Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
BLOOMINGTON, IND. – The Gophers football team struck again Saturday.
Lined up as an underdog against a Big Ten opponent for the third consecutive week, the Gophers made it three straight wins, defeating Indiana in a 42-39 thriller at Memorial Stadium.
Philip Nelson passed for 298 yards and four touchdowns, and David Cobb rushed for 188 yards, but a game that seemed headed for a Minnesota rout turned extremely tense at the end.
The Gophers had 35-13 lead with 6:24 remaining in the third quarter, and then the Hoosiers scored the next 26 points to go in front 39-35.
Nelson hit Maxx Williams with a 50-yard touchdown pass, putting the Gophers back in front. But the game clocked showed 2 minutes and 57 seconds remaining -- an eternity for the Hoosiers, who came in averaging 42.4 points per game, eighth-best in the country.
Indiana had the ball at Minnesota’s 8-yard line, when the Gophers called timeout with 25 seconds remaining. It didn’t look good at all, but then Minnesota caught a major break.
Hoosiers quarterback Nate Sudfeld misfired on a screen pass to Tevin Coleman, a play ruled a lateral, and linebacker Aaron Hill pounced on the fumble.
The Gophers could hardly believe their luck, as the offense went on the field to run out the clock.
Minnesota (7-2, 3-2 in the Big Ten) surpassed last year’s win total heading into what looks like another winnable game next week, when Penn State visits TCF Bank Stadium.
Indiana (3-5, 1-3) entered the game as nine-point favorites, but the Gophers were used to it, after being 12 1/2-point underdogs at Northwestern and 10-point underdogs against Nebraska, and still coming out on top.
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