Every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the action and offers his Snap Reactions. See Dienhart’s immediate thoughts from Michigan State’s impressive rally and overtime victory at Wisconsin and Minnesota’s emphatic win over Purdue in this post.
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Freshman Philip Nelson threw three touchdown passes in the first half of his second college start for Minnesota, and the Gophers breezed to their first Big Ten victory of the season by beating Purdue 44-28 on Saturday afternoon.
Minnesota looks to be in control of the game as it leads 44-21 at the end of the third quarter. Purdue is currently on a 14-point run, though. The Golden Gophers made the score 41-7 when Michael Carter intercepted a Caleb TerBush pass and returned it for a touchdown.
Minnesota’s offense looked sharp in the second quarter, scoring 20 points, and the Golden Gophers now lead 34-7. Minnesota executed a balanced offensive attack in the quarter, finishing with 128 yards passing and 72 yards rushing. The Golden Gophers have scored the last 34 points.
Minnesota’s defense shut down Purdue’s aerial attack in the first quarter, holding the Boilermakers to 15 passing yards, and the Golden Gophers lead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Minnesota’s passing attack looked sharp, as the Golden Gophers threw for 118 yards in the quarter. Minnesota is currently on a 14-point run.
Indiana plays at Illinois while Purdue travels to Minnesota and both games air on BTN/BTN2Go this Saturday. Our editors dove into our online archive of football games featuring these same two matchups and found some great old games, including the 2001 game when the Boilermakers and Gophers took it to overtime.
In my preview of this Saturday’s six games, I believe most teams will play with a real sense of urgency. Nebraska and Michigan are two good examples, but Ohio State and Penn State each have something to prove, too. Michigan State and Wisconsin have a history, Iowa leads Northwestern in the standings, and Purdue, Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois each seek their first conference win.
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners.
Saturday is fast approaching. Here are my most pressing questions for each school. The answers may come Saturday, but if you want to tackle them now, let me know in the comments box or via my Big Ten mailbag. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here. And don’t be afraid to drop ask me a question on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
This shapes up as a great weekend that is headlined by Michigan’s visit to Nebraska in a huge Legends clash that will go a long way toward determining who will win the division.