Recap: Minnesota (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) jumped out to a 7-0 lead over Indiana (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) on Saturday after its first play from scrimmage was a 40-yard flea flicker from Philip Nelson to Derrick Engel.
The Gophers built a 35-13 lead, but the Hoosiers scored 26 unanswered points to take a 39-35 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Then Minnesota answered.
Nelson threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to tight end Maxx Williams to regain a 42-39 lead the team never surrendered.
The Hoosiers were in position to score when Aaron Hill recovered a fumble.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The 2011 Gophers football pregame video featured head coach Jerry Kill yelling the words “Hustle through the whistle!” to his new team.
Those words came to fruition two years later in Minnesota’s 42-39 victory over Indiana on Saturday afternoon.
With less than a minute left in the game, senior defensive back Brock Vereen disrupted a backward pass, and senior linebacker Aaron Hill saw the football on the ground in front of him. Hill, hustling through the whistle, scooped up the ball to clinch the game.
The Gophers’ defense will have a lot to handle Saturday against Indiana. The Hoosiers average more than 42 points per game, and quarterback Nate Sudfeld leads the Big Ten in passing touchdowns with 14.
“Indiana is extremely explosive on offense,” defensive coordinator and acting head coach Tracy Claeys said. “They score in big plays. … We’ll have to do a great job to maintain their offense.”
Minnesota will look to freshman Donovahn Jones to score touchdowns.
After two upset wins over Big Ten rivals, the Gophers seek to streak.
Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill said Tuesday he needs to “work smarter” after health issues forced him to step away from the team earlier this month.
Kill, on leave to focus on his epilepsy treatment since Oct. 10, spoke to the media Tuesday for the first time since Oct. 3 and indicated that his coaching staff will continue to play a larger role, even after he fully returns.
“I ain’t really going to fix anything,” Kill said. “My ego ain’t that big. I just want to win.”
Jerry Kill will be in the coaches’ box for the Gophers' game against Indiana on Saturday.
It’s not hard to picture Brock Vereen holding a microphone as a sideline reporter after his college career is over.
He interned at the NFL Network last summer, interviewed head coach Jerry Kill at Big Ten Media Days in July and sums up games with the poise of a seasoned public speaker.
“This is just the win we needed as a program,” Vereen said after the Gophers beat Nebraska 34-23 on Saturday. “We’ve been in situations like this, but finally we put all the pieces in the right place.”
Brock Vereen has played safety and cornerback for the Gophers this year.
As two defenders surrounded him in the second quarter, Derrick Engel jumped in the air and reeled in a 33-yard touchdown grab. After the throw, sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson sprinted toward the end zone, his hands in the air, as the University of Minnesota took the lead over the University of Nebraska.
With a win over Nebraska, the Gophers beat a ranked team for the first time in the Jerry Kill era.