The Gophers and Boilermakers played shootout football in the first half, but the defense stepped up in the second half as Minnesota defeated Purdue 39-38 Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.
The victory was head coach Jerry Kill's 150th win as a college football coach, and keeps the Gophers undefeated in the Big Ten conference at 3-0 (6-1 overall).
Ryan Santoso kicked a 52-yard field goal with 4:59 left to cap Minnesota’s comeback from a 31-20 deficit at halftime, the Associated Press reports.
This was the first time in 23 games under coach Jerry Kill that the Gophers rallied from a halftime deficit to win.
Cedric Thompson had two interceptions for Minnesota, including one with 2:28 remaining to seal the win.
Thompson also returned an interception to Purdue’s 2-yard line in the first quarter,which set up Minnesota’s first score.
Gopher quarterback Mitch Leidner completed 9 of 18 passes for 165 yards, and also rushed 13 times for 84 yards. Running back David Cobb rushed for 194 yards and a touchdown, according to the Star Tribune.
Purdue (3-5, 1-3) was a 13 1/2-point underdog coming in to the game, but the Boilermakers played aggressive offense in the first half to take a 31-20 halftime lead.
Purdue's Austin Appleby threw three first-half touchdown passes for the Boilermakers (3-5, 1-3), but he was only 4 for 10 for 18 yards in the second half.
Iowa lost to Maryland Saturday, so the Gophers took sole possession of first place in the Big Ten West.
The Gopher locker room was an energetic place after the game, as you might expect.