The Gophers football team was driving to the airport after its win over Indiana last Saturday when redshirt freshman tight end Maxx Williams got a surprise.
The Williams family had been at the game and was on the side of the road waiting for the team bus to pass.
“My dad calls me and goes, ‘Be ready,’” Williams said. “Two minutes later, we hear horns going off, people cheering out the windows of these vans. I was like, ‘Wow.’ I just stood up [and said], ‘Sorry, everyone. It just might be my family.’”
Maxx Williams is the second-leading receiver on the team this season.
Minnesota is very young, but Jerry Kill knows his team can improve more.
The Gophers took another step in the right direction in the Jerry Kill era with their 42-39 win over Indiana University on Saturday.
It was the Gophers’ seventh win of the season and ensured they will finish this season with a better record than last season.
That’s huge for recruiting, especially in a year that the state of Minnesota has some of the better high school prospects in the nation, including Minneapolis Washburn High School running back Jeff Jones and Chanhassen High School offensive lineman Frank Ragnow.
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.