GOPHERS 44, PURDUE 28
The recap: Philip Nelson played like an experienced veteran, leading the Gophers on seven consecutive scoring drives, and the defense made it hold up.
What was learned: The freshman can read a defense and throw deep, too; the Gophers used double-move routes to get open for four gains of more than 30 yards.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
• Minnesota has allowed its opponents to score first in every Big Ten game, and until Saturday had never held a lead. But the Gophers scored more points Saturday than in their previous three conference games combined.
• A.J. Barker's two touchdown receptions give him seven this season, more scores than any Gopher scored last year. He is four TD catches short of the Gophers' single-season record of 11, set by Omar Douglas in 1993 and Ron Johnson in 2000.
• MarQueis Gray has caught passes in only three games, but he already ranks sixth on the Gophers in receptions with eight.
• The Gophers scored 34 points before halftime, their most prolific first half since scoring 35 in the 2006 Insight Bowl against Texas Tech, a game the Gophers lost 44-41.
UP NEXT: MICHIGAN
11 a.m. Saturday, TCF Bank Stadium
TV: BTN. Radio: 100.3-FM, 1130-AM
Records: Gophers 5-3, 1-3 Big Ten; Michigan 5-3, 3-1
The skinny: Michigan dropped out of the Associated Press rankings Sunday after its 23-9 loss at Nebraska, but what's really frustrating to the Wolverines is the lack of offense. Michigan has not scored a touchdown in two consecutive games, something that had not happened to the Wolverines since the early 1960s. The defense is better than expected, ranking first in pass defense and allowing only 46 points in four Big Ten games, but Michigan now needs help if it's to win the Leaders Division title.