Gophers hang on vs. Purdue to improve to 4-0

The Gophers spiked heart rates across Minnesota to hold on for a 38-31 victory over the Boilermakers.
Screen Shot 2019-09-28 at 7.11.20 PM

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have definitely given some fans some anxiety through their first four games of the season. After outlasting South Dakota State, Fresno State, and Georgia Southern to open the season, the Gophers spiked heart rates across the state of Minnesota on Saturday as they held on for a 38-31 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers.

While the Gophers looked sluggish throughout their first three games, Saturday's tilt with Purdue had a different tone. Minnesota came out of the gates strong thanks to a 75-yard drive that was capped off by a Rodney Smith touchdown to put the Gophers up 7-0 early.

After a Purdue drive ended with a field goal, the Gopher offense was at it again as Tanner Morgan kicked off a big day with a 70-yard pass to Chris Autman-Bell to extend the lead to 14-3.

On the following drive, Purdue would suffer a brutal blow as quarterback Elijah Sindelar (shoulder) and star receiver Rondale Moore (knee) would go down on the same play. Regardless, the Boilermakers would put up a fight as Jack Plummer connected with Zander Horvath for a seven-yard touchdown to bring the game to 14-10.

From there, the Gophers would start to attack Purdue through the skies. Morgan would heat up finding Rashod Bateman on a 45-yard touchdown pass and Tyler Johnson on a three-yard strike to give Minnesota a 28-10 lead going into the half.

In the third quarter, the Boilermakers would chip into the lead with a King Doerue eight-yard touchdown run, but the Gophers would answer with a field goal from Michael Lantz and another Morgan-to-Bateman touchdown, a 47-yard connection.

The touchdown would cap off a massive game for both Morgan and Bateman as Morgan threw for a career-high 396 yards and four touchdowns while Bateman racked up six catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns.

With a 38-17 lead, the game seemed to be on cruise control, but Purdue wouldn't go away. The Gophers seemingly forgot how to tackle in the fourth quarter and thanks to another a pair of Doerue touchdowns, the Boilermakers would have the game within a score with less than four minutes to go.

On the eventual game-winning drive, the Gophers appeared to be stopped, but a pass interference penalty by Purdue gave Minnesota a first down. A rush by Rodney Smith, who also had an excellent game with 115 yards and a touchdown, would put things away and the Gophers would improve to 4-0 on the season.

Minnesota will continue through the early stages of their Big Ten schedule by returning home to take on Illinois (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) next Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Next Up

State Patrol

State Patrol reports 2 fatal crashes on Friday in Minnesota

The first incident happened in Austin Township, and the second happened in Birch Lake Township.


Deaths on Minnesota roads in 2021 at highest level in more than a decade

There have been a total of eight motorcyclist fatalities on Minnesota roads this year.

Screen Shot 2021-05-08 at 9.15.09 AM

Chinese rocket debris to crash somewhere on Earth this weekend

Minnesota appears to be just outside of it's massive potential crash zone.

Starlink satellites

Strange lights in Minnesota sky Friday night were SpaceX satellites

SpaceX is planning to launch 60 more Starlink satellites on Sunday, May 9.

Jorge Polanco

Shoemaker, Twins lineup rebounds against Tigers

Jorge Polanco homered in a 7-3 victory over Detroit.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Kaprizov's OT winner lifts Wild into 2nd place in West

Kaprizov's goal gave the Wild a 3-2 victory over the Ducks.

Byron Buxton

Buxton placed on IL, Trevor Larnach called up

Buxton could be out "for weeks" with a hip strain.

A bald eagle perched on branches.

USFWS confirms 2 bald eagles were shot dead

The agency is offering a reward for information in the case.

A newborn baby, wrapped in a blanket with its mother.

Most popular baby names includes one not in top 10 for 100 years

But Olivia and Liam once again led the way for girls and boys.


Gopher football

Gophers run all over Illinois to improve to 5-0

Rodney Smith had a career day on the ground as the Gophers racked up 332 rushing yards in a 40-17 victory.

Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 5.33.37 PM

Badgers batter Gophers in demoralizing border battle blowout

TCF Bank Stadium was packed, but the Badgers spoiled the Gophers' coming out party.

Screen Shot 2019-11-23 at 2.24.12 PM

Gophers set multiple records in win over Northwestern

The tenth-ranked Gophers set up a showdown with Wisconsin.

Gophers lead Big Ten West after routing Rutgers

After traveling east to shut out the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the Gophers improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1960 thanks to a 42-7 victory.

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Shorthanded Gophers hold on to beat Purdue

Minnesota was down a combined total of 25 players and coaches in a 34-31 win.

Image from iOS

Gophers reach 9-0 with wire-to-wire win over No. 4 Penn State

Tanner Morgan completed 18-of-20 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns.

Mohamed Ibrahim

Iowa blasts Gophers to retain the Floyd of Rosedale

The Hawkeyes humiliated the Gophers in a 35-7 blowout.

P.J. Fleck

Gophers move up to 21st in latest AP Poll

The Gophers will host No. 19 Michigan in their season opener on Saturday.