Philip Nelson, Gophers
How's that for a home college football debut as a true freshman? Nelson, a Mankato West product, threw three first-half TD passes and finished 15-for-22 for 246 yards. At one point in the first half, Nelson completed 12 consecutive passes. Minnesota scored more points Saturday than it did in its first three Big Ten games combined (39).
Michael Carter, Gophers
The senior cornerback tied a school record with six pass breakups -- three of them coming on Purdue's first possession of the second half. After that stretch of breakups, Carter also returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown, staking the Gophers to a 41-7 lead. His pick was the Gophers' first turnover in Big Ten play this season.
BY THE NUMBERS
134 Rushing yards by Donnell Kirkwood, a season high.
7 Receiving TDs this year for A.J. Barker, who had two Saturday.
1 Victories the Gophers need in their final four games to become bowl-eligible.