Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs against Purdue defensive back Brennan Thieneman (38) in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota’s maligned defense held Purdue to season-lows in yards and points, and Seth Green had a touchdown rushing and passing for the Gophers in a 41-10 win against the Boilermakers in the cold and snow on Saturday.

Redshirt freshman Mohamed Ibrahim ran for 156 yards for Minnesota, which played its first game under interim defensive coordinator Joe Rossi and posted its best showing in conference play after entering the game allowing 43.2 points and 507.7 yards per game.

Gophers linebacker Blake Cashman forced a fumble and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown as Minnesota (5-5, 2-5 Big Ten) held Purdue to 233 total yards and 0 of 12 on third down.

Senior quarterback David Blough was 20 of 31 for 142 yards passing for the Boilermakers (5-5, 4-3), who entered the game second in the Big Ten scoring with 35.8 points per game.

Coach P.J. Fleck fired defensive coordinator Robb Smith after giving up 646 yards in a loss to Illinois the prior week. Rossi was the team’s defensive line coach this season.

The announced 21-degree weather was the third-coldest start for a game in the 10-year history of TCF Bank Stadium. A light snow fell during much of second half in which Minnesota took control.

Cashman’s fumble return for a touchdown on the opening drive started the half. The Gophers capped their first three offensive possessions of the second half with a touchdown.

Green had a 2-yard rushing touchdown. Bryce Williams ran for a touchdown from 11 yards out and quarterback Tanner Morgan connected with Tyler Johnson for a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it 41-3 early in the fourth quarter.

The longest drive for Purdue, which entered with 485.2 yards per game in Big Ten play, was 30 yards until midway through the fourth quarter when Blough connected with Moore for a 9-yard touchdown pass to cap a 75-yard drive.

THE TAKEAWAY

Purdue: The Boilermakers’ chance to win the Big Ten’s West division took a big hit with a second straight loss on the road. They were 3-1 within a division led by Northwestern. For any shot, Purdue will likely have to beat Wisconsin next week and hope for help against Northwestern. Of more concern is the bowl outlook gets cloudy as well. Purdue will need at least one win out of Wisconsin and Indiana.

Minnesota: The defensive improvement sure changes the perception. The Gophers had allowed at least 30 points in every Big Ten game this season prior to Saturday. Beating Purdue gets Minnesota one game closer to bowl-eligible. The Gophers need a win at home against Northwestern or on the road at Wisconsin, no easy task.

UP NEXT
Purdue: Hosts Wisconsin on Nov. 17.
Minnesota: Hosts Northwestern on Nov. 17.

VOLLEYBALL
MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 3 University of Minnesota volleyball team swept No. 12 Purdue (25-10, 25-23, 25-19) to close out the regular home season. With the win, the Gophers improve to 22-2 overall and 16-0 in the Big Ten. Purdue falls to 21-6 and 10-6 in the conference. With the win, the Gophers now hold their longest Big Ten win streak at 16-straight.

The Gophers were led by Stephanie Samedy who put up a team-best 10 kills. Adanna Rollins and Alexis Hart each chipped in nine, while Regan Pittman followed with eight and a season-high, .615. That mark was also a team best and she also contributed four blocks. Samantha Seliger-Swenson put up 27 assists and nine digs. CC McGraw recorded 12 digs, while and Lauren Barnes had 10. For the fourth time this season, and in her career, Barnes served up three aces. Minnesota outhit Purdue, .344 to .167. As a team, the Maroon and Gold had 40 kills, 52 digs and four blocks. Purdue put up 38 kills, 46 digs and one block.

Following the match, the Gophers honored head coach Hugh McCutcheon as he was inducted into the International Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held today in Holyoke, Mass., as McCutcheon was in Minnesota leading the Gophers. Coaching the 2008 USA men’s team to an Olympic gold and the 2012 USA women’s team to Olympic silver, McCutcheon becomes the first New Zealander to be inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame.

The Gophers hit the road to close out the rest of the regular season. Minnesota takes on Maryland on Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.

MEN’S HOCKEY
MADISON, Wis. – The No. 14/16 Gopher Hockey program settled for a split in this weekend’s Border Battle series after falling to No. 20 Wisconsin by a 3-1 margin on Saturday at the Kohl Center.

A night after the Gophers rallied for a Big Ten win in the conference opener, the Badgers had their turn to come from behind for a victory in the series finale.

Minnesota (2-4-1 overall, 1-1-0-0 Big Ten) struck first in a opening period that saw the Big Ten rivals trade power-play goals. Brannon McManus notched his third goal of the year on a Minnesota five-minute advantage at 11:15 of the first stanza to claim an early lead for the Maroon & Gold. Off assists from Sammy Walker and Tyler Nanne, McManus rifled home the game’s opening goal to give Minnesota a power-play goal for the sixth-straight game.

Wisconsin (5-5-0, 1-1-0-0) answered back with a 4-on-3 power-play goal from Sean Dhooghe at 18:00 of the first period and then claimed a lead when Josh Ess found the net at 10:20 of the third period. Jack Gorniak added an empty-net tally for Wisconsin at 19:36.

Eric Schierhorn made 29 saves on 31 shots to take the loss for the Gophers, falling to 0-2-0 on the year. Daniel Lebedeff picked up the win, making his second start of the weekend and making 32 saves to move to 3-2-0 on the year. The Gophers.

Minnesota outshot Wisconsin 33-32 on the night while both teams were 1-for-4 on the power play.

The Gophers returns to action next weekend with a two-game, nonconference series against St. Lawrence at 3M Arena at Mariucci.

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