The No. 5-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions have their sights set on their first appearance in the College Football Playoff, and a road win against a ranked team, like No. 13 Minnesota, would be another resume-booster that would sure come in handy come selection time.
Quarterback Tanner Morgan led the way for the Gophers, completing 18 of his 20 passes for 339 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Golden Gophers are going to need to run the football and play defense here in order to hang around with Penn State.
Meanwhile, Minnesota hasn't faced a team of Penn State's caliber yet this season. The fourth period followed the path of the first half as the teams jostled for possession but never found the back of the net and the Nittany Lions avenged their regular season defeat in Ann Arbor with the 2-1 win. Things might change if the Golden Gophers can keep delivering big plays like this.
Penn State enters as almost a touchdown favorite. Journey Brown capped it off with a 45-yard touchdown rush and Penn State tied the game at 7-7 with 10:47 remaining in the first quarter. Clifford then led the Nittany Lions on a huge 71-yard drive to close out the first half, but once again couldn't score a touchdown inside the red zone. K.J. Hamler muffed the punt when a teammate backed into him, and though the Nittany Lions recovered, they were pushed back to their 28-yard line. Pinegar hit the 21-yard field goal and Penn State took a 24-13 deficit into the locker room. The two combined for 14 catches for 307 yards and two scores. Penn State cut the lead to 31-26 with 3:49 to play and got the ball back after forcing a three-and-out. A few plays later, Clifford tossed his third interception of the game - this time in the end zone - to seal the upset victory for the Gophers.