PURDUE 45, GOPHERS 17
The recap: A series of early mistakes removed any chance the Gophers had of being competitive. Three turnovers, bad penalties, poor punts and ineffective tackling doomed Minnesota to a 31-0 deficit and its third consecutive loss.
What was learned: Even the lower half of the Big Ten can toy with this season's Gophers if things don't go right, and there aren't enough game-breakers on the roster to turn things around.
YOU MAY HAVE MISSED:
• Sophomore walk-on Chase Haviland received his first start at safety, and freshman Cedric Thompson made his Gophers debut in the secondary. Haviland made one tackle, while Thompson was credited with six, five of them solo.
• Marcus Jones' speed was primarily responsible for the Gophers' first kickoff-return touchdown in four years, but he got help from his blockers, too. Ryan Grant made a critical block around the 20-yard line that helped spring the freshman.
• The Gophers have allowed four defensive touchdowns in their past three games and have not forced a turnover in any of them.
UP NEXT: A WEEK OFF
The Gophers don't play next weekend. Nebraska looms Oct. 22 at TCF Bank Stadium.