The Gophers and Boilermakers game turned funky in the fourth quarter Friday night.
Through three quarters, both offenses were churning out methodical drives, resulting in touchdown after touchdown. Three-and-outs were rare and turnovers were extinct. It looked like the last team to have the ball would win at TCF Bank Stadium.
Then in the fourth quarter, things went sideways.
After humming along, the Gophers faced a fourth-and-one from its own 34-yard line, and instead of his usual conservative ways, head coach P.J. Fleck decided to go for it, but wildcat quarterback Seth Green was stuffed.
The Gophers defense bucked up and forced a field goal, but the Boilermakers missed the game-tying kick from 33 yards out. Before the half, a Purdue 27-yard field goal was blocked.
Minnesota offense was forced to punt again and Purdue seemed to score the game-wining touchdown but it was called back due to a suspect offensive pass interference.
On the next play, Gophers linebacker Josh Aune intercepted Jack Plummer to seal a wild 34-31 win over Purdue.
Before the sputterng, the teams were churning. Of their combined nine touchdown drives, eight stretched eight plays or longer.
Gophers (2-3) ended a three-game home losing streak and extended Purdue’s record at TCF Bank Stadium to 0-6.
Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm was irate toward officials after the game, but he and P.J. Fleck paused to take for a second after last year’s drive-by handshake after Minnesota 38-31 win in West Lafayette, Ind.
Minnesota and Purdue traded touchdowns across the opening three drives and combined for 245 yards to start the game. The U scored first and led 14-7 at end of the first quarter.
Minnesota added touchdowns with a pair of 11-play drives, capped with Mo Ibrahim and Seth Green rushing scores.
The scoring pace lessened with Minnesota’s beleaguered defense limiting Purdue to only one made field goal, while Micah Dew-Treadway was credited with blocking a 27-yard try just before halftime as the U led 21-10.