The Gopher defense was unable to slow down the Purdue offense as the Boilermakers destroyed Minnesota 49-30. David Mockobee rushed for 145 yards and the Purdue rushing attack averaged 8 yards per rush, which set up huge pass plays and led to a lot of points. In total Purdue had over 600 yards of offense.
The Minnesota offense showed some signs of life early, but consistency and finishing drives with touchdowns kept them from keeping pace with Purdue. Their opening drive of the game was 4 plays, 65 yards and a quick touchdown. Their next two drives totaled 96 yards, and ate up over 12 minutes of clock but both stalled out and they settled for a field goal on each one. The next drive was similar, but a missed field goal.
Meanwhile, Purdue marched down the field and found the end zone on their first four possessions. All four were 75 yards (or more) and only one took over 3 minutes. The defense was a step behind and looked lost all afternoon. Very quickly Purdue held a 28-13 lead, a deficit that the Gopher offense could not overcome.
A late touchdown before halftime, a fantastic 27-yard catch by Chris Autman-Bell, made the game appear close at the half. It very much felt as though Minnesota was fortunate to only be trailing 20-28. Both offenses moved the ball with ease in those first two quarters with the Gophers gaining 287 yards of offense to Purdue’s 318.
The 2nd half was a completely different story. Purdue made necessary adjustments on defense while Minnesota continued to look lost. Minnesota managed just 18 yards in the 3rd quarter and only 117 total for the 2nd half. The Boilermaker offense continued to roll and run through the Gopher defense.
The final score was 30-49 after the Gophers scored a very late touchdown, but the specific details of this game are really not that important. What matters is that this Gopher defense was completely lost. There was an early injury to Maverick Baronowski, leaving linebacker exposed. But this was a collapse of the entire defense. Usually out of position, could not tackle and were run over by a Purdue rushing attack that has not been particularly good this season.
The offense isn’t without blame in this game as well, particularly at quarterback. But it was a bad game on both sides of the ball while Purdue started rolling downhill.
This is a game to forget and Minnesota will have to regroup. Unfortunately up next is a trip to Columbus to face Ohio State. Things will not get any easier for this defense.