The Gophers offense rolled to nearly 500 yards, with running back Rodney Smith accounting for 103 of those in his fifth consecutive game of 100 or more yards. He moved to third in career rushing yards at 3,848 and broke the school record for all-purpose yards, which now stands at 5,117. The defense allowed the Terrapins only 79 yards on the ground and 210 overall, conceding just a field goal and one fourth-quarter touchdown with the backups on the field. In the past four games, the Gophers have let opponents score only three offensive touchdowns, all in the fourth quarter. “We just have to keep the train rolling,” Smith said. “Keep doing what we do, clean up details and get better as a team. It’s our goal each and every week to play the best football that we can play.”
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• Jacob Clark debuts: The freshman quarterback saw his first game action, taking a few snaps in the fourth quarter. He actually led a scoring drive, culminating in freshman running back Treyson Potts’ first touchdown. He also threw a 39-yard pass to receiver Harry Van Dyne. Clark and fellow freshman Cole Kramer are competing to back up Tanner Morgan. Kramer played in his first game a week ago at Rutgers.
• Mariano Sori-Marin shines: The sophomore started in place of injured Kamal Martin at weakside linebacker and led the team with eight tackles. Sori-Marin has stepped in for Martin twice before, in the season opener and last nonconference game, and has shown impressive poise for a young player.
• P.J. Fleck’s 50th: Morgan said athletic director Mark Coyle presented the Gophers coach with a game ball in the locker room after the victory to commemorate the coach’s 50th win. He is 20-13 with the Gophers and 50-35 overall. At 38 years old, he’s the second-youngest active coach in the FBS to reach that milestone.
Up next: vs. Penn State, Nov. 9, TCF Bank Stadium, time and TV TBA
The skinny: This matchup isn’t the Rose Bowl, yet the term “granddaddy of them all” seems fitting. When No. 5 Penn State comes to the No. 13 Gophers in two weeks, two undefeated teams will play at TCF Bank Stadium, but only one will emerge. The 8-0 teams, 5-0 in the Big Ten, will battle to stay perfect. And this could even conceivably be a preview of the Big Ten Championship Game, should Penn State overcome No. 3 Ohio State in the East and the Gophers maintain their two-game lead in the West. The Nittany Lions average 40 points and nearly 440 yards per game, with the Gophers close behind at 36.4 points and 419.7 yards. But Penn State’s run defense is pretty stiff, allowing opponents an average of 10 points and just 66.3 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Sean Clifford has completed 116 of 184 passes for 1,742 yards, 16 touchdowns and two interceptions this year. Top rusher Noah Cain has 329 yards and six scores on 62 carries, and top receiver KJ Hamler has made 32 catches for 563 yards and seven touchdowns. Both teams have a bye week to anticipate the big matchup. The team’s haven’t faced each other since 2016 in Pennsylvania, when Penn State won 29-26 in overtime to claim the Governor’s Victory Bell trophy.