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(Saturday, October 27)
Final Score: Minnesota 44, Purdue 28
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Philip Nelson passed for career-highs of 246 yards and three touchdowns as the Minnesota Golden Gophers grasped on to an early lead for a 44-28 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers in a Big Ten matchup at TFC Bank Stadium.
Nelson was accurate out of the pocket in his second career start for Minnesota (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten), completing 12 straight passes at one point and finishing 15-of-22 overall. The freshman quarterback had a great chemistry with A.J. Barker, who tallied a career-high 135 yards and a pair of touchdowns on five receptions. Donnell Kirkwood led the team's rushing attack with 134 yards on 22 carries to help the Gophers snap a three-game losing streak.
Caleb TerBush had a rough outing for Purdue (3-5, 0-4) and was pulled in the third quarter after completing only 5-of-18 passes for 49 yards and an interception which Michael Carter returned 43 yards for six points. Robert Marve stepped in and went 11-of-19 for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Rob Henry also saw action at quarterback for the Boilermakers and added 52 yards on 5- of-6 passing with a touchdown. Akeem Shavers picked up 78 yards on 11 carries while Dolapo Macarthy and Antavian Edison combined for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 10 receptions.
Purdue took an early lead as TerBush completed a one-yard touchdown toss to Brandon Cottom just three and a half minutes after kickoff.
The Golden Gophers answered with a 10-play, 72-yard drive which was punctuated by a 34-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Derrick Engel. Minnesota then took its first lead of the game when Roderick Williams Jr. rushed four yards across the goal line with just under three minutes left in the opening frame.
Minnesota added on to its lead in the opening minute of the second period when Nelson completed a 38-yard touchdown strike to A.J. Barker. Nelson stayed hot and added a 63-yard touchdown pass to Barker on Minnesota's next drive.
Jordan Wettstein added a pair of field goals, from distances of 40 and 35 yards away, to sent the Gophers into halftime with a 34-7 advantage.
Purdue began with the ball in the second half and began driving to cut into the deficit. However, TerBush was intercepted by Carter, who returned it for a score. Minnesota added three more points with a 44-yard field goal courtesy of Wettstein with 11:20 left before the final period.
The Boilermakers managed to end the game on a 21-0 run as Marve completed touchdown passes to Macarthy and Edison in the third frame.
Henry brought Purdue closer with just under three minutes left before the final gun by completing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Danny Anthrop. However, the Boilermakers were unable to get any closer which led to their fourth loss in a row.
Minnesota averaged 7.3 yards per play in the contest and limited Purdue to just 4.9 yards per play.
10/27 21:07:08 ET
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