ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Gophers stumble early, wilt late in 20-10 loss to Purdue

Minnesota suffers 1st loss of the season in its homecoming game

Purdue running back Dylan Downing runs for a touchdown against the Gophers during the first quarter Oct. 1, 2022, at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Purdue running back Dylan Downing runs for a touchdown against the Gophers during the first quarter Oct. 1, 2022, at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS — Plenty of the statistics surrounding the Gophers’ 4-0 start seemed too good to be true or would end in only a matter of time.

Two vanished on the opening drives of Homecoming against Purdue on Saturday: its offense went three-and-out and its starting defense gave up its first touchdown.

MORE MINNESOTA GOPHERS COVERAGE:
Win marks 1st time Minnesota has won the Axe in consecutive years since 1993-94
Minnesota seeks 1st back-to-back wins over Badgers in nearly 30 years
Minnesota has now lost 7 straight against its border rival
Fleck in search of 1st victory over the Hawkeyes
Minnesota has lost 7 straight to Iowa and 17 of the last 21
The redshirt freshman has been on the field for 220 plays this season
Minnesota looking for its third-straight victory over the Wildcats
Gophers coach said he loves it at Minnesota and wants to continue building the program
Minnesota's win over Nebraska guaranteed the team a chance at bowl game
Freshman guard Mara Braun scored nine first-half points and finished with 18 points, six rebounds and four steals. Sophomore guard Katie Borowicz made 6 of 9 3-point attempts to finish with 16 points.

Both were season firsts and foreshadowing in the No. 21 Gophers’ 20-10 upset loss to the Boilermakers at Huntington Bank Stadium.

After playing near-perfect football in September, Minnesota’s mistakes and mishaps multiplied Saturday.

Quickly in a 7-0 hole, quarterback Tanner Morgan had a pass tipped and intercepted on the second drive. On the third drive, P.J. Fleck’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 from their own 29-yard line backfired and Purdue tackled on a field goal for a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota missed its own field goal, made a field goal and trailed 10-3 at the half after Michael Brown-Stephens had a surefire touchdown go off his hands for a Purdue interception.

“Couldn’t have played worse,” Fleck said on KFXN-FM at halftime.

The Gophers tied the score 10-10 in the third quarter, but wilted with 10 points allowed in the final five minutes.

Missed tackles aided both of Purdue’s touchdown drives, with middle linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin calling it “the biggest thing.”

NCAA Football: Purdue at Minnesota
Minnesota wide receiver Daniel Jackson runs the ball against Purdue during the second quarter Oct. 1, 2022, at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports

The Gophers sure missed star tailback Mo Ibrahim (out with a lower-leg injury). With him, they were averaging nearly 300 yards per game on the ground, which was No. 2 in the nation. Without him, they didn’t manage 50.

Purdue took a 13-10 lead with a 25-yard field goal with five minutes left in the game. Minnesota was forced to punt and Boilermakers running back Devin Mockobee broke free for a 68-yard gain and then had a 2-yard touchdown run.

Tanner Morgan threw an interception to seal the game for Minnesota (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten). Purdue (3-2, 2-1) won its first of seven games at The Bank.

Minnesota responded in the third quarter, forcing Purdue into a three-and-out and then put together an eight-play, 52-yard touchdown drive. With Mo Ibrahim not playing, Bryce Williams scored from 1-yard out.

ADVERTISEMENT

After that opening drive of the game, Minnesota’s defense stepped up with three takeaways in the first half. Jordan Howden had an interception; Tyler Nubin added a pick and a forced fumble; and Jalen Logan-Redding received the fumble.

After giving up 68 yards on the game's opening drive, Minnesota gave up 91 over the next six drives until intermission.

The Gophers had a chance to tie the score just before half, but Morgan’s pass bounced off Michael Brown Stephens chest and was intercepted by Cam Allen.

Boilermakers quarterback Aidan O’Connell returned after missing their win over Florida Atlantic with a reported rib injury. He completed 27 of 40 passes for 199 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
What to read next
Minnesota West won the women's game, lost the men's game at the Center For Health and Wellness Saturday
MADISON, S.D. — Cold shooting helped sink the Minnesota West men's basketball team Tuesday night at Dakota State University in Madison, S.D.
WORTHINGTON -- Minnesota West women’s basketball coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka has a tendency to look carefully at turnover totals, and when she feels the Lady Jays have committed too many in a game she winces a little.