Minnesota sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson of Mankato threw for a touchdown and ran for two more to lead the Minnesota Golden Gophers to a 51-23 rout of UNLV in the season opener for both teams at TCF Bank Stadium last night. Nelson threw for 99 yards and ran for a team-high 83 for the Gophers. Minnesota broke open a close game with three touchdown returns in the second half. The Golden Gophers returned a kick, a block field, and an interception for scores. This was the first season opener at home for Minnesota since 2008. The 1-and-0 Gophers travel to New Mexico State next Saturday.