Hoosiers Fall to Gophers, 16-7
Oct. 4, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Marcus Thigpen caught a 77-yard touchdown pass and the Hoosier defense recorded a pair of takeways, but the Minnesota football team took a 16-7 decision on Saturday afternoon at the Metrodome. Thigpen became the first player in school history with over 1,000 yards rushing (1,269), receiving (1,003) and on kickoff returns (1,511) in the loss.
Eric Decker matched a school record with 13 receptions and picked up 190 receiving yards for the Gophers. Adam Weber completed his first 12 passes and threw for 274 yards, and the defense shut down the Hoosiers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten).
Decker was the only option on offense for most of the game for Minnesota (5-1, 1-1), which struggled in the run game and had an awfully hard time protecting Weber against Indiana's aggressive front seven.
Jammie Kirlew had 2 1/2 sacks for the Hoosiers, who had four sacks in all and chased Weber all afternoon.
He was nearly knocked out of the game early in the second quarter on a sack by Kirlew, but after being helped off the field, Weber was able to stay in. On the next series, he spun away from Kirlew and threw a 40-yard strike to Jeff Tow-Arnett to set up Shady Salamon's 1-yard scoring run that gave the Gophers a 7-0 lead.
But 13 of his 22 completions went to the gritty Decker, who wobbled off the field in the fourth quarter after being sandwiched over the middle by Indiana's Geno Johnson and Will Patterson, but somehow never missed a play.
With Indiana unable to move the ball against a Gophers defense that was one of the worst in the nation during last year's miserable 1-11 season, Decker served as a decoy for the rest of the game and Joel Monroe kicked three field goals to provide the difference.
Willie VanDeSteeg had two sacks and Lee Campbell added an interception and a fumble recovery for the Gophers
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