Balanced effort on offense leads Minnesota past Indiana
Tanner Morgan passed for 196 yards and two touchdowns and Ky Thomas added 105 yards rushing and two TDs, leading Minnesota to a 35-14 win Saturday over Indiana at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind.
The Golden Gophers (7-4, 5-3 Big Ten) kept their Big Ten West Division title hopes alive with a balanced offensive effort, passing for 196 yards and rushing for 195.
The Hoosiers (2-9, 0-8) dropped their seventh straight game. Donaven McCulley rushed for 72 yards and one TD but struggled throwing the football, completing just 3 of 7 passes for 17 yards, with two interceptions, before being replaced by Grant Gremel in the fourth quarter.
Gremel, a sophomore, threw a 29-yard TD pass to receiver Malachi Holt-Bennett in the closing seconds of the game for his first career TD pass.
After coming up with a fourth-down stop on the Hoosiers’ 8-yard line to thwart a Minnesota scoring drive, Indiana answered with a 14-play, 92-yard TD drive, capped by an 11-yard TD run by McCulley with 17 seconds left in the first quarter.
Of Indiana’s 14 plays on the drive, 13 were on the ground. McCulley rushed for 53 yards on seven carries, fooling Minnesota’s defense on a series of quarterback draws.
Minnesota tied the score in the second quarter on a 12-play, 68-yard TD drive, capped by a 2-yard TD run by Thomas that knotted the score at 7 with 6:04 left in the second quarter.
Later in the quarter, Morgan found Brevyn Spann-Ford on a 48-yard pass down to Indiana’s 4-yard line, setting up a 1-yard TD run by Thomas to put Minnesota up 14-7 with 46 seconds left.
Indiana then had a costly turnover on its next series, as McCulley threw an interception that Minnesota’s Tyler Nubin returned 18 yards to the Indiana 31-yard line.
Minnesota then put together a quick three-play, 31-yard TD drive, with Morgan connecting with Chris Autman-Bell on a 14-yard TD pass with nine seconds left in the half to put Minnesota up 21-7 at the break.
In the third quarter, Morgan connected with Autman-Bell again on a 9-yard TD pass to extend Minnesota’s lead to 28-7. Mar’Keise Irving put Minnesota up 35-7 in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard TD run.
–Field Level Media