Minnesota 38, Indiana 31
What Happened: Minnesota avoided a massive collapse with a. 67-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Morgan to Rashod Bateman with just over a minute to play. The Gophers were up 31-9 in the fourth quarter – helped by two Morgan to Tyler Johnson touchdown hookups – but the Hoosiers roared back in the rain.
Peyton Ramsey threw two touchdown passes and hit a two-point conversion after a Stevie Scott touchdown run to tie it up, but Minnesota and Morgan struck back a few moments later.
What Mattered: With starter Zack Annexstad out, Morgan stepped in and stepped up, showing more for the passing game with 302 yards and three scores on a 17-of-24 day. The receivers showed up, with Bateman and Johnson combining for nine catches for 210 yards and three scores.
– Despite issues off the field, Shannon Brooks handled the Minnesota ground game with 154 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. He carried the running attack, but this was Morgan’s day as Minnesota finally had a passing game.
– The conditions were sloppy, and so were the offenses. The yards were there, but Minnesota turned it over four times, and Indiana gave it up three times. Even so, it was an entertaining game with both sides trading big shots.
Thoughts: Did Minnesota ever need this. Finally, PJ Fleck got a Big Ten win again – whiffing on its last six tries – and it saved the hopes for a bowl bid. At 4-4, and with Illinois up next, the Gophers have to rise up in the last three games against Purdue, Northwestern and Wisconsin to get it done. But first, get by the Illini.
– This is a really really, really young Minnesota team that keeps needing to fill in the various parts. This isn’t the offensive backfield the team was hoping to have at this point in the season, but Morgan might just be a find.
– Indiana missed on a big chance at getting close to bowl eligibility. With four straight losses, now the Hoosiers have to win two of their last three against Maryland, at Michigan, and Purdue. It’s possible, but the run defense has to show up against the Terps, and the secondary has to be far better than it was in TCF Bank.