Gophers, Penn State Game Recap

"I don't know. It doesn't really mean anything. I'll keep the ball. I don't know. We lost." -- QB Adam Weber, on the significance of reaching the 10,000-yard mark in career passing in the loss to Penn State.

NOTES, QUOTES

--RB DeLeon Eskridge ran the ball 26 times for 111 yards, marking his second 100-yard rushing effort this season and the fourth of his career. Eskridge ran for 119 yards against Northwestern on Oct. 2.

--QB Adam Weber passed for 299 yards against Penn State, giving him 10,199 for his career. He became just the fifth quarterback in Big Ten Conference history to throw for more than 10,000 yards. Weber trails only Purdue's Drew Brees (11,792) and Curtis Painter (11,163), Northwestern's Brett Basanez (10,580), and Iowa's Chuck Long (10,461) for all-time passing yardage.

-- Minnesota has four 100-plus yard games by its running backs this season, tying for the most in a season since the 2007 season when the Gophers put together four individual rushing efforts that eclipsed the century mark.

GAME BALL GOES TO: WR Da'Jon McKnight -- He finished with 103 receiving yards and set career highs for catches (7) and touchdowns (3). McKnight became the first Minnesota receiver with three touchdowns in a game since Ernie Wheelwright had three touchdowns versus Northwestern on Oct. 13, 2007.

KEEP AN EYE ON: FB Jon Hoese -- The senior fullback carried one time for 3 yards before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. The extent of the injury may not be know for a couple of days, but the loss of Hoese for any duration will hurt the Minnesota offensive attack. "He blew his hammy, and that was a big [injury] because he's so much a part of our offensive package," interim head coach Jeff Horton said after the game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was exciting. It was an honor to take the field, represent this university, lead the football team."—Jeff Horton, who took the field for the first time as the interim head coach for the Golden Gophers.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

LOOKING GOOD: The return of sophomore linebacker Mike Rallis was a welcome addition to the Gopher defense. Rallis led the team with seven tackles and had 1.5 tackles for loss. He had previously been sidelined for three games with an abdominal strain.

--The Gophers amassed 433 yards of total offense against Nittany Lions, marking the first time that Minnesota reached 400-plus yards against a Big Ten opponent since last season against Michigan State when they gained 505 total yards.

--Wide receiver MarQueis Gray finally got back on track after struggling the previous four games. Gray caught seven passes for 83 yards and appears to be fully recovered from the plantar fasciitis that had been bothering him.

STILL NEEDS WORK: The Gophers rush defense has been a problem all season. Entering the game Minnesota was allowing 201.1 yards per game, although Penn State was held to 145 yards rushing and one touchdown they averaged almost five yards per carry.

--Minnesota needs to start taking care of business at home. The loss Saturday sunk the Gophers record in TCF Bank Stadium to 4-8 over the last season and half.

--The Gophers just can't seem to find a way to get to the quarterback. Entering the game Minnesota ranked No. 120 in the nation in sacks per game and did not notch a sack against Penn State.

ROSTER REPORT:

--FB Jon Hoese injured his hamstring on his only carry of the game. The extent of this injury is unknown right now but appears to be serious.

--RB Donnell Kirkwood is still battling hamstring and calf injuries and didn't play against Penn State.

--S Kim Royston has yet to play this season. He broke both bones in his left leg in spring practice.

--WR Victor Keise saw his fist action in the Maroon and Gold and recorded his first career reception.


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