The Minnesota Golden Gophers did what they had to do on Saturday, beating the Penn State Nittany Lions 24-10 at home. The Gophers put the game away in the first half and were able to keep the Nittany Lions at bay during a quiet second.
Bill Belton fumbled the handoff on the first play of the game for Penn State and the Gophers were able to convert that field position into a field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. They would push that lead to 10-0 before the end of the quarter on a one yard touchdown run from David Cobb, capping off a 15-play, 96-yard drive. Penn State would answer quickly, however, pulling back within a field goal on a Zach Zwinak touchdown run less than two minutes later.
The second quarter is where the game was decided. Philip Nelson scored twice for the Gophers, once on the ground and another on a 24 yard fade to Maxx Williams to give them a commanding 24-10 lead at halftime.
The pace slowed considerably in the second half, as both defenses found their footing. Penn State's attempts to shave down Minnesota's lead were hampered by routinely terrible field position, as they started several drives inside the five yard line. Ultimately, neither team was able to get points on the board in the final 30 minutes, with the closest attempt ending with a Penn State fumble inside the Minnesota five yard line.
The lone bright spot on the day for the Nittany Lions was Allen Robinson, who set a new school record for single-season receiving yards, breaking Bobby Engram's record of 1,084 set in 1995.
Minnesota goes to 8-2 with the win and remains alive in the Big Ten Legends Division. Still, they're going need some help -- and soon -- if they're going to catch Michigan State. Those two teams will get together on the last Saturday of the season in East Lansing.
Box Score Hero:
Philip Nelson did it all for Minnesota. He went 15-24 for 186 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, and also rushed for another touchdown. Honorable mention goes to the two feature backs, Minnesota's David Cobb and Penn State's Zwinak. Cobb rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown, while Zwinak went for 150 yards and a score.
Neither team was ranked entering the game, but at 8-2, Minnesota should be.
But Did They Cover?
The Gophers were a three point favorite at kickoff, so they covered the spread.
For More On This Game:
For more on Minnesota, check out The Daily Gopher.
For more on Penn State, head over to Black Shoe Diaries.
Next Week's Schedule:
Minnesota: 11/23, vs. Wisconsin
Penn State: 11/16, vs. Purdue
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