The Gophers’ Damien Wilson, left, and James Manuel combined to throw Penn State running back Bill Belton for a loss during the second half Saturday. With their fourth consecutive victory, the Gophers stayed on contention in the Big Ten Legends Division title race.
Gophers 24, Penn State 10
The recap: Philip Nelson rushed for one touchdown and passed for another, and David Cobb rushed for 139 yards, as the Gophers built a 24-10 lead by halftime and held on through a scoreless second half.
What was learned: Minnesota’s defense kept Penn State without a touchdown for the final three quarters, limiting the Big Ten’s leading passer (Christian Hackenberg) to 163 yards and the nation’s second-leading receiver (Allen Robinson) to 63 yards.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
• Sophomore cornerback Eric Murray had a highlight-reel interception negated by an offsides penalty. But after seeing the overall job Murray did shutting down Robinson, senior cornerback Brock Vereen said Murray had the “best game of any defensive player this entire year.”
• The Gophers didn’t punt in the first half, converting twice on fourth down en route to touchdowns. In the second half, sophomore Peter Mortell had punts that pinned Penn State at 1-, 2- and 12-yard line.
• The Gophers improved to 14-0 in games they’ve led at halftime under coach Jerry Kill.
UP NEXT: No. 17 Wisconsin
Nov. 23, TCF Bank Stadium, time TBA
TV: TBA. Radio: 100.3-FM
Records: Gophers 8-2, 4-2 Big Ten; Wisconsin 7-2, 4-1
The skinny: The Badgers have the nation’s fifth-ranked scoring defense at 15.2 points per game, and they’ll play high-scoring Indiana on Saturday, while the Gophers have a bye week. Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland returned from a hamstring injury Saturday, notching 13 tackles, including two sacks, in a 27-17 victory over BYU. Wisconsin has the nation’s 10th-ranked rushing offense (280.6 yards per game), featuring Melvin Gordon (128.9 yards per game) and James White (105.7).
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