WEST LAFAYETTE, IN -- The Minnesota Golden Gophers got a much-needed victory in a 41-13 throttling of the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday.

The Gophers have been scrutinized after a less-than-impressive showing in non-conference games before getting shut out 27-0 last week against Northwestern.

It looked like another disappointing day on offense as the Gophers only led 10-6 at halftime. But the running game and defense dominated a third quarter in which Minnesota scored 28 unanswered points.

The day belonged to freshman running back Shannon Brooks, who ripped off long run after long run, finishing with 176 yards on 17 carries and scored on a weaving, winding 71-yard touchdown scamper.

Much-maligned quarterback Mitch Leidner finished with only 59 yards passing, but he ran for a score and connected on two touchdown passes to tight end Brandon Lingen.

The Minnesota defense allowed Purdue almost nothing -- as the Boilermakers completed on 21-of-49 passes and averaged on 2.4 yards on the ground. The Gophers intercepted three passes, two by cornerback Jalen Myrick including one that was returned 34 yards for a touchdown,

With the win, Minnesota improves to 4-2 on the season. The Gophers will host the Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-4) next Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.