P.J. Fleck is still searching for his first Big Ten win after falling to 0-3 in conference play with a 30-27 loss to Michigan State Saturday night at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Gophers (3-3, 0-3) defense bended and broke all night long as the Spartans bullied them with 245 rushing yards. L.J. Scott led the way with a career-high 199 yards and two touchdowns.
Minnesota's offense was held in check all night until backup quarterback Demry Croft hooked up with Tyler Johnson for three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
Croft took over for Conor Rhoda midway through the second quarter. Rhoda was 5-of-12 for 53 yards while Croft finished 11-of-20 for 163 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Johnson led Minnesota with eight receptions for 106 yards and the three touchdowns. He's up to six touchdowns on the season – tied for second most among wide receivers in the Big Ten.
The start of the game was delayed 34 minutes because of lightning.