Final Score: Maryland 16, Minnesota 34

Brief Recap: Minnesota may have lost Mo Ibrahim and Trey Potts in the backfield, but the Gophers are churning right along into the end of October. Facing off against Maryland, the Gophers piled up the yards on the ground while the defense kept Taulia Tagovailoa and the Terrapin offense on the sideline.

It was a brilliant performance for Minnesota on both sides of the ball as Maryland struggled to get anything going. In the second half, the Gophers took full advantage, outscoring the Terrapins 17-6 while slowly grinding the clock away. In the end, Minnesota comes away with its third straight win while Maryland carries a third consecutive loss.

Key Player: After Bryce Williams starred in the win over Nebraska, it was a three-headed approach from Minnesota’s backfield against Maryland. Williams did gain 48 yards and a touchdown in the win, but it was the work of Ky Thomas that was key for the Gophers. Thomas led the team with 21 carries and 139 rushing yards, tacking on a first-half touchdown. Minnesota slowed things down and spread the ball around after halftime, but it was Thomas’ early start that paved the way for Minnesota’s win.

Key Moment: Heading into halftime, Maryland provided a big stop. The Terrapins blocked a 38-yard field goal with just seconds remaining in the second quarter. That kick would have made it a 10-point lead but kept the score at 17-10 headed to the break. A defensive stop to begin the third quarter could have done wonders for Maryland, but it was not meant to be. Minnesota mounted an 11-play drive that resulted in a Bryce Williams touchdown to make it 24-10. The Gophers followed that up with a quick defensive stop and another touchdown to put the game securely in hand.

Key Stat: Time of possession. Minnesota dominated control of the ball with over 37 minutes of time of possession. Minnesota attempted just 13 passes on the afternoon as the Gophers dominated on the ground and churned up 326 rushing yards.

What it means for Maryland moving forward: Can the Terrapins regroup and make it to a bowl game? Mike Locksley’s squad made it to 4-0 with a hot start to the year but has been lackluster since. Maryland has allowed at least 34 points in every game of the current 3-game losing streak, and the schedule does not ease up the rest of the way. The Terrapins face Indiana next week before a November stretch that includes games against Penn State, Michigan State, and Michigan.

What it means for Minnesota moving forward: Can the Gophers pull off a shocker in the B1G West? The 3-game winning streak has Minnesota up to 5-2 (3-1 in the B1G). That means P.J. Fleck’s squad will enter Week 9 tied atop the division with Iowa after the Hawkeyes lost to Purdue last weekend. (Purdue has since lost to Wisconsin.) Minnesota gets games against Northwestern and Illinois before heading to Iowa City on Nov. 13. Nothing is a given on the schedule, but that showdown against the Hawkeyes could be the difference in the West. For now, Minnesota will try to make it 4 straight in Week 9 with its potent rushing attack.