Minnesota aims to end two-game skid vs. reeling Indiana
Minnesota will look to snap a two-game losing streak and stay in contention for the Big Ten West division crown when it plays Saturday at reeling Indiana.
The Golden Gophers (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) find themselves a game behind Iowa and Wisconsin following a 27-22 loss at Iowa last Saturday. In the loss, Minnesota settled for two field goals in three trips to the red zone, which proved costly later in the game.
“There’s only one other team that had more yards against Iowa, and we’re talking about a top-10 defense,” Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. “And we come out of it with 22 points. I thought we gave our team, as a team, the best chance to win and in the fourth quarter, we just weren’t able to do that.”
Behind a mammoth offensive line, Minnesota ranks third in the Big Ten in rushing offense at 205.5 yards per game, despite losing its top two running backs, Mohamed Ibrahim and Trey Potts, to season-ending injuries. Starting quarterback Tanner Morgan has averaged 154 yards per game passing with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Fleck is confident Morgan will bounce back after throwing for just 183 yards and one touchdown in the Iowa loss.
“He responds really well,” Fleck said. “That’s the thing that makes Tanner very unique is he has the ability to respond and squeeze all the juice from the orange. Flush it, move on.”
Indiana (2-8, 0-7) has lost six in a row and is danger of going winless in conference play for the first time since 2011. The Hoosiers turned the ball over six times in a 38-3 loss to Rutgers last week.
“Very disappointed with the performance,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “Not happy at all. It’s my responsibility to get our guys ready. And to turn the ball over six times is a formula for disaster no matter who you play. Put our defense in some tough spots.”
Indiana will likely turn to true freshman quarterback Donaven McCulley for a fourth straight start because quarterbacks Jack Tuttle (lower leg) and Michael Penix Jr. (shoulder) are still dealing with injuries. McCulley has thrown for 458 yards on the season in 75 attempts with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
–Field Level Media