for a career high 148 yards at New Mexico State.
Go Gophers!
 Minnesota (2-0) vs. Western Illinois (2-0)
 Date Saturday, September 14
 Time 11 a.m. Central
 Tickets Game Day Central
 Location TCF Bank Stadium (50,805)
 Parking Game Day Central
 Television BTN / BTN2Go
 Radio KFAN 100.3 FM / Gopher Radio Network
 Internet Listen Live
 Live Blog Game Day Live
 Live Stats Gametracker
 Video Preview Jerry Kill Press Conference Replay
 Game Notes Minnesota | Western Illinois
 Daily Clips Sept. 10 | Sept. 11 | Sept. 12 | Sept. 13
 Social Media @GopherFootball | Facebook

Five Things You Need To Know

1. The Gophers have combined to score 95 points (51 against UNLV and 44 at New Mexico State) in their first two games this season. It is the most points that Minnesota has combined to score to open a season since they racked up 97 combined points (41 at Tulsa and 56 against Colorado State) in two wins to start the 2005 season. The 95 points are also the most Minnesota has scored in two straight games since 2005. Minnesota followed up its 56-point output against Colorado State by scoring 46 at home against Florida Atlantic to combine for 102 points in those two games.

2. Minnesota erupted for 24 second-quarter points at New Mexico State last Saturday. It was Minnesota's most productive quarter since it scored 28 points in the first quarter of a 62-0 home win against Temple on Sept. 16, 2006. The 24 points were also the most scored by the Gophers on the road in one quarter since it scored 27 points in the third quarter of a 42-21 win at Indiana on Nov. 5, 2005. 

Go Gophers!


Go Gophers!
Coach Kill previewed WIU on Tuesday.
Go Gophers!

3. Nine Gophers have combined to score 12 touchdowns this year. Philip Nelson (three touchdowns), Rodrick Williams, David Cobb and Mitch Leidner have all rushed for a score, while Maxx Williams is the lone Gopher to catch a touchdown. Marcus Jones has returned a punt and a kickoff for a score this year, while Martez Shabazz returned a blocked field goal for a score. In addition, Briean Boddy-Calhoun (interception return) and Aaron Hill (fumble return) have scored defensive touchdowns for Minnesota. Incredibly, not included in the nine players are Donnell Kirkwood (leading returner in rushing touchdowns) and Drew Goodger (leading returner in touchdown receptions). Last season, 13 players scored a touchdown for Minnesota.

4. Through two games, the Gophers are the least penalized team in the Big Ten. Minnesota has been whistled for five penalties all season for 42 yards. The Gophers had one penalty against UNLV and were flagged four times at New Mexico State. Minnesota has been penalized five times or less in its last five regular season games (Gophers were penalized seven times in the bowl game last year). Penn State ranks second in the league (nine penalties for 66 yards), while Michigan State (15 penalties for 169 yards) and Ohio State (17 penalties for 169 yards) rank last. 

5. Rodrick Williams (148 yards) and Philip Nelson (122 yards) both rushed for career highs last weekend at New Mexico State. Williams' 148 yards were the fourth most in a game by a Gopher running back since 2007. Duane Bennett (187 yards at Middle Tennessee State in 2010), Amir Pinnix (168 yards against Bowling Green in 2007) and Donnell Kirkwood (152 yards at Illinois in 2012) are the only three running backs who rushed for more yards. His 148 yards were the most by a true sophomore since Alex Daniels ran for 155 yards at Kent State in 2006. Nelson's 122 yards tied Billy Cockerham (1999 vs. Iowa) for the 13th most all-time in a game by a Gopher quarterback.

You can read Minnesota's complete game notes for Saturday's game here.