Gophers/Morgan Boil Purdue Through 3 Quarters; Almost Lose It in 4th

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I was nervous coming into today. These games worry me the most, because they are ones we need to win, in order to have a successful season. Do I want to beat Wisconsin and Iowa? Sure, but it those games certainly aren’t must-wins. You go in with hope, and sometimes things happen like last year vs Wisconsin. But this game vs Purdue wasn’t like that. The Gophers are better than Purdue and they needed to show it today with a win. If we want to surprise people, we need to be welcoming Nebraska to the bank in 2 weeks at 5-0. 

Well after today, we are only one Illinois (at TCF Bank) beat down away from doing just that.

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I wrote yesterday, that this offensive line needed to be better and that the Gophers would be best-suited if they could establish the run early. Well, this was about all we saw out of the running game in the first 3 quarters, because Tanner Morgan was lit on fire before the opening kick and never cooled off. Add in a few of the best wide receivers in the Big Ten and… well… you get fireworks.

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After the Minnesota onslought that took place for the first 3/4 of this game, Purdue counter-punched hard in the 4th. They even pulled it within 7, with 4 minutes still left on the clock, after a ridiculous onside kick turned into a score. Things were about to get really tight when Tanner Morgan dropped back to pass on 3rd down and couldn’t connect with Tyler Johnson… until a late flag saved the day.

From there, the non-existent run game suddenly found its footing for 2 first downs…. and just as quickly as they had come back, Purdue was gone and the game was over.

Tanner Morgan took a knee to seal the deal, after the best outing of his young career, throwing for 396 yards and 4 touchdowns… I wasn’t even sure he was capable of that performance, if I’m being completely honest.

It should also be noted that Purdue lost their incredibly talented QB and WR (Sindelar, Moore) in the first half, and the injuries didn’t look good. As for how it affected the game, the Gophers were already running up the score when they went down. Hopefully, the injuries weren’t as bad as they looked…

The Boilermaker comeback at the end of this game was weird and I’m not going to hold it over the Gophers’ head as I look back on this win. It was much more decisive that it looked. I can’t wait for Illinois to come to town next week before things really get testy!

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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