1. The Offense Took Charge
It is no surprise that Indiana can score and they can score very quickly. Minnesota was going to have to come out and really put up show big numbers along with hold the ball, so they could cut down the opportunities the Hoosiers have to score. The star was quarterback Philip Nelson, who went 16-23 for 298 passing yards and four touchdown passes. Running back David Cobb went back to work again by rushing for 188 yards on 29 carries. The Gophers held the ball for 38 minutes, which was 17 more minutes than the Hoosiers. The offense did their job by going over 570 yards and putting up 42 points. The offense is hitting their stride and knows they can pass and not only run the ball.
2. Donovahn Jones Is Going To Be Special
A very versatile athlete, Hampton (GA.) Dutchtown native Donovahn Jones was a late pick-up for the Gopher recruiting class last year. He was a former Missouri commit, but decided Minnesota was the place to be for him. Jones was a true duel threat quarterback for Dutchtown. In 2012, he was very impressive throwing the ball. He totaled 1609 yards passing with 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. While running the ball, Jones racked up 634 yards on the ground while scoring seven times. Many had high expectations that Jones could contribute early in his career and against Indiana, he broke out with 3 catches for 59 yards. You can see his size and speed and will be a key piece for this offense for many years to come.
3. Just Enough Defense
I didn't think Minnesota was going to stop Indiana's explosive offense, but it was a matter of how much they could slow them up. The Gophers rose to the occasion in the first half by only allowing 13 points until the Hoosiers came alive in the second half to score 26 unanswered points, until a late strike to Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams gave the Gophers back the lead. With 25 seconds late, Indiana was in the redzone down by 3 looking to take the lead. The defense made a huge play as Indiana Tevin Coleman fumbled a lateral pass and Gopher linebacker Aaron Hill scooped up the ball to secure the victory. While Minnesota did give up 496 total yards and 39 points, they came up with the big play when they needed it the most.
4. Can't Relax
This game looked like it was in the bag after the Gophers were up by 22 points in the second half, but then the defense wasn't being as aggressive and the offense got a little conservative. They had to learn to keep the pedal to the metal and have that killer instinct to finish the game. With a team like Indiana, they have the capability of scoring fast and at a premium, so you should to never let up until the game is completely in your hands. That didn't happen and almost cost them the game.
5. This Team Is No Fluke
I don't care what you say, but when Minnesota won their third consecutive Big Ten win and with two of them being on the road, I find it hard to believe that this team doesn't have something special going on. At 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten, the Gophers are looking to add that 8th win and earn a berth to a better bowl game. The last time Minnesota won 8 games or more in a season was in 2003 with Glen Mason under the helm. This team has been underdogs the last three weeks and each bet the odds. There is a lot of momentum going on in Minneapolis and that will look to continue Saturday.