Game 8: Nebraska at Minnesota
Five Things You Need To Know
1. Minnesota has played 20 games since the start of the 2012 season. In those 20 games, the Gophers are 11-9 overall and have scored a combined 494 points (24.7 points per game). Minnesota was 5-15 in its previous 20 games from Oct. 2, 2010 to Nov. 26, 2011. During those 20 games, the Gophers scored a total of 393 points (19.65 points per game).
2. Minnesota snapped a three-game losing streak to Northwestern when it toppled the Wildcats 20-17 last Saturday. The win was Minnesota's second straight on natural grass after the Gophers had previously lost eight straight games on grass. The Gophers are 2-1 on the road this year, as they also won at New Mexico State. Minnesota's lone road setback was at Michigan. The Gophers have road games remaining this year at Indiana and Michigan State. One more road win would guarantee Minnesota a winning record away from home. The last time the Gophers had a winning record on the road was 2005 when they went 3-2 (wins at Tulsa, Michigan and Indiana, losses at Penn State and Iowa).
3. The Gophers have relied on their legs during their 5-2 start. Minnesota is No. 28 in the nation in rushing offense, having run the ball 314 times for 1,471 yards (average 210.1 yards per game, 4.68 yards per carry). Minnesota has four players (David Cobb, Mitch Leidner, Philip Nelson and Rodrick Williams) who have tallied at least one 100-yard game this year. The last time the Gophers had four players rush for 100-yard games in one season was 1967 (Jim Carter, Mo Forte, John Wintermute and Curtis Wilson).Minnesota is 10-2 (3-0 this year) under Kill with a 100-yard rusher.
4. Sophomore Eric Murray leads the Gophers with seven pass breakups this year. Murray, who recorded four pass breakups against UNLV, needs only three more this year to tie for 11th all-time in program history (safety Derrick Wells had 10 last year and is tied with three other Gophers at No. 11 in single-season history).Defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman is second on the team with six pass breakups. The towering lineman broke up three passes last week at Northwestern and also recorded his first career interception.
5. The Gopher defense allowed 328 total yards of offense at Northwestern. The Wildcats had three scoring drives, which totaled 34 plays and 204 yards and resulted in 17 points. Northwestern had 10 other drives, but the Minnesota defense limited the Wildcats to 124 yards on 39 total plays. The Gophers also created three turnovers, (two interceptions and one fumble recovery) en route to a 20-17 win.
You can read Minnesota's complete game notes here.
The game on Saturday will be the second Go-pher Epilepsy Awareness game. Minnesota is the first school to host a college football game raising awareness for epilepsy. Read more about the event here.