True freshman Philip Nelson threw for three touchdowns including a 63-yard strike to junior A.J. Barker in the Golden Gophers' resounding victory over the Purdue Boilermakers Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Boilermakers took the early lead 7-0 in the first quarter, but Nelson countered on the University of Minnesota's first drive with a 34-yard touchdown pass to junior Derrick Engel and the Gophers never looked back.
The Gophers increased their lead to 14-7 in the first quarter and blanked the Boilermakers with 20 more points in the second to take a 34-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Gophers senior Michael Carter returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown in the second half, and a subsequent field goal by U of M senior kicker Jordan Wettstein widened the lead to 44-7.
The Boilermakers answered by scoring two touchdowns to narrow the margin to 44-21 by the end of the third quarter, but were held to a touchdown by the Gophers in the fourth.
The Gophers improved to 5-3 with the win and 1-3 in the Big Ten. Next week the Gophers return to TCF Bank Stadium to take on Michigan.