BTN.com staff, October 27, 2012
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.
Purdue got on the scoreboard first, rattling off a five-play, 46-yard drive that ended in a score when Caleb TerBush threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Cottom. The Boilermakers' drive was highlighted by Akeem Shavers' 40-yard run. Purdue's punt return set the Boilermakers up to start the drive.
The Golden Gophers got even after Philip Nelson found Derrick Engel open for a 34-yard touchdown pass to end a 10-play, 72-yard drive that tied the score at seven.
A five-play, 64-yard scoring drive by Minnesota snapped the 7-7 deadlock, as Rodrick Williams ran four yards to paydirt. Nelson's 21-yard pass to A.J. Barker took the Golden Gophers from the 36 and across midfield to ignite the drive.
Minnesota has the ball at Purdue's 45-yard line to begin the second quarter.
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Read more from BTN.com's Tom Dienhart on this game:
Player on the spot: How about Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson, if he gets the start when Purdue visits? He showed flashes last week in his debut, hitting 13-of-24 passes for 149 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and ran 16 times for 67 yards in a 38-13 loss at Wisconsin. Perhaps MarQueis Gray will be healthy enough to start. Regardless of who is under center, the Golden Gophers will need a good effort to end a three-game losing skein that has seen Minnesota score 13 points in each of the three defeats. Purdue is equally as desperate, as it too is in the midst of a three-game losing skid to open Big Ten play. The loser of this game may have a very tough time getting bowl eligible.
Key matchup: Purdue offensive line vs. Minnesota front seven. The Boilermaker front has been inconsistent most of the season, causing the offense to wane. In the last three games, Purdue has scored 13, 14 and 22 points. After a strong start, the Golden Gophers have struggled, especially vs. the run. In the last three games, Minnesota has allowed 182, 208 and 337 yards rushing. If Purdue is able to run the ball, the Gophers figure to be in trouble.
Key number: 16, turnovers lost by the Boilermakers. Only two Big Ten teams have lost more (Illinois and Nebraska with 18). Minnesota isn?t much better with 14 turnovers lost.
Key note: Purdue will attempt to win its first game in Minneapolis since the 2007, and win at TCF Bank Stadium for the first time.
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