Week 11 of the college football season promised some huge matchups, and the early slate brought the first huge upset of the weekend. Minnesota held jumped on Penn State and held off a late rally attempt to win 31-26 and secure P.J. Fleck’s biggest win as head coach. Coming off a big contract extension, it was certainly good timing.
The Golden Gophers never trailed in the game, taking a lead on their opening drive after picking off Antoine Winfield Jr. Interceptions would be the name of the game for Minnesota as they picked up three Winfield passes. They turned two of them into touchdowns, and the third was on Penn State’s final drive deep in Minnesota territory.
Both teams entered the game undefeated, but Penn State was fourth in the country while Minnesota was 17th. There were numerous questions about Minnesota given their weak schedule, so this certainly answers some of those questions. The Gophers could very well climb into the top ten with this win, but they still have work to do the rest of the way. They travel to No. 18 Iowa next week, and after a road trip to Northwestern, host No. 13 Wisconsin. They “control their own destiny” so to speak, but it won’t be easy.
Minnesota was a 6.5-point home underdog in this game. Per ESPN’s David Purdum, in the last 40 seasons, teams 8-0 or better were 12-4 straight-up and 12-3-1 against the spread as home underdogs. They are now 13-4 and 13-3-1.