Decker does it all for GophersEric Decker tied a school record with 13 catches for 190 yards and withstood a vicious blow to the head in the fourth quarter to get coach Tim Brewster his first career Big Ten victory in Minnesota’s 16-7 win over Indiana on Saturday.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Eric Decker tied a school record with 13 catches for 190 yards and withstood a vicious blow to the head in the fourth quarter to get coach Tim Brewster his first career Big Ten victory in Minnesota’s 16-7 win over Indiana on Saturday.
Adam Weber completed his first 12 passes and threw for 274 yards, and the defense shut down the mistake-prone Hoosiers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) to snap Minnesota’s nine-game conference losing streak.
Marcus Thigpen caught a 77-yard touchdown for Indiana, but the Hoosiers committed three turnovers and couldn’t get anything going against an improving Minnesota defense.
Brewster went 0-8 in the Big Ten during his first season, then lost the conference opener at Ohio State last week. But his defense kept the dynamic Kellen Lewis and Thigpen under wraps and his offense gave him just enough to escape with the win on Saturday.
Decker was the only option on offense for most of the game for Minnesota (5-1, 1-1), which struggled in the run game and had an awfully hard time protecting Weber against Indiana’s aggressive front seven.
Jammie Kirlew had 2½ sacks for the Hoosiers, who had four sacks in all and chased Weber all afternoon.
He was nearly knocked out of the game early in the second quarter on a sack by Kirlew, but after being helped off the field, Weber was able to stay in. On the next series, he spun away from Kirlew and threw a 40-yard strike to Jeff Tow-Arnett to set up Shady Salamon’s 1-yard scoring run that gave the Gophers a 7-0 lead.
But 13 of his 22 completions went to the gritty Decker, who wobbled off the field in the fourth quarter after being sandwiched over the middle by Indiana’s Geno Johnson and Will Patterson, but somehow never missed a play.
With Indiana unable to move the ball against a Gophers defense that was one of the worst in the nation during last year’s miserable 1-11 season, Decker served as a decoy for the rest of the game and Joel Monroe kicked three field goals to provide the difference.
Willie VanDeSteeg had two sacks and Lee Campbell added an interception and a fumble recovery for the Gophers
Lewis finished 15-for-21 for 167 yards, but Indiana’s only touchdown of the game came on the 77-yard pass from Ben Chappell to Thigpen that tied the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.