Hoosiers Roll Past Minnesota, 40-20
Oct. 6, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Bryan Payton rushed for a career-high 90 yards and three touchdowns Saturday, and Austin Starr tied a single-game school record with four field goals to help Indiana rout Minnesota 40-20.
The Hoosiers (5-1, 2-1) won their second straight Big Ten game and moved to within one victory of becoming bowl eligible. Indiana hasn't played in the postseason since 1993.
Minnesota (1-5, 0-3) lost its fourth straight.
Payton was a surprise. He entered the game with 149 career yards rushing, but had to fill in with the Hoosiers' top three backs on the sideline.
The starters, Marcus Thigpen (left ankle) and Josiah Sears (head) both left in the first half. Demetrius McCray, Thigpen's regular backup, was ruled out before the game with a foot injury. Indiana also lost starting center Ben Wyss (back) in the first half.
But against a defense allowing more than 36 points per game, the Hoosiers had no problem scoring.
Kellen Lewis was 24-of-36 for 235 yards with one touchdown and one interception, rushed 10 times for 75 yards and led the Hoosiers to scores on eight of the first nine possessions.
At first, it looked like Indiana would be in a shootout.
James Hardy opened the scoring a 2-yard TD catch from Lewis, and Minnesota tied it on Adam Weber's 7-yard run.
Payton broke the tie with a 48-yard TD run, and Minnesota answered with a 1-yard touchdown run from Duane Bennett.
Starr followed that with two field goals, giving Indiana a 20-14 lead, and when Payton powered in from 1 yard late in the first half, the Hoosiers had control and a 27-14 lead.
Payton sealed the win on a 5-yard TD run with 4:25 left in the game.
Weber finished 24-of-44 for 280 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Eric Decker caught eight passes for 74 yards and one score for the Golden Gophers.
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