(Saturday, October 31st)
Final Score: Minnesota 42, Michigan State 34
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Duane Bennett scored a total of three touchdowns as he helped lead the Minnesota Golden Gophers to an exciting 42-34 victory over the Michigan State Spartans in Big Ten Conference action at TCF Bank Stadium.
Bennett carried the ball 14 times for the Golden Gophers (5-4, 3-3 Big Ten), resulting in 36 yards and a touchdown and also caught a pair of passes for 121 yards and two scores as the team snapped a two-game slide. Quarterback Adam Weber had a huge game as well as he converted 19-of-31 passes for a staggering 416 yards and five touchdowns.
The Spartans (4-5, 3-3), who lost for the second time in as many games, were led by Kirk Cousins who converted 21-of-35 for 236 yards and two touchdowns.
Bennett scored the first and last touchdowns of the night, starting with a 62- yard scoring strike from Weber on the very first play from scrimmage at the 14:40 mark of the first quarter. Minnesota extended their lead to 14-0 less than two minutes later as Weber hit Brandon Green with a 37-yard effort.
With just 15 seconds remaining in the period MSU landed on the scoreboard, courtesy of a 20-yard field goal by Brett Swenson. At the 10:35 mark of the second frame the Spartans cut the deficit to 14-10 as Cousins combined with Brian Linthicum on a 26-yard TD pass.
Minnesota tight end Nick Tow-Arnett scored the first of his two touchdowns on the night as he reeled in a seven-yard TD pass from Weber in the final minutes of the first half, providing the Gophers with a 21-10 edge at the break.
The second half started with a bang as MSU's Keshawn Martin took the opening kickoff and returned it 93 yards for the score, cutting the deficit to a mere four points.
Martin added a thrilling 84-yard TD run later in the third and the Spartans also picked up another touchdown in the period when Cousins and Dion Sims combined on an 11-yard scoring play to close out the period.
However, in between the two Martin touchdowns for Michigan State, Bennett added his second score of the night on a one-yard run, which meant the Spartans actually led by three points heading into the fourth quarter, 31-28.
Nick Tow-Arnett's two-yard TD catch early in the final period pushed Minnesota back into the lead at 35-31, while a 20-yard field goal by Swenson closed the gap to just a single point.
With 6:04 remaining in regulation the Gophers put the game out of reach as Nick Tow-Arnett tried to collect a pass over the middle, but upon being knocked to the ground the ball came loose and landed in the hands of Bennett who subsequently sprinted the rest of the way to the end zone to complete the 59-yard pass play and the eight-point win for Minnesota.
The Gophers generated 505 yards of total offense but also gave back a huge chunk of that by committing 17 penalties, leading to a loss of a staggering 157 yards.
11/01 00:53:14 ET