David Cobb had 29 carries for two touchdowns and a career-high 220 yards, the most for the program in nine years, and Minnesota outlasted Middle Tennessee for a 35-24 victory on Saturday.
Donnell Kirkwood also had a first-quarter touchdown run for the Golden Gophers (2-0), who rushed for 284 yards.
Reggie Whatley scored twice for the Blue Raiders (1-1) while rushing for 84 yards on 14 attempts, but despite 255 yards passing Austin Grammer was picked off three times. Jalen Myrick returned one for a score.
Mitch Leidner threw a pretty 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Maxx Williams in the second quarter immediately after Damien Wilson's interception for the Gophers, but he completed just 5 of 11 passes for 67 yards and was picked off in the end zone right before halftime.