Saturday afternoon saw Minnesota accomplish something it hasn’t done in those parts in more than two decades.
Stunned in the first half by a much-improved Purdue squad, the Gophers bounced back in the second half to take home a win over the Boilermakers in Minneapolis. With the win, the Gophers improved to 3-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1990.
The Gophers only led for 4:59 of the 60 minutes, but held the lead when it counted: at the end. With that much time left on the clock, Ryan Santoso booted what would prove to be a game-winning 52-yard field to give the Gophers a 39-38 lead.
A diving interception by Cedric Thompson of an Austin Appleby pass two and a half minutes later essentially sealed the win for the Gophers. That was Thompson’s second interception of the game.
Minnesota entered the half down 31-20 at home, but outscored Purdue 19-7 to earn its first win this year when they’ve been trailing at the half.
David Cobb, who entered the game as the ninth-leading rusher in the country with 819 yards rushing, ran for 194 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries to lead the Gophers to the win.
Come Sunday, Minnesota could also find itself back in the rankings for the first time in years. The Gophers’ lone loss this season was on the road to No. 12 TCU, and they were fourth in the Associated Press Top 25 last week in the “Others Receiving Votes” category.
The Gophers are also bowl-eligible for the third straight year with the win.