Minnesota attempts to bounce back against Purdue

NCAA Football

Minnesota aims to move on from a discouraging setback when it faces Purdue on Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind.

The Golden Gophers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) dropped a 14-10 decision against visiting Bowling Green last weekend. Minnesota was a 31-point favorite.

“It doesn’t matter how much you prepare if you can’t get it done in games,” Golden Gophers linebacker Jack Gibbens said. “We just have to be better moving forward.”

Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said he refuses to overreact about the results of any single game. He said disappointment won’t be lingering when the Golden Gophers take the field against the Boilermakers (3-1, 1-0).

“As hard as it is to get over, you get over it and you move on,” Fleck said Monday. “You put your oar back in the water and you row. That’s what the loss really means in our program — and it’s to learn.”

Trey Potts rushed for 141 yards against Bowling Green, his third straight 100-yard outing. He has rushed for 474 yards and five scores.

Purdue is coming off a 13-9 victory over Illinois that featured quarterback Aidan O’Connell entering off the bench and later guiding the team 94 yards on 10 plays to score the game’s lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.

O’Connell completed 6 of 8 passes for 89 yards on the excursion, including the decisive 14-yard winning toss to TJ Sheffield with 5:44 left.

Overall, O’Connell was 12 of 19 for 182 yards and two interceptions. Starter Jack Plummer was 12 of 21 for 95 yards before being pulled after one series in the third quarter.

Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm declined to name a starter during his Monday media availability. He said he would name one “internally” so the players are aware.

While Plummer has seven touchdowns against no interceptions this season, Brohm is highly impressed with O’Connell (three touchdowns, four interceptions).

“He’s got great command under pressure,” Brohm said of O’Connell. “He doesn’t allow anything to bother him. Normally if you came in, you throw two interceptions your first two series, it’s going to bother a lot of quarterbacks, but it does not bother him. He’s got great confidence.”

The status of standout receiver David Bell remains unknown. Bell missed the Illinois game and remains in concussion protocol. He has 21 receptions for 319 yards and three touchdowns in three games.

The Golden Gophers have won seven of their past eight meetings with the Boilermakers, including a 34-31 win last season in Minneapolis.

–Field Level Media

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