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Gophers crush Purdue, 41-10

Hold Boilermakers to season-lows in yards and points.

Posted: Nov 11, 2018 8:57 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Known for his catchphrases, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck had one for his defense that he repeated often in the week after firing defensive coordinator Robb Smith: sound, simple fast.

The Gophers' maligned defense looked each part as it held Purdue to season-lows in yards and points for a 41-10 win against the Boilermakers in the cold and snow on Saturday.

Quarterback Seth Green had a touchdown rushing and passing, and redshirt freshman Mohamed Ibrahim ran for 156 yards for Minnesota, which played its first game under interim defensive coordinator Joe Rossi.

The Gophers entered the game allowing 43.2 points and 507.7 yards per game, but linebacker Blake Cashman forced a fumble and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown as Minnesota (5-5, 2-5 Big Ten) held Purdue to 233 total yards and 0 of 12 on third down.

"Sound, simple, fast," Fleck said of the defensive philosophy. "We didn't change our defense. The defense is the defense, and the defense works. We got back to us."

Senior quarterback David Blough was 20 of 31 for 142 yards passing for the Boilermakers (5-5, 4-3), who entered the game second in the Big Ten scoring with 35.8 points per game.

"Really, just some selfish things that are going on that can't happen," Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. "Too many people that have patted themselves on the back too much, and listened to others instead of working their tail off and finding ways to improve, and understanding that all the little things matter, and realizing that the team comes first."

Fleck fired Smith a day after giving up 646 yards in a loss to Illinois last week. Rossi was the team's defensive line coach this season.

The announced 21-degree weather was the third-coldest start for a game in the 10-year history of TCF Bank Stadium. A light snow fell during much of second half in which Minnesota took control.

Cashman's fumble return for a touchdown on the opening drive started the half. The Gophers capped their first three offensive possessions of the second half with a touchdown.

"Simplified the game plan, which allows guys to play loose, play fast, give them that confidence out there," Cashman said of Rossi's impact. "That's really important because I think we lost some of that against Illinois when they came out and hit us in the mouth early."

The longest drive for Purdue, which entered with 485.2 yards per game in Big Ten play, was 30 yards until midway through the fourth quarter when Blough connected with Moore for a 9-yard touchdown pass to cap a 75-yard drive.

"They run the same coverages, a few minor changes, but we couldn't get the run game going," Blough said. "We weren't on all cylinders on the pass game, and it made it easier for them to kind of tee off on us."

ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK

After beating then-No. 2 Ohio State 49-20 on Oct. 20, Purdue went on the road and lost to Michigan State 23-13, with their previous worst offensive performance in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers were coming off a 38-36 win against then-No. 19 Iowa last week.

"I'll take full responsibility for it," Brohm said. "We didn't have our guys ready to play. I think we somehow just thought we could just come out there, and the ball would bounce our way, and good things would happen."

THE TAKEAWAY

Purdue: The Boilermakers' chance to win the Big Ten's West division took a big hit with a second straight loss on the road. For any shot, Purdue will likely have to beat Wisconsin next week and hope for help against Northwestern. Of more concern is the bowl outlook gets cloudy as well. Purdue will need at least one win out of Wisconsin and Indiana.

Minnesota: The defensive improvement sure changes the perception. The Gophers had allowed at least 30 points in every Big Ten game this season prior to Saturday. Beating Purdue gets Minnesota one game closer to bowl-eligible. The Gophers need a win at home against Northwestern or on the road at Wisconsin, no easy task.

UP NEXT

Purdue: Hosts Wisconsin on Nov. 17.

Minnesota: Hosts Northwestern on Nov. 17.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 452268

Reported Deaths: 6100
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin938131490
Ramsey40370746
Dakota33353349
Anoka31193366
Washington20363231
Stearns17995189
St. Louis13857245
Scott1209197
Wright11723106
Olmsted1068375
Sherburne825766
Carver700138
Clay655582
Rice618070
Kandiyohi556572
Blue Earth545933
Crow Wing487778
Otter Tail460967
Chisago456436
Benton422287
Winona393048
Douglas377266
Nobles373946
Mower370829
Goodhue352661
Polk330559
McLeod326747
Beltrami314048
Morrison313545
Lyon304138
Becker288039
Itasca286443
Isanti284242
Carlton282543
Steele278110
Pine269214
Freeborn251523
Todd232630
Nicollet227537
Brown216934
Mille Lacs214945
Le Sueur212816
Cass209424
Meeker200933
Waseca191916
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Martin171426
Roseau166217
Hubbard150138
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Cottonwood128418
Fillmore12576
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Rock111212
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Marshall70315
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Lincoln4892
Big Stone4663
Unassigned43768
Grant4358
Norman4248
Mahnomen4147
Kittson37320
Red Lake3194
Traverse2583
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 309989

Reported Deaths: 4424
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46587464
Linn17979279
Scott15787171
Black Hawk14037243
Woodbury13093181
Johnson1224652
Dubuque11535159
Pottawattamie9111115
Dallas905972
Story877838
Webster471577
Cerro Gordo471472
Sioux459157
Clinton456167
Warren456139
Marshall429862
Buena Vista396130
Muscatine394978
Des Moines390043
Plymouth352470
Wapello348498
Jasper330159
Lee322632
Marion308152
Jones274250
Henry266131
Carroll258034
Bremer249348
Crawford233524
Boone222017
Washington222033
Benton212250
Mahaska197237
Jackson194331
Tama189959
Dickinson188329
Kossuth178544
Delaware175236
Clay171421
Wright166424
Fayette165024
Hamilton162030
Buchanan161624
Winneshiek159720
Harrison157962
Hardin156730
Cedar155419
Clayton153649
Butler150824
Page146315
Floyd140836
Cherokee139927
Mills138417
Lyon137333
Poweshiek134524
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Allamakee130230
Iowa127422
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Madison123210
Grundy122128
Jefferson122025
Winnebago121529
Mitchell116637
Louisa115730
Cass114743
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Appanoose112040
Sac112015
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Guthrie104024
Franklin103218
Unassigned10050
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Clarke8087
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