(Saturday, October 25th)
Final Score: (25) Minnesota 17, Purdue 6
West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - Adam Weber racked up 272 all-purpose yards, and one of college football's biggest surprises this season continued to roll, as No. 25 Minnesota upended Purdue, 17-6, at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Minnesota (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten) is in the midst of the biggest turnaround in college football this season, just four wins away from an 11-1 campaign and a complete flip of last season's 1-11 mark.
The Golden Gophers have beaten Illinois and Purdue successively after losing games to Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic and North Dakota State last season.
Weber completed 21-of-34 passes for 212 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and also ran for 60 yards and a score. DeLeon Eskridge ran for 42 yards, and Weber's favorite target Eric Decker caught seven passes for 51 yards, while Brandon Green hauled in five passes and reached the century mark with 100 yards receiving.
"Coming in here was a real challenge, but what a gutsy, hard-fought victory today," said Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster. "The chemistry and the leadership was great. I couldn't be more pleased heading back to Minneapolis a 7-1 football team."
Purdue (2-6, 0-4) has lost five straight in head coach Joe Tiller's final season. Curtis Painter, who left the game with an undisclosed injury and didn't play in the second half, continued to struggle under center. Justin Siller replaced him and completed 10-of-17 passes for 73 yards.
"We tried our hardest, but we just need to buckle down and get the ball into the end zone," said Siller. "We need to feel a sense of urgency and learn to finish all of our drives."
Kory Sheets carried the football 21 times for 73 yards in defeat.
The Golden Gophers marched 80 yards to paydirt on the game's first drive. Weber rolled to his right, stopped and lofted a pass across his body down the right sideline to Green for 71 yards to the Boilermakers five-yard line. He capped the march by slipping through the defense and into the end zone from four yards out.
From that point forward, the game was a defensive slugfest.
Purdue's Aaron Valentin returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to the Minnesota 27-yard line, but the offense stalled and Carson Wiggs converted on a 31-yard field goal.
The teams exchanged several punts before Purdue put a drive on the back of Sheets, resulting in another successful field goal off Wiggs' right foot, this one from 40 yards away.
Joel Monroe missed a field goal for the Golden Gophers, but he got another chance after Painter tossed an interception. Monroe converted from 41 yards out to post Minnesota to a 10-6 edge with 6:14 left in the half.
Purdue appeared headed for the end zone in the early stages of the third quarter, but Sheets coughed up the football inside the 20-yard line and the Gophers, the top turnover differential team in the country, recovered the pigskin.
Minnesota was stuffed on 4th-and-1 from the Purdue 30-yard line late in the third quarter, and Purdue missed a scoring chance early in the fourth after Wiggs' field goal attempt banged off the left upright.
The Golden Gophers responded with a nine-play, 76-yard march to seize complete control. Weber completed a 3rd-and-9 pass to Green for 11 yards then sprinted for 39 yards to the Purdue nine-yard line moments later. His nine-yard scoring toss to Jack Simmons clinched the contest with 6:22 to play.
Minnesota racked up 321 total yards to just 226 for Purdue...Each team missed on a pair of fourth-down tries...Minnesota is in the rankings for the first time since 2005...Purdue has lost 18 straight games against a Top-25 opponent.
10/25 23:13:04 ET