Minnesota beats Indiana 42-39 for 3rd straight win
Linebacker Aaron Hill recovered a fumble by Indiana’s Tevin
Coleman with 25 seconds remaining and surging Minnesota held on to
beat the Hoosiers 42-39 on Saturday.
Minnesota (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) led 35-13 midway through the third
quarter before the Hoosiers stormed back for a 39-35 lead on Nate
Sudfeld’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Cody Latimer with 5:33
remaining. But Philip Nelson found Maxx Williams open down the
middle for a 50-yard scoring pass on Minnesota’s ensuing
Indiana (3-5, 1-3) then drove to the Gophers’ 9-yard line before
Sudfeld threw a lateral on second-and-goal that Coleman juggled.
Hill scooped up the bouncing football to secure Minnesota’s third
straight victory under acting coach Tracy Claeys.
The Hoosiers lost their third straight despite gaining 227 yards
on the ground. Coach Kevin Wilson dropped briefly to one knee in
despair as officials signaled the change of possession in the final
Nelson went 16 of 23 for 298 yards and four touchdowns. David
Cobb rushed 29 times for 188 yards and a score for Minnesota.
Coleman ran 14 times for 108 yards and a touchdown for Indiana
before his fateful mistake.
Following a Minnesota timeout, Sudfeld lined up in a shotgun
formation with Coleman to his right. Coleman floated into the right
flat as Sudfeld threw a quick swing pass that traveled backward.
Coleman did not attempt to fall on the loose football, while Hill
alertly gathered the carom and saved a game that appeared ready to
go to overtime or end with an Indiana victory.
The Hoosiers were down 35-13 after Cobb exploded for a 27-yard
touchdown run with 6:24 left in the third quarter. But touchdowns
on four straight possessions, combined with three consecutive
defensive stops, allowed Indiana to improbably take a late lead in
a contest critical to its hopes of reaching the postseason for the
first time since 2007.
Indiana safety Greg Heban made a lunging tackle at the feet of
Jalen Myrick, who came two yards shy of converting a fake punt on
fourth-and-5 with 8:45 to play. That set up the heroics of Sudfeld
and Latimer, whose touchdown put the Hoosiers in front for the
first time since they led 13-7.
A string of 28 unanswered Minnesota points ended when Sudfeld
connected with Wynn on a 40-yard touchdown with 5:13 remaining in
the third quarter. Indiana’s resulting furious comeback fell one
One play after Stephen Houston used superb blocking to pick up
21 yards on third-and-10, he powered in from the 4-yard line to
give Indiana a chance to tie. Minnesota’s defense stopped Sudfeld’s
scramble on the 2-point conversion attempt to maintain a 35-33
A read-option pitch from Tre Roberson to Coleman resulted in a
55-yard touchdown run down the right sideline on the first snap of
the fourth quarter. Coleman broke a last-ditch tackle attempt
around the 7-yard line and drew Indiana within 35-27.
With coach Jerry Kill on leave to treat his epilepsy and
watching from the coaching box, Cobb became the first Gopher to
rush for 100 yards in three straight games since Amir Pinnix in
Minnesota outgained the Hoosiers 301-162 in the first half and
led 28-13 at the break.
Nelson lofted a 10-yard pass to Derrick Engel for a 7-0 lead on
the game’s opening drive. The first play was a flea flicker that
gained 40 yards. Cobb pitched back to Nelson, who found Engel wide
open on a deep post route.
Roberson threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Kofi Hughes to give
the Hoosiers a 10-7 lead following a turnover. Donnell Kirkwood
fumbled at the end of an 11-yard run when hit by Indiana’s Mark
Murphy. Heban recovered for the Hoosiers.
The game was delayed for eight minutes early in the second
quarter after Minnesota center Jon Christenson sustained a left leg
injury. About 30 teammates left the sideline to wish Christenson
well before he was carted off on a stretcher.