The good news is that the Minnesota Golden Gophers found the end zone this week. The bad news is that both of their touchdowns came after they were already down by six touchdowns, and once again they didn't even look competitive in a game against Big Ten competition.
The Gophers got ripped on Saturday afternoon by the Purdue Boilermakers by a final score of 45-17 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana. In two Big Ten games so far this season, the Gophers have been outscored by a total margin of 103-17.
Minnesota went three and out on their first two drives of the afternoon, and running back Donnell Kirkwood fumbled the ball over to the Boilermakers on the Gophers' third drive. The Boilermakers got two touchdowns and a field goal out of those drives, and Minnesota quickly found themselves down 17-0. Things just got uglier from there, as MarQueis Gray was intercepted by Purdue's Ricardo Allen on the fourth drive of the afternoon, and Allen took the ball all the way back for a 37-yard touchdown to make the score 24-0.
Purdue got another touchdown on a pass from quarterback Robert Marve to O.J. Ross to make it 31-0, but Minnesota's Chris Hawthorne managed to get the Gophers on the board before the half with a 47-yard field goal to make the score 31-3 going into the locker room.
Purdue got two more touchdowns in their first three drives after halftime to make the score 45-3, and Minnesota's Marcus Jones answered with a 92-yard kickoff return to make the score 45-10. The Gophers got one more touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Gray to put the final score at 45-17.
All in all, it was a fairly terrible performance by the Gophers, who managed just 11 first downs and 213 yards of total offense on the afternoon. MarQueis Gray and Max Shortell combined to go just 10-for-23 throwing the football for 113 yards and an interception, and the Gophers' rushing game could only muster 3.3 yards per carry.
The Gophers will get next week off before returning to the field on October 22 to host the Nebraska Cornhuskers at TCF Bank Stadium.
If you can't make the journey to West Lafayette this weekend, there are plenty of ways out there for you to follow the action of Minnesota Golden Gophers football.
The first way is to follow the action on television, and this week the game between the Gophers and the Purdue Boilermakers will be featured on ESPN. Be sure to check your local listings for which channel ESPN is in your area. The announcers that ESPN has assigned to this game are Beth Mowins and former Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti.
If you need to find the game on the radio, you can always listen to it on the radio. You can either find your local Gopher Radio Network affiliate, or you can listen to the online stream of the game thanks to the good folks at GopherSports.com by simply clicking here. Or, if you have one of those new-fangled satellite radios, you can find the game on Sirius channel 113 and listen to the game that way.
If, for some reason, you can get to follow by either of those means, be sure to check out either The Daily Gopher or SB Nation's home for Big Ten Football, Off-Tackle Empire. Both of those sites will have open threads for discussion the action, although the OTE open thread will be more about the Big Ten action as a whole.
In any case, there's no excuse for you to not be following Saturday afternoon's action in some way, so be there to support Goldy against the Boilermakers!