Game 9: Minnesota at Indiana
Five Things You Need To Know
1. The Gophers travel to Bloomington, Ind., for a game against the Hoosiers on Saturday. Minnesota leads the all-time series 37-25-3, but is 6-16-2 at Indiana. Amazingly, the two schools have not played one another since 2008, when Minnesota won 16-7. To put that into perspective, Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson was 14 years old at the time of that game and Gopher head coach Jerry Kill was in his first year leading Northern Illinois (Kill is 1-0 all-time against Indiana, as his Southern Illinois Salukis won 35-28 at Indiana on Sept. 16, 2006). The last time Minnesota played at Indiana was 2007 and that game ended with a 40-20 win for the Hoosiers. Minnesota's last road win at Indiana was a 42-21 triumph in 2005.
2. Minnesota has rushed for 19 touchdowns this year, after rushing for 14 scores last year. Fifteen of those touchdowns have been of five yards or shorter and 11 (including the last eight) have been 1-yard scoring bursts. Four of quarterback Mitch Leidner's six touchdowns have been 1-yard runs, while quarterback Philip Nelson has scored three similar touchdowns this year. Rodrick Williams and David Cobb each had two rushing touchdowns from 1-yard out this year. Under Jerry Kill, the Gophers are 13-10 when scoring a rushing touchdown. That includes a 10-4 mark when reaching the end zone two or more times on the ground. During that time, Minnesota has gone 2-8 in games when it failed to score a rushing touchdown (Gophers beat Northwestern on Oct. 19 despite not rushing for a score). Minnesota did not score a rushing touchdown in its two defeats this season.
3. Minnesota improved to 6-2 overall after a 34-23 win last Saturday against Nebraska, which means the Gophers are bowl eligible for the second consecutive season. The Gophers will play in their 16th all-time bowl game at the end of the season. This is the earliest that Minnesota has been bowl eligible since it started the 2008 season with a 6-1 record. The Gophers played Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas last year.
4. The Gophers topped No. 21/25 Nebraska 34-23 last Saturday at home. The win marked Minnesota's first win against a ranked team since it downed No. 24 Iowa 27-24 at home in 2010. Saturday's win was Minnesota's third win against a ranked team in the last 10 years, as the Gophers also beat No. 11 Purdue in double overtime in 2005. It was also Minnesota's sixth win against a ranked team since 2000.
5. Philip Nelson tossed a 33-yard touchdown to Derrick Engel in the second quarter last Saturday to give Minnesota a 14-10 lead against Nebraska. The teams would trade field goals before halftime, as Minnesota led 17-13 at the break. The Gophers improved to 5-0 this year and 12-0 under Coach Kill when they are leading at the half. Minnesota is also 1-0 this year and 3-0 under Kill when it is tied at the half.
You can read Minnesota's complete game notes here.