MINNESOTA: Five Days and Counting

Indiana (2-2) looks to halt its two-game losing streak Saturday when it goes on the road for the first time this season to take on Minnesota (4-1). HoosierNation.com kicks off its day-by-day preview of this weekend's match-up with "Five Numbers to Note" about the contest...

15 – years since IU last won a game at Minnesota. The Hoosiers last victory came in 1993, as the Bill Mallory-coached squad topped Minnesota 23-19. That 1993 win was the first of four straight Big Ten victories for IU (its longest conference winning streak in the last 20 years) that enabled the Hoosiers to starts the season 7-1. Since then, Indiana has suffered some of its worst losses at the Metrodome. Indiana is 0-4 at Minnesota since, losing games by 12, 24, 48 and 37 points. Indiana's last visit came in 2006, when IU squandered a chance to become bowl eligible in embarrassing fashion, losing 63-26.

14 – turnovers created by the Gopher defense in the season's first five games. Minnesota has intercepted opposing quarterbacks eight times and recovered six fumbles, giving Coach Tim Brewster's team a Big Ten-best +9 turnover margin. That's a margin that also ranks No. 3 in the nation, a remarkable turnaround from a year ago when Minnesota was last in the Big Ten with a -15 turnover margin. The biggest change has been with quarterback Adam Weber, who has thrown only two interceptions in the first five games. As a freshman a year ago, Weber threw 19 interceptions and had at least one interception in 11 of Minnesota's 12 games. This year, Weber didn't throw an interception in the season's first three games and has only thrown only one in each of the past two games.

91 – net rushing yards for Minnesota quarterback Adam Weber after five games, or less than 20 yards/game. That's a huge difference from a year ago when Weber was the team's leader in carries (146), yards (615) and rushing touchdowns (5). Weber and IU's Kellen Lewis were the only two Big Ten quarterbacks last season who led their teams in rushing as well as passing. While the sophomore Weber is still a threat to run with it, he's been remaining in the pocket a great deal more this season, and the Gophers have been relying on running backs DeLeon Eskridge and Duane Bennett. Eskridge is a true freshman who leads Minnesota in all three major rushing categories with 65 carries for 280 yards and five touchdowns.

114 - points surrendered by Indiana in its last two games at Minnesota. Besides the 63-26 loss in 2006, IU also was drubbed 55-7 in 2003 in a game where Matt LoVecchio couldn't play and was instead replaced by Graeme McFarland in the starting lineup. Those are a couple of the worst defensive performances by IU in recent history – the Hoosiers have given up 55 or more points 10 times in the last 20 years, and those are two of them. The 63 points in 2006, meanwhile, was the most points given up by an Indiana team since Nebraska beat the Hoosiers 69-17 on Sept. 30, 1978.

249.0 – rushing yards/game by Indiana in the first four games. While there's been plenty of criticism directed toward the Hoosiers' inability on the ground at times, it's hard to argue with a rushing total that ranks 10th nationally. They'll be going up against a Minnesota defense that is susceptible against the run. The Gophers rank 70th in rushing defense with 143.6 yards/game, and they were run over by Ohio State last weekend in a 34-21 loss. The Buckeyes ran for 279 yards on the ground and averaged 7.5 yards/carry, led by tailback Beanie Wells (14 carries, 106 yards) and quarterback Terrelle Pryor (8 carries, 97 yards).

What's coming up:
On Monday - Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – Two Big Concerns
On Friday – One Bold Prediction


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