Game 10: Penn State at Minnesota
Five Things You Need To Know
2. Minnesota enters this weekend's game against Penn State with a 16-17 record all-time at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers, who opened their new stadium with a 20-13 win against Air Force on Sept. 12, 2009, could climb to .500 at TCF Bank Stadium with a win on Saturday. Minnesota was 5-9 at its new digs before Coach Kill was hired. Since then, Minnesota has recorded an 11-8 record at home to get to 16-17 overall. The last time Minnesota had a .500 record at TCF Bank Stadium was on Sept. 11, 2010, when the Gophers were 4-4 after losing to South Dakota 41-38.
3. Minnesota has rushed for 21 touchdowns this year, after rushing for 14 scores last year. Sixteen of those touchdowns have been of five yards or shorter and 11 (including eight in a row at one time) have been 1-yard scoring bursts. Minnesota's longest touchdown run this year was a 48-yard scamper by quarterback Philip Nelson. Under Jerry Kill, the Gophers are 14-10 when scoring a rushing touchdown. That includes an 11-4 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 (at home against Iowa and on the road at Michigan).
4. Prior to their current three-game Big Ten win streak, the Gophers' last such streak came in 2008 when they won against Indiana and at Illinois and Purdue. Minnesota has not won four straight conference games in one season since 1973, when it won at Northwestern, against Purdue, at Illinois and against Wisconsin. The Gophers' most recent four-game streak stretching across different seasons came in 1975-76. They ended the 1975 season with a win against Wisconsin, then opened 1976 by beating Indiana. They then played three non-conference games before continuing the B1G streak with wins against Illinois and at Michigan State. A win Saturday would also be Minnesota's fourth Big Ten win this year (would be first time since 2008 when it finished 4-4).
5. Minnesota has played 22 games since the start of the 2012 season. In those 22 games, the Gophers are 13-9 overall. Minnesota was 5-17 in its previous 22 games from Sept. 18, 2010 to Nov. 26, 2011.
You can read Minnesota's complete game notes here.
At the game on Saturday, student-athletes from various Gopher sports will be volunteering to collect donations for the upcoming Unlimited Dance Marathon to raise money for Amplatz Children's Hospital. Learn more about the event here.