Game 3: Western Illinois at Minnesota
Five Things You Need To Know
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.