Philip Nelson had a breakout game as the Gophers' quarterback, throwing for nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns as Minnesota outlasted the defiant Indian Hoosiers Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana, 42-39.
David Cobb also emerged as a real running threat, carrying the ball 29 times for 188 yards.
In a game that went down to the last minute, with the Gophers recovering a backward lateral to end any Indiana hopes of a game-winning drive, the victory was another unexpected one in a year fraught with off-field issues.
Minnesota got on the board early and first, with a Nelson 10-yarder to to Derrick Engel for a six and the extra point. Engel ended up with four catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
Indiana responded by adding a touchdown and a field goal to end the first term, going up 10-7.
Head coach Jerry Kill was coaching from the pressbox as he continues to recover from epileptic seizures; acting head coach Tracy Claeys led the team from the sidelines. Kill could be seen high-fiving and hugging as he took the headset off in the game's waning seconds.
Platoon QB Mitch Leidner scored the second touchdown for the U on a five-yarder in the 2nd quarter. From then on, it was Nelson's show, and he delivered, throwing two touches in the 2nd quarter, and another in the fourth. The gamebreaker was a 50-yarder from Nelson to Maxx Williams.
Minnesota goes to 7-2 on the season, and a surprising 3-2 in the Big Ten, while Indiana goes 3-5, 1-3 in Big Ten conference play.