578 –Total yards compiled by Minnesota in its 45-31 loss to Ohio State, the second-most ever surrendered by Ohio State in a single game. That stands in stark contrast to the Hoosiers, who managed to 137 total yards against the Buckeyes in a 41-10 loss in Bloomington the week before.
Ohio State was surrendering just 254.9 yards/game entering the contest, but Minnesota totaled 335 in the first half alone. Minnesota had success on the ground and through the air against an Ohio State team that was ranked third nationally in total defense entering the game. Tailback Laurence Maroney – the nation's third-leading rusher with 1,260 yards and nine touchdowns – ran for 127 yards on 25 carries, including a touchdown. He had more rushing yards in the first quarter – 82 – than Ohio State had given up to any tailback in a game all season. Quarterback Brian Cupito, meanwhile, completed 26-of-35 passes for a career-high 396 yards and another score.
Some issues with the kicking game – including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Ted Ginn, Jr. – played a big part in the Gophers dropping the contest, but there's no question that Indiana will be going up against a high-powered offense, one that averaged 501.5 yards/game.
20-100-yard games for Gopher junior tailback Laurence Maroney in just 33 career games. That includes 19 100-yard efforts in the last 25 outings for the 5-11, 205-pounder from St. Louis. Minnesota is 16-4 when Maroney runs for at least 100 yards in a game over the last 2 ½ years, and 6-7 when he doesn't.
Indiana was actually one of the teams to hold him in check a year ago, as Maroney totaled 89 yards on 16 carries in Indiana's 30-21 victory in Bloomington. During his freshman season, though, Maroney had his way with the Hoosiers in Minneapolis, running for 164 yards on 18 carries in Minnesota's 55-7 victory.
Maroney, who has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in seven out of eight games this season, is averaging 157.5 yards/game, which ranks third nationally. He trails only Memphis' DeAngelo Williams (188.0/game) and Washington State's Jerome Harrison (163.8). The Big Ten actually has three of the nation's top six rushers, with Wisconsin's Brian Calhoun (135.3/game) and Northwestern's Tyrell Sutton (127.5/game) ranking fifth and sixth, respectively.
25- Career touchdown passes for Gopher quarterback Brian Cupito, including 11 this season. Cupito is tied for sixth on Minnesota's all-time passing touchdowns list with former Gopher signal caller and current Indianapolis Colt head coach Tony Dungy, who played at Minnesota from 1973-76. Dungy was a two-time MVP at Minnesota and when he graduated in 1976, he held the school record for touchdown passes, attempts, completions and passing yards.
Cupito is ranked third in the Big Ten in passing yards/game, producing 229.1 per contest. That's one spot ahead of IU's Blake Powers, who is averaging 223.8 yards. Powers has the edge in touchdown passes (21-11), but he's also thrown more interceptions. Powers has a Big Ten-high 11 interceptions, while Cupito has thrown only six – the third fewest among Big Ten starting quarterbacks.
3- - Sacks given up by the Gophers all season, tops in the Big Ten. That's not a new trend, either, as Coach Glen Mason's team gave up only nine sacks during the entire 2004 campaign as well.
A lot of that has to do with the success of the ground game, but it also has to do with an offensive line that is anchored by a pair of fourth-year senior starters in guard Mark Setterstrom and center Greg Eslinger. Eslinger was an All-American as a junior and was ranked as the nation's top center by Lindy's Magazine, while Eslinger was tabbed as a preseason All-American this year and was voted as the nation's third-best guard by Lindy's.
The 6-3, 295-pound Setterstrom and the 6-3, 285-pound Eslinger have each started 46 consecutive games, the longest active streaks in college football.
150 - Points given up by the Minnesota defense in the second halves of games this year, compared to only 80 in the first halves. Minnesota has outscored its opponents 140-80 in the first halves of games this season, but it has been outscored 150-143 after intermission.
The defense has been especially suspect in the second halves of Big Ten games. Minnesota has given up at least 24 points after halftime in four of its five Big Ten games. The only time it didn't was it limited Michigan to seven second half points in the Gophers' 23-20 win in Ann Arbor.
What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Key Matchups
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Things IU Must Do to Win
On Friday – One Bold Prediction
On Saturday – Hoosier Gameday
Five Days and Counting...
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