The Gophers fought back from a four touchdown deficit in the first half but eventually got blown out by the previously winless Nebraska (1-6) Cornhuskers, 53-28 Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Minnesota (3-4, 0-4 in Big Ten play) had no business even making the game interesting, but they turned a 28-0 deficit late in the second quarter into a gutty comeback, cutting Nebraska's lead to six at 28-22 midway through the third quarter.
Leading the charge was backup quarterback Tanner Morgan, who started the second half in place of true freshman Zack Annexstad, who was removed from the game with an apparent injury.
Annexstad drove Minnesota down the field and connected with Demetrius Douglas on an 8-yard pass to cut Nebraska's lead to 28-6, and the two-point conversion made it 28-8 with 52 seconds left in the first half.
Morgan then led back-to-back scoring drives to get the Gophers within in 28-22. Mohamed Ibrahim scored on a one-yard run and Seth Green punched in Minnesota's third touchdown on a four-yard run out of the wildcat formation.
Nebraska answered on its next drive, capping a four-play, 74-yard drive with a 35-yard touchdown from true freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez to Stanley Morgan.
Minnesota followed with a drive that got all the way down to the Nebraska 3-yard-line before turning it over on downs. The Huskers drove the field and put a field goal through the uprights to push the lead to 39-22, but again the Gophers answered by with Douglas returning the ensuing kickoff 87 yards to the Cornhuskers 13-yard-line.
Three plays later, Morgan's pass to the goal line was tipped into the air and intercepted.
Three plays after that Martinez found Morgan wide open for a 67-yard score, pushing the game out of reach at 46-22.
Nebraska racked up an astounding 664 yards of total offense (276 pass yards, 388 rush yards). Martinez, a true freshman, completed 25-of-29 passes while adding 125 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Three Cornhuskers finished with at least 100 rushing yards.
Tyler Johnson was the offensive star for the Gophers, finishing with 11 catches for 184 yards.