MINNESOTA 63, INDIANA 26 (Final)Â
A Blake Powers interception returned for a touchdown provided Minnesota a few extra points, just for good measure.
Terry Hoeppner called the loss embarassing.
MINNESOTA 56, INDIANA 26
3:41 left in the game:Â Minnesota tried to run out the clock but Indiana’s defense couldn’t stopÂ the Gophers’ up-the-middle runs. Jay Thomas found his way into the endzone on just the secondÂ carry of the drive. Â
MINNESOTA 49, INDIANA 26
4:47 left in the game: Lewis tossed a nice little pass to McCray on a wheel route to the left, the second time those two connected for aÂ score today.
Indiana went for the two-point conversion but Lewis threw wide of his target.
I assume they’ll try and onsides kick right here.Â
MINNESOTA 49, INDIANA 20
11:12 left in the game: The GoldenÂ Gophers are just sopping up clock and adding toÂ their leadÂ now.Â
I don’t have much else to blog right now.Â In realityÂ this probably isn’t all that surprising. The Hoosiers are still learning how to win on a consistent basis. One of Kelvin Sampson’sÂ favorite sayings is “It’s not how you deal withÂ adversity that matters, it’s how you deal with success.”
MINNESOTA 42, INDIANA 20
2:17 left, third quarter: This is more like the game we thought we’d see. Back and forth, back and forth….always wondering which team might make the next mistake.
DeMetrius McCray just plunged through the line for a 2-yard score to pull the Hoosiers a little bit closer.
TheÂ score was set up when Minnesota was called for pass interference on a fourth-down play.
MINNESOTA 42, INDIANA 13Â
10:57 left, third quarter: IndianaÂ did notÂ fix whatever was broken with its defense. Cupito just complete another touchdown pass to Wheelright running free asÂ can be through the secondary afterÂ – you guessed it — aÂ fake handoff.Â
MINNESOTA 35, INDIANA 13Â
12:55 left,Â third quarter:Â Â Has the climb to another comeback begun?
Lewis just found Hardy streaking down the right side for a 48-yard score. Lewis underthrew his big receiver a bit but Hardy came back to the ball and then was able to duck inside and get to the endzone from about five yards out.
But then Austin Starr’s point-after attempt was blocked, and his kick off just went out of bounds.
Indiana’s coaches just come out of the press box to go down and meet with the team. TheyÂ did notÂ appear to be pleased with what they had just watched.
Let me try to answer Phil’s question. He asked why Indiana seems to beÂ having so much trouble dealing with the play-action passes.
The first time we saw a team really expose IndianaÂ wtihÂ play action wasÂ in the first quarter of the Illinois game, when Juice Williams just tore apart the Hoosiers. He’d fake a handoff, roll out a little bit and wait for a receiver to run into the clear.Â Even the best defensive backs can only stick their man for so long.
Indiana, of course, went on to shut downÂ Williams and win the game. Terry Hoeppner said aÂ move to more blitzes was what stymiedÂ Juice. But conservative play calling by Ron Zook had just as much to do with it — he stopped setting up the play action plays.
It’s obvious that Mason watched tape of the Illinois game. The Gophers are doing a lot ofÂ the same thing.
Indiana does still have a chance. IfÂ Minnesota can score that many, that quickly then the reverse is true, too.Â Neither of these teams if very solidly constructed — weaknesses abound.
But you can bet Mason will keep pressing for more points.Â
The Hoosiers went for it on fourth down near midfield. Lewis looked out over the field and saw no one open. He threwÂ wide toÂ fullback Josiah Sears. It was not a designed screen. He had no blockers in front of him and a good six yards to go. He did not make it.
Now Minnesota is driving to try toÂ add points right before the half time.Â
So the Hoosiers have the ball back withÂ three minutes left in the first half. Another score here puts them within reach.Â With these two teams, anything could happen.Â Â Seriously.
MINNESOTA 35, INDIANA 7
6:36 left, first half: The Hoosiers haven’t given up. They just wentÂ 80 yards on two plays in 39 seconds.Â Lewis found Hardy over the middle for one and then thew a perfectÂ 43-yard pass to a streaking Demetrius McCray along the right sideline for the score.Â
IndianaÂ football media relations contact Jeff Keag just came over to let us know that Marcus Thigpen’s return is questionable. It appears as though his ankle is bothering him again.
By the way, is anyone out there?Â
MINNESOTA 35, INDIANA 0Â
9:26 left, first half: Amir Pinnix just waltzed in for the score from ten yards out. He was barely touched. Indiana is just stunned.
Kellen Lewis just tried to make a play and ended up giving the ball right back to Minnesota. He started to roll left and sawÂ James HardyÂ break down the field. So he lofted it up there, thinking Hardy could goÂ get it, but left it far too short.Â
MINNESOTAÂ 28, INDIANA 0
12:14 left, first half: DoesÂ Indiana have any heartbeat left? Probably not. Any chance at theÂ bowl game? Hmmm….
Minnesota, just like that, scored on its first play of the drive. Once agian Cupito faked the handoff, then had plenty of time to wait for a receiver to getÂ open. This time it was 6-5 Ernie Wheelright who had comeÂ open over the middle after Leslie MajorsÂ slipped and fell.
Sure that was bad luck, but alsoÂ a bad matchup: Majors stands justÂ 5-9.Â
Well, all is not well with the Hoosiers. After a little spurt of offense — mostly created by the scrambling ability of Kellen Lewis — Indiana took a delay of game on 3rd and 9Â from the Minnesota 32. After a short gain on third, Indiana opted to go for it. Lewis, under pressure, thought aboutÂ running for it but then opted to pass and tried to force a throw over the middle that was picked off.Â
MINNESOTAÂ 21, INDIANA 0
1:06 left, first quarter: They’re trying to run Glen Mason out of town here. Or at least they were.Â Sure, beating the Hoosiers isn’t exactly a monumental feat and it sure ain’t over yet, but this Minnesota team came ready to play and is executing a superior game plan.
Let me get to the touchdown: Cupito faked aÂ handoff and rolled left. With a man rightÂ in his face he popped the ball up over the defender and to tight end Matt Spaeth,Â who’d broken freeÂ to the right of the line of scrimmage. AllÂ SpaethÂ had to do was rumble 23 yards to the endzone, on the way hopping over and through a Leslie Majors tackle attempt.Â
Logan Payne, by the way, already has 100 yards receiving for Minnesota. The 6-2, 205-pound senior is not only gaining seperation, he’s going up and making great catches.
Well, the Hoosiers made some progress in possession No. 3.Â But after gaining one first down, Lewis was unable toÂ hit Jahkeen Gilmore on a third down pass over the middle, forcing another punt.
And, wow, is Minnesota returnman Dominic Jones a dynamic return man. HeÂ busts up holes andÂ finds seams and squeezes through. ItÂ helps, of course that Indiana can’t tackle.Â
Indiana once again failed to gainÂ ten yards and a first down on their second possession.Â Lewis was forced toÂ scrambleÂ on third down again, and tried to sqeeze a pass into tight coverage over the middle but James Bailey couldn’t handle it.Â
MINNESOTA 14, INDIANA 0
8:57Â left, firstÂ quarter: Credit Minnesota coach Glen Mason. His creative play calling is just destroying the Hoosiers.Â The Gophers are running a steady diet of play-action passesÂ and coming out of multipleÂ packages. On the touchdown run,Â Jay Thomas was able to scoot seven yards for a score without being breahed on by a player in white.Â Indiana’s players all readÂ it as a fake handoff and didn’t reactÂ quickly enough.Â
On their first possession, the Hoosiers lasted just one series.Â On third down, Kellen Lewis had no time and had to roll right immediately under pressure.
By the way, Minnesota tight end Matt Spaeth isÂ playing today. Spaeth,Â consider by many the best player on the Gophers, wasÂ not listed on the depth chart due to injury before theÂ game.Â
MINNESOTA 7, INDIANA 0Â
13:31 left, first quarter: Indiana deferred after winning the coin toss. Then, on defense, it deffered again but this time to Minnesota’s offense.Â The GophersÂ needed only four plays to march down the field and open a 7-0 lead. QB Bryan Cupito sold a play action well on the first play of the game and completed a 56-yard bomb. Then he found Eric Decker cutting toward the back of the end zone on third down from the 18-yard line.
Minutes away from gametime and the Metrodome isn’t near half full yet.
The Gopher just rode a scooter around the field, and in doing so earned his way onto the “Five coolest things seen on road trips this year” list. The Hoosiers need a mascot, badly, so that he can do whacky things to the delight of us all.