Sooner or later, Nebraska was going to win a game, and the Huskers didn't want to wait until a visit from Bethune-Cookman next Saturday. So they jumped on the Gophers early and built a 28-0 lead on the strength of 398 yards of offense in the first half on their way to ending a 10-game losing streak and giving Scott Frost his first victory as Nebraska coach. Though the Gophers rallied to trim the lead to 28-22 in the third quarter, when Tanner Morgan replaced injured starting quarterback Zack Annexstad, Nebraska had another push, outscoring Minnesota 25-6 the rest of the game.
The Gophers were done in by big plays, with 10 Nebraska gains going for 20 yards or longer. Included in that were touchdown runs of 40 and 59 yards by Devine Ozigbo and TD passes of 35 and 67 yards from Adrian Martinez to Stanley Morgan Jr. Martinez, a true freshman, completed 25 of 29 passes for 276 yards and three TDs and rushed 15 times for 125 yards and a score.
"We didn't tackle well, we didn't set an edge,'' Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said.
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Nebraska scorched the Gophers defense for 659 yards of offense, the most Minnesota has given up this season. The Gophers offense tried to keep up with the Huskers and finished with 474 total yards, its most since amassing 522 in the season opener against New Mexico State. Having the biggest day was junior receiver Tyler Johnson, who caught 11 passes for 184 yards, both career highs.
Coming up empty
While the Gophers defense had its issues, the Minnesota offense didn't take advantage of good field position in the first half. The Gophers had possessions reach Nebraska's 37-, 36-, 42- and 29-yard lines in the first half and scored on none of those. On the first one, Zack Annexstad's 37-yard TD pass to Rashod Bateman was wiped out by an offensive holding call.
Pinning them deep
Gophers punter Jacob Herbers had a solid game, with five of his six punts pinning Nebraska inside its 20-yard line. For the season, Herbers has had 15 of his 34 punts inside the opponent's 20.
Up next: Indiana
7 p.m. Friday, TCF Bank Stadium
TV (radio):FS1 (100.3-FM)
The skinny: Thanks to the Big Ten placating its TV partners, the Gophers and Hoosiers meet on Friday night instead of Saturday. This will mark Indiana's first visit to TCF Bank Stadium and will feature two teams trying to end conference skids. The Hoosiers (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) have lost three consecutive Big Ten games, while the Gophers (3-4, 0-4) have a six-game conference losing streak going back to last year.
Indiana fell 33-28 at home against Penn State, with the Nittany Lions pulling away after the Hoosiers took a 21-20 lead in the third quarter. Stevie Scott rushed 26 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns for Indiana, while Peyton Ramsey completed 26 of 36 passes for 236 yards and a TD with an interception. Ramsey spread the ball around, with 12 Hoosiers catching at least one pass.
The Hoosiers racked up 554 total yards but were doomed by three turnovers. "Just a gut-wrenching loss for our team [Saturday]. I thought our kids played their hearts out,'' Indiana coach Tom Allen said. "Proud of the effort. Just have to play better in certain situations and times, in critical moments.''