Gophers 31, Colorado State 24

The recap: The Rams were 17-point underdogs, and the Gophers never trailed, but it wasn't easy. Trailing 31-17, Colorado State extended a fourth-quarter drive with a fake punt to make it a one-possession game. The Gophers held on to finish nonconference play 3-0.

What was learned: Minnesota's offense is in decent shape, but the defense needs work heading into Big Ten play. Coach Tracy Claeys said he thought the defensive line had a strong game but was concerned with the inconsistency from the linebackers and defensive backs.


• Freshman linebacker Carter Coughlin suffered an elbow injury similar to the one senior Nick Rallis has. Claeys said Coughlin, like Rallis, likely will miss multiple games.

• Freshman defensive end Tai'yon Devers sprained his left ankle in the fourth quarter and is questionable for this week's game.

• Senior cornerback Jalen Myrick had two arguments with officials and drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. "He's wrong. Period. So he'll either stop it or he won't play," Claeys said. "You've got to control your emotions to be able to play in the game. If you don't, you're being selfish, and we don't have any room for selfish players."

• The Gophers appeared to land a junior college safety recruit, when Jaquarius Landrews gave them a verbal commitment. But according to multiple recruiting sites, Landrews later indicated he was sticking with his commitment to Mississippi State. The 6-1, 205-pound Landrews is a consensus three-star recruit. The sophomore plans to graduate from Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College in December and transfer in time for spring practice.

UP NEXT: Penn State

2:30 p.m. Saturday, Beaver Stadium

TV: BTN. Radio: 100.3-FM

Records: Gophers 3-0, Penn State 2-2

The skinny: No doubt, Penn State fans view Minnesota's visit as a chance to rebound from Saturday's 49-10 thrashing at Michigan. But this will be a real test for third-year coach James Franklin, especially with the team's linebacker injury issues. The Gophers won the last meeting 24-10 three years ago at TCF Bank Stadium. That was Christian Hackenberg's freshman season. The Nittany Lions now have a dual-threat QB, sophomore Trace McSorley, and a spread offense. Saquon Barkley is one of the Big Ten's best running backs, and receiver Chris Godwin was a second-team All-Big Ten selection last year.