The College Football Playoff selection committee showed its skepticism with Minnesota by ranking it all the way down at No. 17 despite an 8-0 record.
Minnesota quickly struck back with a Chris Autman-Bell 21-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass to take a 14-7 lead.
Micah Parsons #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions reacts after making a tackle Kevin Marks #5 of the Buffalo Bulls during the second half at Beaver Stadium on September 07, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. Minnesota's start was written off as the Gophers had yet to beat a ranked team this season and had faced a string of Big Ten teams forced to use backup quarterbacks.
It was a 66-yard catch-and-run touchdown from Bateman that opened the scoring for the Gophers. Tyler Johnson had seven receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown, too, as Minnesota made enough early gains to hold up during the late rally by Penn State. The Golden Gophers are going to need to run the football and play defense here in order to hang around with Penn State. The Penn State offense responded with a strong 10-play, 69-yard drive, but it was cut short by yet another interception by Winfield Jr.
Clifford led Penn State on an impressive 47-yard drive into Gopher territory, but Jordan Howden picked off the redshirt sophomore to put the game away. Daniel George was called for offensive pass interference during an over-the-middle catch by Brown that reached the 2.
Any more questions about that "soft" Gopher football schedule? The Nittany Lions' defense also went to Minneapolis giving up an average of only 9.6 points per game, which was second in the country to Ohio State. They will maintain a two-game lead in the Big Ten West over the victor of this afternoon's Iowa-Wisconsin game with three games to play. A sure first down and a counter to Minnesota's building momentum, George's drop proved to be a costly incompletion for the Nittany Lions. The Gophers have lost four straight games against the Hawkeyes.