Gophers vs. Penn State game thread

Watch: Penn State scores key touchdown despite uncalled delay of game

The Nittany Lions, led by linebacker Micah Parsons and defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos, have the second-stingiest run defense in the FBS with an average of 68.4 yards given up per game on the ground.

Penn State moves on to face the top-seeded Maryland Terrapins (16-2, 7-1 Big Ten) in the conference semifinals on Friday afternoon.

In the lead-up to Saturday's game with fellow unbeaten Penn State, all of the talk centered on the poor competition Minnesota had faced to this point in the season. True to form for their profession, however, Fleck and Franklin have each taken the one-game-at-a-time mentality to the extreme, insisting on the isolated goal of going 1-0 this week.

Penn State bent but didn't break on the Gophers' next possession, as it held them to a 26-yard field goal. Rashod Bateman's second-and-12, 23-yard reception, expertly tip-toeing along the Minnesota sideline to make the catch, also deserves a mention here. Working off a ideal seal block from Rasheed Walker, Brown did the rest of the work in the open field to complete the score. A sure first down and a counter to Minnesota's building momentum, George's drop proved to be a costly incompletion for the Nittany Lions. The Minnesota defense forced three Penn State turnovers, including an interception in the end zone to seal the game with just over a minute to play.

The Nittany Lions showed life on their next drive. Pinning the Gophers deep early in the fourth quarter, a John Reid pass interference bailed out the Minnesota offense on another third-and-long.

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"It just takes a lot of stress off you", Penn State running back Journey Brown said. The Gophers have a newer prize to play for against Penn State, too, the much-less-celebrated Governor's Victory Bell that the Nittany Lions repossessed with a 29-26 overtime win in their last meeting in 2016 to take a 9-5 lead in the series.

Any more questions about that "soft" Gopher football schedule?

Penn State went the other way for a touchdown pass from Clifford to backup tight end Nick Bowers, but Bateman broke open again for a 36-yard gain on the next drive to set up a scoring plunge by Seth Green.

We're undefeated, and we're playing Penn State, and everybody's talking about us. Unable to get off the field when it mattered most, the Gophers simply milked away Penn State's best opportunities for a comeback.

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