Northern Illinois Huskies defeat Minnesota Golden Gophers, 34-23

The Huskies, an upper-tier team in the Mid-American Conference, are seeking their second victory over a Big Ten team in the past two seasons.

They won at Purdue 28-21 last year.

The Gophers could hardly ask for a better opponent, because the Huskies are giving up an average of 174.7 rushing yards per game, including 349 last Saturday at Illinois. They also will be without their leading tackler, safety Tracy Wilson (groin). Expect the Gophers to continue their reliance o...

Pick the cliché.

It was a momentum-killer. A game-changer. The play that swung the pendulum toward the other guys in the Gophers' 34-23 loss to Northern Illinois Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

In this case, it was the Gophers giving up a go-ahead score right before halftime, a demoralizing attack that sent them into the locker room down 20-13.

A blocked punt with 1 minute, 22 seconds left before halftime put Northern Illinois at the Gophers 11-yard line and in posi...

The recap: Desperate for a victory, the Gophers were undone by untimely mistakes, a blocked punt chief among them, and their inability to corral the Huskies running game, which produced seven runs of 15 yards or more.

What was learned: The defense's inexperience is a bigger challenge than originally thought, particularly when it comes to tackling, and the offense isn't built for playing from behind.

• Left tackle Ed Olson sprained an ankle but should be back this wee...