Gophers pull out 'crazy' road victory over Indiana

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 3, 2013 - 7:30 AM

Big point swings finally ended with Aaron Hill’s fumble recovery.

– The Gophers went from dominant to desperate Saturday.

They had seen a 22-point lead evaporate against Indiana’s warp-speed offense. They had failed on a fake punt in their own territory, setting the Hoosiers up for the go-ahead touchdown with 5½ minutes left.

Philip Nelson had returned from a hip pointer to throw his fourth touchdown pass, a 50-yarder to Maxx Williams that put the Gophers back ahead by three points with just over 3 minutes to play.

But with 25 seconds remaining, the Hoosiers were at the Gophers 9-yard line. Acting head coach and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys called timeout and rolled the dice, using a blitz his defense had practiced all week but hadn’t used all game.

All of a sudden, Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld misfired on a backward screen pass to Tevin Coleman and Gophers linebacker Aaron Hill grabbed the gift-wrapped fumble, securing a 42-39 triumph at Memorial Stadium.

“It was crazy,” Nelson said. “I was sitting there praying that something would go our way, and the Lord was good to us tonight.”

For the third consecutive week, the Gophers (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) delivered an upset victory. Both their overall and Big Ten win totals are the most in the three-season Jerry Kill era.

Indiana (3-5, 1-3) entered as nine-point favorites, based largely on an offense that had averaged 42.4 points per game, ranking eighth in the country.

The Gophers had a 35-13 lead with 6:24 remaining in the third quarter, but the Hoosiers reeled off the next 26 points. For decades, Minnesota has seen so many games like this turn into losses.

“You look back on these last two years, and there were so many missed plays — missed wins,” senior defensive back Brock Vereen said. “Two years ago, we’re not winning these games.”

David Cobb carried 29 times for 188 yards, becoming the first Gopher to surpass the 100-yard rushing mark for the third consecutive game since Amir Pinnix in 2006. Cobb called the game’s ending “probably the longest minute of my life.”

Nelson made his first start since the Iowa game on Sept. 28 and completed 16 of 23 passes for 298 yards. He suffered the hip pointer on a 7-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

After kneeling to the ground in pain, he hobbled to the locker room and Mitch Leidner took over at quarterback. But Nelson returned for the Gophers’ next possession and finished the game.

“They took me in the locker room, and I got a couple shots and came back out, and I felt like a new person,” Nelson said. “But I think it’s already starting to wear off a little. It’s just whatever it takes, that’s just what you’ve got to do to win.”

The fake punt call came with the Gophers leading 35-33 and about 6½ minutes remaining. Minnesota tried a reverse fake on fourth-and-5, and when the Hoosiers stopped Jalen Myrick 2 yards short of the first down, they took over at the Gophers 39-yard line. Less than a minute later, Sudfeld hit Cody Latimer with a 30-yard pass and Indiana led 39-35.

“Before anybody asks me on the fake punt, it was a group decision,” Kill said. “It didn’t quite work today, but the headsets, we were all on there, and we all were going the same direction.

“The bottom line is they were moving the offense. We had to break serve somewhere in there. We tried to do it, and I give our kids credit for keeping their composure.”

Kill said when Williams then raced in for the Gophers’ go-ahead touchdown, someone half-jokingly suggested the tight end should have gone down at the 5-yard line, just to give Indiana less time to come back. The Hoosiers seemed sure to score another touchdown when Claeys called timeout with 25 seconds left.

  • related content

  • Video: Philip Nelson after defeating Indiana

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson describes the emotion at the end of the game.

  • Video: Jerry Kill reacts to the victory over Indiana

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    Gophers coach Jerry Kill talks during the post game press conference, seated next to acting head coach Tracy Claeys.

  • Photo gallery: Gophers 42, Indiana 39

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    Philip Nelson passed for 298 yards and four touchdowns, and David Cobb rushed for 188 yards, but a game...

  • BOXSCORE: Gophers 42, Indiana 39

    Saturday November 2, 2013

  • Hartman: Cobb shines again in Gophers victory

    Sunday November 3, 2013

    Without the great rushing of David Cobb, who rushed 29 times for 188 yards and kept the talented Hoosiers offense off the field, the Gophers would not have won.

  • Left leg injury sidelines center Christenson

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    The Gophers suffered their first significant offensive line injury of the season Saturday when starting center Jon Christenson was carted off the field because of an apparent left leg injury.

  • Gophers-Indiana game recap

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    Offensive mvpPhilip Nelson, GophersThe sophomore QB got his first start since Sept. 28 and completed 16 of 23 passes for...

  • Minnesota's David Cobb (27) runs as Indiana's Michael Hunter (17) defends during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Minnesota won 42-39. (AP Photo/ Alan Petersime)

  • Gophers tight end Maxx Williams broke into the clear at the end of a 50-yard pass play from Philip Nelson, which gave Minnesota a 42-39 lead with just over 3 minutes left.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - C. Frias 2:10 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 2:40 PM
Arizona - A. Chafin
Boston - C. Buchholz 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano
Toronto - J. Happ 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Washington - B. Treinen 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Miami - H. Alvarez 6:10 PM
NY Mets - D. Gee
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb
Cincinnati - D. Corcino 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Chicago WSox - C. Sale 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Cleveland - C. Carrasco 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Detroit - D. Price 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Texas - D. Holland 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close