Offense- With Minnesota knowing they were going up against a explosive Indiana offense, they were aware they needed to score points and a lot of them. The Gopher offense put up 42 points and had a total of 573 yards of offense. The star performer was quarterback Philip Nelson, who went 16-23 for 298 passing yards and four touchdown passes. The ground and pound game was also there again with emerging stud running back David Cobb rushing for 188 yards on 29 carries. The biggest surprise had to be how the wide receiver stepped up with wide receiver Derrick Engel making 4 catches for 97 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, versatile tight end Maxx Williams having 4 catches on the day for 78 yards and the game winning touchdown. A target that has thrived recently is freshman phenom wide out Donovahn Jones, who had 3 catches for 59 yards. Overall, they played their game by having the 38 minutes, which was 17 minutes more than Indiana, but they still finished their drives and didn't fold when the Hoosiers regained the lead late.
Defense- The Hoosier offense is something that is very hard to prepare for with all the playmakers they have at their disposal, but the uptempo style of play is extremely tough to handle. Minnesota rose up to the task in the first half by only giving up 13 points, but the second half they got too relaxed and gave up 26 points. Indiana had a total of 496 yards with 227 yards coming on the ground from mostly the duo of Stephen Houston having 111 yards on 13 rushes and Tevin Colman running for 108 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld was 13-20 passing for 189 yards and 2 touchdown passes with backup signal caller Tre Roberson going 8-18 passing for 80 yards with a touchdown pass. The biggest play had to be with 25 seconds late and Indiana in the redzone about to take the lead, but when Indiana's Tevin Coleman fumbled a lateral, the heads up Gopher linebacker Aaron Hill jumped on it to secure the victory. It wasn't a pretty performance, but came up with the big play when needed.
Special Teams- Kicker Chris Hawthorne didn't attempt any field goals, but was 6-6 on extra points. Punter Peter Mortell was once again solid as he had 5 punts for a total of 215 yards and a long of 52 yards. Indiana talented kick return duo of Shan Wynn and Stephen Houston had big games as Wynn having three returns for 103 yards and a long of 48 yards while Houston had 3 returns for 88 yards and a long of 48 yards as well. The Gophers will have to sure up the kick return coverage, but overall didn't allow the big play or have a costly error in a tight game.
Coaching- With Coach Kill not on the sideline for the third consecutive week, interiem coach and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys took the reins and remained calm under pressure along with this veteran coaching staff. I liked the gameplan they had in the first half, but it seemed like they didn't have that killer instinct to finish the game when they were up 22 points in the second half. Minnesota is now 7-2 and 3-2 in the Big Ten with a game against Penn State looming to give them that 8th win of the season, which hasn't happened since 2003 when Glen Mason led the Gophers to a 10-3 record.