When Minnesota defeated Indiana 55-7 Saturday at the Metrodome, it as another example of just how explosive this Golden Gophers offense can be.
The Homecoming win helped the Gophers move to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten. With the win the Gophers moved to No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, and to No. 24 in the Associated Press poll.
The Gophers racked up 435 rushing yards and rushed for six touchdowns in the win, the fourth highest rushing total in school history. Laurence Maroney led the Gophers with 164 yards on 18 carries, Marion Barber had 107 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and Thomas Tapeh had 65 yards rushing on 14 carries and two touchdowns. The 48-point victory was the largest Big Ten victory for Minnesota since it won by the same margin over Iowa on Nov. 11, 1949.
"Anytime you win a Big Ten game 55-7, you have to be happy," said Gophers coach Glen Mason. "We had a great second half. Even though we had a sizeable lead at halftime, I felt our play in the first half left a lot to be desired. We were sloppy and not clicking on all cylinders like I would have liked. I am very pleased on the way we picked it up in the second half."
The Gophers host rival Wisconsin in another key Big Ten game Saturday. The Badgers (6-3), will bring their usual contingent of wild and crazy fans, making for a festive atmosphere at the Metrodome. A crowd of close to 60,000 is expected. Against Indiana, there were representatives from several Bowls at the game, including the Outback Bowl. Gophers players know now is the time to prove to everyone they belong in a New Year's Day Bowl game.
"We need to prove to fans and media what we already know, that we can win the close games," said safety Eli Ward.
Quarterback Asad Abdul Khlaiq agrees.
"It feels good to be where we are right now," he said. "We need to get prepared for the next two games because they are very important. Wisconsin is a big rivalry and Iowa is always a tough team."
Gophers Men's Hockey Team Splits
Minnesota split its weekend series with Denver, winning 6-2 Friday and losing 4-3 Saturday. The Gophers are now 2-4 overall, 1-3-0 in the WCHA. Denver improved to 5-1, 1-1 overall. The Gophers are at North Dakota this weekend to face the Sioux for two games in Grand Forks. Thomas Vanek had two goals and Grant Potulny one for the Gophers.
The Pioneers got the game-winning goal just 51 seconds into the third period as Connor James scored off the face-off to beat Minnesota goalie Kellen Briggs on the glove side. Gabe Gauthier and Lukas Dora were credited with assists. For the game, DU out-shot Minnesota, 35-34. Denver goalie Adam Berkhoel (31 saves) earned the win to move to 4-1-0 while Briggs (31 saves) fell to 2-2-0. The Pioneers went 2-5 on the power play while Minnesota was 1-2.
No. 1 Women's Hockey Team Sweeps
The No.1 University of Minnesota women's hockey team earned a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series sweep over St. Cloud State, winning 5-3 and 4-1 at Ridder Arena. They improved to 6-0 on the season and remain in first place in the WCHA.
The Gophers are off this week and will return to action Nov. 15-16 against Brown. Minnesota will be without Natalie Darwitz, Kelly Stephens, Lyndsay Wall and Krissy Wendell this week. The foursome will head to Sweden to compete with USA Hockey at the Four Nations Cup, Nov. 5-9.
Humphries Shines in Scrimmage
Freshman and former McDonald's High School All-American Kris Humphries scored 34 points to lead the Gold team to an 85-65 win over the Maroon in an intra-squad scrimmage Saturday at Williams Arena.
The 6-8 Humphries started on the Gold team with Adam Boone, Ben Johnson, Moe Hargrow and Michael Bauer. That entire starting lineup consists of Minnesota high school products. Humphries played at Hopkins High, Boone at Minnetonka High, Johnson at De La Salle, Hargrow at St. Paul Highland Park and Bauer at Hastings. Hargrow added 17 points in the Gold win.
Freshman forward Dan Coleman, who is sitting out this season after transferring from Boston College, led the Maroon team with 19 points. Coleman was a high school teammate of Humphries at Hopkins.
News and Notes
Justin Smith tied the course record with a 7-under-par 65 in the final round of the Landfall Tradition Sunday to spark the Minnesota men's golf team to the team title at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C. ... Freshman Haley Lentsch Haley scored in the 81st minute as the University of Minnesota women's soccer team defeated Iowa State, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon. The Golden Gophers (6-10-2) snapped a 13-game road winless streak. … The Minnesota women's cross country team placed sixth in the Big Ten Conference Women's Cross Country Championships in East Lansing, Mich., on Sunday. The Golden Gophers scored 170 points, finishing just six points out of fourth place. Michigan tallied 31 points in defending its conference title. … The Minnesota men's cross country team placed sixth with 159 points in the Big Ten Conference Men's Cross Country Championships in East Lansing, Mich., on Sunday. Wisconsin won its fifth consecutive title with 40 points,
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