Gophers Fall To Penn State, 33-21

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Penn State Nittany Lions 33, Minnesota Golden Gophers 21

(Sports Network) – Derek Moye caught three passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Penn State Nittany Lions to a 33-21 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Big Ten affair at TCF Bank Stadium.

Robert Bolden completed 11-of-13 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown before leaving with an injury for the Nittany Lions (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten). Matthew McGloin took over under center, throwing for 76 yards and a pair of scores. Silas Redd ran for 71 yards to lead the Penn State rushing attack, while Evan Royster added 62 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries.

Adam Weber completed 26-of-49 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns to lead Minnesota (1-7, 0-4) in the loss, while DeLeon Eskridge ran for 111 yards on 26 totes. Da’Jon McKnight caught eight passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns for the Golden Gophers, while MarQueis Gray grabbed seven balls for 83 yards.

The Nittany Lions opened the scoring in this one, as Bolden completed a 21-yard strike to Brett Brackett early in the opening period of play.

The Golden Gophers responded midway through the frame, tying the contest at seven apiece with a 29-yard toss from Weber to McKnight.

The Nittany Lions reclaimed the lead early in the second quarter following a two-yard scamper by Royster, and took a 21-7 lead into the locker room following a 42-yard completion from McGloin to Moye.

The Golden Gophers cut the Penn State lead to 21-14 midway through the third quarter, as Weber found McKnight once more with a four-yard scoring toss.

The Nittany Lions added a 49-yard Collin Wagner field goal late in the frame to move ahead 24-14.

A nine-yard strike from McGloin to Moye early in the final period of play gave the Nittany Lions a 31-14 lead, while a Devin Still sack for a safety midway through the frame allowed the Nittany Lions to pull even further ahead.

Weber and McKnight hooked up once more late in the stanza with a 16-yard completion for the Golden Gophers to close out the scoring.

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Penn State Nittany Lions 33, Minnesota Golden Gophers 21 - McKnight Triples His Pleasure

Well, it’s garbage time, which must mean that it’s time for the Golden Gophers to rack up some late yards and points to make things look not as bad as they actually were.

The Gophers held Penn State on their possession after the safety, and got things going in the right direction on the first play of the ensuing drive with a screen pass to Duane Bennett that Bennett turned into a 45-yard gain into Penn State territory.

Minnesota continued to move the ball forward, and on a fourth down and six from the Penn State 16-yard line, Weber found Da’Jon McKnight for his third touchdown reception of the afternoon to make the score 33-21 in favor of Penn State.

The Gophers have just failed on an onside kick with five minutes left, so the Nittany Lions will take over with great field position and a 12-point lead.

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Penn State Nittany Lions 33, Minnesota Golden Gophers 14 - Nittany Lions Do The Safety Dance

Well, the Gophers couldn’t have timed that much worse than they did.

A penalty for a block in the back negated what was a pretty good kickoff return for Duane Bennett following the last Penn State touchdown, and the Gophers were forced to start from their own 8-yard line. Two plays later, Adam Weber was running for his life in the end zone when he started to go down and just flipped the ball forward with nobody in maroon and gold in the immediate area.

Weber was flagged for intentional grounding, and the result of the play was a safety, extending their lead from 17 points to 19 at 33-14.

This one’s pretty much over, ladies and gentlemen.

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Penn State Nittany Lions 31, Minnesota Golden Gophers 14 - Nittany Lions In Control

The Gophers got gashed by the Nittany Lions’ rushing attack on this drive. . .and, by and large, Evan Royster was nowhere to be found.

Instead, the damage was done by true freshman Silas Redd, who got two 46 yards on two carries early in the drive to move the Nittany Lions from their own 40 down to the Minnesota 14. The Golden Gophers’ defense held up for a little bit, but on third down quarterback Matthew McGloin hit Derek Moye from nine yards out for their second touchdown connection of the afternoon.

With about ten minutes left in this one, it appears that the Governor’s Victory Bell is going to remain with Penn State, as they lead this one 31-14.

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Penn State Nittany Lions 24, Minnesota Golden Gophers 14 - Penn State Extends Lead

The Gopher defense gave up a huge run to Evan Royster, allowing him to rumble for 29 yards into Minnesota territory, but they stiffened up from there, forcing the Nittany Lions to settle for a 49-yard field goal from kicker Colin Wagner.

With less than five minutes left in the third quarter, the Golden Gophers trail the Nittany Lions 24-14.

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Penn State Nittany Lions 21, Minnesota Golden Gophers 14 - Weber To McKnight Again

The Gophers put together one of their most impressive drives of the season to start the second half of today’s game, and the result has gotten them back to within a touchdown of the Nittany Lions.

The Gophers took the opening kickoff of the second half, and started out at their own 25-yard line. DeLeon Eskridge looked especially impressive on the drive, as he got things started with an 18-yard run around the left end, and contributed a total of 42 rushing yards on the drive.

On third and 2 from the Penn State 4, Adam Weber dropped back to pass and hit Da’Jon McKnight on a little fade route in the right side of the end zone to make the score 21-14. It was McKnight’s second touchdown catch of the day, and his eighth of the season.

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Penn State Nittany Lions 21, Minnesota Golden Gophers 7 - Halftime

We’ve gone to halftime at TCF Bank Stadium with the Gophers trailing Penn State 21-7.

The Gophers had gotten an interception out of Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin by Ryan Collado and moved into Nittany Lion territory, but they failed to convert on a fourth and 2 and turned the ball back over.

Penn State failed to do anything with the ensuing possession, and we go into the locker room with the score 21-7 in favor of Penn State.

Minnesota will get the ball coming out of the locker room at halftime.

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Penn State Nittany Lions 21, Minnesota Golden Gophers 7

Adam Weber decided he’d celebrate becoming the fifth quarterback in Big Ten history to reach 10,000 yards by throwing an interception.

Weber attempted to hit Da’Jon McKnight in the end zone, despite McKnight being triple covered. The pass was intercepted by Penn State defensive back D’Anton Lynn, who got a huge return back out to the Minnesota 42-yard line.

On the very next play, Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin. . .in for the injured Robert Bolden. . .threw his first career touchdown pass to wide receiver Derek Moye to put the Nittany Lions up 21-7, and that’s where we stand with 3:29 left in the first half of play.

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Adam Weber Reaches 10,000 Career Passing Yards

With a three-yard pass to tight end Eric Lair in the second quarter, Minnesota Golden Gophers’ quarterback Adam Weber became just the fifth passer in Big Ten history to reach 10,000 career passing yards.

The other Big Ten quarterbacks to achieve this mark are Drew Brees (Purdue Boilermakers), Curtis Painter (also from Purdue), Brent Basanez (Northwestern), and Chuck Long (Iowa).

Congratulations to Adam Weber on his accomplishment.

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Penn State Nittany Lions 14, Minnesota Golden Gophers 7 - Penalties Kill The Gophers

Don’t get me wrong, Penn State just capped off an impressive 89-yard drive for a touchdown, but they got some significant help from the Gophers, especially in the red zone.

A Robert Bolden pass that looked to be uncatchable got the Gophers flagged for pass interference on a third down that would have had the Nittany Lions settling for three points. The next time the Gophers faced third down, Troy Stoudermire wiped out a Penn State tight end at the goal line to give the Nittany Lions a fresh set of downs.

The end result was a 2-yard touchdown run by Penn State’s Evan Royster, and the score now stands at 14-7 in favor of Penn State with 11:34 remaining until halftime.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers 7, Penn State Nittany Lions 7 - Gophers Show Some Spark

After only gaining one yard on their first drive of the game, the Minnesota Gophers answered Penn State’s first scoring drive of the afternoon with one of their own.

The Gophers started out from their own 25-yard line, and Adam Weber looked impressive on the drive, connecting on passes to tight end Eric Lair for 19 yards, and two more to Da’Jon McKnight for 12. Weber then scrambled on third and 10 and looked to have the first down, but slid before the marker, bringing up a fourth and two situation for Minnesota.

Fullback/bulldozer Jon Hoese converted the fourth down for the Gophers, and on the next play Weber found McKnight for a 29-yard touchdown strike on a beautifully thrown pass.

With 6:27 left in the first quarter, the Battle for the Governor’s Victory Bell is tied at seven.

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Penn State Nittany Lions 7, Minnesota Golden Gophers 0 - Bolden Shredding The Gophers

Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden certainly hasn’t looked like a true freshman so far against the Gophers, marching them downfield to a touchdown on their second drive and an early lead.

After a Penn State punt pinned the Gophers deep and they went three and out, the Nittany Lions took over on Minnesota’s side of midfield. It took them only four plays to move the 47 yards necessary to get into the end zone, and the drive concluded with a 21-yard pass from Bolden to wide receiver Brett Brackett for the score.

On Penn State’s first two drives, Bolden has completed all six of his pass attempts for 67 yards and the score.

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Three Game Threads For You To Discuss Gophers/Nittany Lions

If you’re stuck at home and want to talk about today’s game with your fellow Gopher, Nittany Lion, or Big Ten fans, SBNation has got you covered.

Off Tackle Empire has an open thread for all of the Big Ten Conference games this afternoon.

For the Golden Gophers perspective on things, you can head on over to The Daily Gopher.

If you’re a fan of the Nittany Lions, the folks over at Black Shoe Diaries have got you covered.

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Gophers Battle Nittany Lions For The Governor's Victory Bell

DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 23rd, 12:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: TCF Bank Stadium (50,805) -- Minneapolis, Minnesota. Television:ESPNU. Home Record: PSU 3-1, Minnesota 0-4. Away Record: PSU 0-2, Minnesota 1-2. Neutral Record: PSU 0-0, Minnesota 0-0. Conference Record: PSU 0-2, Minnesota 0-3. Series Record: Penn State leads, 7-4.

GAME NOTES: A couple of teams in desperate need of a win come together at TCF Bank Stadium this weekend, as the Penn State Nittany Lions battle the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Big Ten affair.

The Lions were idle this past week as they search for ways to end a two-game slide. PSU was most recently in action on October 9th, when it suffered a 33-13 loss to Illinois. The Lions are now 3-3 overall, including 0-2 in league play, and in need of a victory.

Even more desperate for a win is Minnesota, which has dropped six games in a row since opening the season with a victory over Middle Tennessee. The losing skid started with a shocking defeat to South Dakota State, a FCS program, and continued last weekend with a 28-17 setback at Purdue. The team is now 0-3 in Big Ten play and an even worse 0-4 in home games.

As for the all-time series, PSU holds a 7-4 edge and has won the past three clashes, including a 20-0 blanking last season.

The Lions have struggled on the offensive side of the ball and that was made very clear in their loss to Illinois. PSU gained just seven first downs and 235 total yards, with 80 of them coming on one pass play. Freshman QB Rob Bolden has looked every bit like a rookie and he completed just 8-of-21 pass attempts last game. He finished with 142 yards, but 80 of them came on a TD pass to Derek Moye. Bolden has tossed just four TDs against seven INTs this season and has completed only 56.1 percent of his pass attempts, numbers that are well below average. Moye, who finished last game with 106 receiving yards, leads the team with 22 catches and 377 yards, while Evan Royster heads the way on the ground with 388 yards. Though both Moye and Royster lead the team at their respective positions, neither has performed up to expectations following last year's success.

Defensively, PSU was gashed in its last outing, as Illinois rolled up 437 yards of total offense. The Lions surrendered 282 of those yards on the ground, while allowing Illinois to complete an efficient 16-of-20 pass attempts. It was obviously a dismal performance from a unit that is now yielding 145.5 rushing ypg and 169.3 passing ypg for the season. The defense has recorded just 10 takeaways and eight sacks, so something needs to be done to spark this once proud group. Chris Colasanti collected a career-high 18 tackles in the loss to Illinois and he now tops the squad with 59 stops for the year.

The Gophers were just dreadful on offense last weekend and did next to nothing until the fourth quarter of their 28-17 loss to Purdue. Minnesota accumulated just 279 total yards, while turning the ball over three times. QB Adam Weber rushed for a team-high 42 yards and threw for 214 more and a two scores, but he completed only 20-of-45 pass attempts and was picked twice. The veteran has now thrown for 14 TDs against six INTs, though he is completing just 56.6 percent of his attempts. Da'Jon McKnight has been his main target and he leads the team with 28 catches for 439 yards and six TDs. Those numbers were aided by a big performance last weekend, when he snared six balls for 123 yards and a TD. Duane Bennett and DeLeon Eskridge were non-factors against Purdue, but they have combined for a successful 765 rushing yards on the season.

On the defensive side of the ball is where Minnesota has really struggled this season, allowing 201.1 ypg on the ground and another 213.1 ypg through the air. The unit has given up 18 rushing TDs thus far and that is simply too many. Three of those rushing TDs came last weekend against Purdue, which rolled up 230 yards on the ground. Purdue had its way up front and added 163 yards and another score via the pass. Minnesota once again failed to come up with a sack as well and the team has managed just three for the year. Gary Tinsley currently paces the defense with 56 stops and he had 10 and an INT versus Purdue.

PSU has struggled of late but this is a good chance for the team to get back on track. Expect the Lions to run the ball successfully, as they get back into the win column against a struggling Minnesota squad.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Penn State 30, Minnesota 14

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