Nov. 4, 2013
Minnesota sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson and redshirt sophomore punter Peter Mortell were honored by the Big Ten conference today for their play in the Gophers’ 42-39 win at Indiana last Saturday.
Nelson was named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week (shared with Penn State’s running back Bill Belton), while Mortell was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.
Nelson had a career day as he returned from an in-game injury to lead Minnesota to a road win. He set career marks in completions (16), yards (298) and touchdowns (4) as the Gophers moved to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten.
Nelson became just the 17th Minnesota quarterback (ninth actual player) to pass for four scores in one game and is the first quarterback to do so since Adam Weber tossed five touchdowns against Michigan State in 2009. Nelson's 298 passing yards were the most by a Gopher quarterback since Weber went for 299 yards against Penn State in 2010.
Nelson left in the second half with an injury, but returned with Minnesota trailing Indiana 39-35. He then led the Gophers on a 75-yard drive that resulted in a Maxx Williams 50-yard touchdown reception to put Minnesota ahead for good.
Mortell punted five times for 215 yards as he helped keep the potent Indiana offense at bay. His longest punt on the day was 52 yards and he also had one touchback and placed two more punts inside the 20-yard line.
Nelson is the first Gopher to be named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week since Adam Weber was honored on Nov. 1, 2009. Mortell is the third Gopher this year to be honored as the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, joining Chris Hawthorne (10/28/13) and Marcus Jones (9/9/13).
Gophers Ground Game Gaining Yards
Minnesota running game, which has scored 11 touchdowns, powered by three backs and a healthy quarterback.
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Game 4: Minnesota at Penn State
Minnesota opens Big Ten play at Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 1. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and can be heard on KFAN.