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Minnesota's Derrick Wells was named the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Week after a two-interception performance vs. UNLV, one of which was key in setting up the game-winning field goal.
While the win was nice, many fans were expecting big things out of the Gophers and were disappointed with the play of some including quarterback MarQueis Gray. The folks over at The Daily Gopher broke down the play of the signal-caller that had a less-than-stellar day.
"Everybody was unhappy with Q's overall performance, but he didn't back down from the challenge and in the end made the plays we needed to win in OT. But early in the game he was inaccurate and jumpy. He didn't look like the Senior leader her is supposed to be."
As for positives, they give kudos to the wide receiving unit, that showed up in a big way in the win.
"Even with the unfortunate injury of Jamel Harbison there are a lot of weapons and depth in this group. 8 different (non-RB) receivers had at least 1 catch, led by DCT with 4. AJ Barker? That's an exciting development. 3 catches for 101 yards. And KJ Maye? I can't wait to watch this guy for the next 4 years."
All in all, the game was a learning experience that should help the Golden Gophers get their act together before conference play begins.
For more on the Golden Gophers, visit The Daily Gopher.
Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Jamel Harbison will redshirt 2012 after suffering an ACL tear during Friday's win against UNLV.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers managed to survive Thursday night's season opener, knocking off the UNLV Rebels in three overtimes in Las Vegas. The stat sheet shows that the Gophers probably should have won by a significantly larger margin than the three points they were victorious by, but our friends at The Daily Gopher can tell you exactly why that wasn't the case.
When you look at most of the numbers, this looks like a game where the Gophers played great. If I were to tell you that (Marqueis) Gray would complete 56.7% of his passes for 269 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception; I think we'd all be pretty pleased with those numbers. Donnell Kirkwood ran the ball great leading a Gopher rushing attack that gained 226 yards. The defense held UNLV to 13 points and 222 yards in regulation while generating three total turnovers. In total we outgained our opponent 478 to 275. The defensive line did a nice job getting pressure on the QB getting 2 sacks and a number of hits on the passer. On paper we sort of dominated.
But the Gophers continually got in their own way. Gray's numbers look good on paper but he had two beautiful opportunities to hit wide open receivers for easy touchdowns, one to John Rabe on the first possession and the one to (Andre) McDonald when the DB fell down. Complete one of those and we don't play OT, complete them both and I would have gone to bed an hour earlier. Troy Stoudermire bobbles a punt and follows that up with a PI penalty that gives UNLV their lone regulation touchdown. Add to those plays 11 penalties, Gray's interception, TERRIBLE punting, lack of contain defensively and you created an environment for UNLV to stick around and nearly win that game.
Yes, the Gophers came out with a victory on Thursday night. However, with all due respect to UNLV, if they look the way they did last night when it comes time for Big Ten action, it's going to be a long season for Jerry Kill's squad. Among the 11 penalties that the Gophers committed last night were a couple of personal fouls that allowed drives to be extended, and when you're a team that has the razor-thin margin for error that the Gophers have, those sorts of things simply can't become a trend.
As The Daily Gopher said, Marqueis Gray did look pretty good on paper, racking up 337 yards of offense (269 passing yards, 68 rushing yards), but he could have had so much more and made things a lot easier for the Gophers had he not missed a couple of wide open receivers during the course of the game. Hopefully Gray can get a better handle on his accuracy during the course of the season.
Defensively, after a shaky first series, the Gophers did a pretty good job. UNLV's lone touchdown came when they started inside the Minnesota 35 after Stoudermire's muffed punt, and for the most part Minnesota's defense really controlled things. Safety Derrick Wells was particularly impressive with eight tackles and two interceptions, including the big one in overtime that allowed the Gophers to win it with Jordan Wettstein's field goal in the third overtime. Wells has a lot of potential at safety, and it will be interesting to see how he and the defense will develop as the season progresses.
Yes, it wasn't especially pretty, but the Minnesota Golden Gophers are 1-0, and headed back to the Twin Cities to prepare for the 2012 home opener against New Hampshire. It's always better to win ugly than to lose pretty, and the Gophers are quite happy to have gotten that first game under their belts with a W.
The teams exchanged touchdowns in each of the first two overtimes after finishing regulation tied at 13. The Rebels got the ball first to start the third overtime, and it looked like they would put up a third consecutive score, but on a Nick Sherry pass into the end zone, safety Derrick Wells nabbed his second interception of the evening (and the third for the Gophers on the evening overall) to put the Gophers in the driver's seat.
The Gophers then got the ball at the UNLV 25-yard line and, after three consecutive Donnell Kirkwood runs, brought Jordan Wettstein in to attempt a 32-yard field goal for the win. Wettstein's kick was good, and the Gophers moved their record to 1-0 in the first game of the season for the Big Ten Conference.
The Gophers will host New Hampshire at TCF Bank Stadium a week from Saturday for their 2012 home opener.
We'll have a longer recap for your reading pleasure up shortly.
The second overtime started the same way the first overtime ended, with Marqueis Gray finding John Rabe for a touchdown. This one was for 25 yards, and Rabe was wide open on the play, basically walking into the end zone after the catch.
UNLV then got the ball back, and Tim Cornett continued to do the damage for UNLV. More accurately, the Gophers damaged themselves, as they stopped Cornett on UNLV's first play for no gain, but a late hit penalty moved the ball to the Minnesota 11-yard line. The Gophers forced a fourth down for the Rebels, but Nick Sherry was able to scramble and find Devante Davis in the back of the end zone for the tying touchdown.
So, we go to a third overtime in Las Vegas with the UNLV Rebels and the Minnesota Golden Gophers tied at 27. From this point forward, each touchdown must be followed by a two-point conversion attempt rather than being allowed to attempt a standard extra point.
UNLV got the ball first, and the Tim Cornett show continued, as he carried the ball three times for 25 yards, the last carry being an 18-yard touchdown to give the Rebels a 20-13 lead.
The Gophers answered right back thanks to Marqueis Gray. Gray scrambled for three yards on Minnesota's first play, and a 15-yard late hit penalty moved the ball to the UNLV 10-yard line. Two plays later, Gray found John Rabe for a 10-yard touchdown pass, and the game was tied again at 20.
So, with that, we will move on to a second overtime with the teams tied at 20. This time, Minnesota will get the ball first and the Rebels will have to attempt to answer whatever Minnesota might do.
Looking at the stat sheet, you wouldn't think the Gophers would need overtime, having nearly twice as many yards as the Rebels (429 to 222), but numerous mistakes by Minnesota have allowed UNLV to stay in this one, and that's why we're looking at overtime.
There was a bit of excitement at the end of regulation, as a Gopher punt bounced off of the UNLV returner at around the 10-yard line and bounced into the end zone. None of the Gopher defenders could get on it, however, and so it went out of the end zone for a touchback. UNLV ran one play into the line, and settled for the overtime period.
After regulation, the UNLV Rebels and Minnesota Golden Gophers are tied at 13. The Gophers won the overtime coin toss and elected to go on defense first.
Cornett got three straight rushes to start the drive, with the first two going for 8 and 9 yards. The third one saw Cornett blast through a hole for 25 yards, and a horse collar tackle by Derrick Wells added on another 15 yards to put the ball at the Minnesota 18-yard line.
The Gophers allowed just two yards in the next three plays, and the Rebels brought kicker Nolan Kohorst to attempt a kick from 35 yards out, and he drilled it to tie the contest at 13 with 2:46 left in the football game.
The Gophers have been penalized 10 times for 75 yards this evening, with many of them coming at very inopportune times. But, they'll get one more chance to win this one, or at least take the lead, as they're ready to receive the kickoff.
With 2:46 left in the game in Las Vegas, the Minnesota Golden Gophers and UNLV Rebels are tied at 13.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers' defense has done a very good job in the second half, holding the UNLV Rebels to less than 50 yards of total offense. Midway through the fourth quarter at Sam Boyd Stadium, they made a play that truly turned things around for Minnesota.
After tying the game at 10, the Gophers kicked off to UNLV, and had the Rebels facing a 3rd-and-4 from their own 30-yard line. UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry dropped back to pass, and a tipped ball resulted in an interception for Derrick Wells at the UNLV 25-yard line.
Marqueis Gray ran the ball for 13 yards down to the UNLV 12, but the offense stalled from there, and the Gophers had to settle for another Jordan Wettstein field goal, giving them the lead back at 13-10.
Each team now has two turnovers on the evening, with the Gophers having forced two Nick Sherry interceptions, while the Rebels have picked off Gray one time and recovered a Minnesota fumble.
With 5:40 left in the football game, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are back in the lead over the UNLV Rebels by a score of 13-10.
After forcing UNLV to punt, Marqueis Gray found A.J. Barker for a big 40-yard gain to put the ball into UNLV territory at the 23. A couple of rushes got the Gophers to a 3rd-and-2 situation at the UNLV 15, but a false start on Josh Campion pushed Minnesota back to the 20. Gray scrambled on third down, but was unable to get the first down, and the Gophers had to settle for a 32-yard Jordan Wettstein field goal to tie the game at 10.
Barker's big catch put him over the century mark yardage-wise, as he now has 101 yards on three receptions. Gray is 14-of-25 on the evening for 212 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. UNLV has gained just 47 yards of offense in the second half, much of it coming after the Troy Stoudermire muffed punt that the Rebels converted into a touchdown.
We have just under nine minutes remaining from Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the UNLV Rebels tied at 10.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have had their share of opportunities in the second half of their contest against the UNLV Rebels, but they haven't cashed in on them, and their most recent error might end up costing them in a big way.
On Minnesota's last drive, they were moving downfield before a sack of MarQueis Gray left the Gophers with 3rd-and-17 from the Minnesota 43. Gray dropped back to pass, and the defender that was covering freshman Andre McDonald fell down, leaving McDonald wide open. Unfortunately, Gray managed to overshoot McDonald by a good eight yards, and the Gophers were forced to punt.
On the ensuing UNLV drive, the Gophers forced a punt, but the ball bounced off of Troy Stoudermire's chest, and the Rebels recovered at the Minnesota 33. A pass interference penalty, a run by Tim Cornett, and a pass from Nick Sherry to Anthony Williams put the Rebels down at the Minnesota 5. When it looked like the Gophers might be able to get a stop, a roughing the passer penalty on D.L. Wilhite gave the Rebels a fresh set of downs at the 2-yard line.
Two plays later, Cornett found his way into the end zone from a yard out, and the Rebels took a 10-7 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Gophers are still dominating the stat sheet, but have simply shot themselves in the foot too many times in the second half. Jerry Kill's bunch needs to turn that around if they want to get out of Sam Boyd Stadium with a victory.
Taking over at their own 20-yard line, quarterback MarQueis Gray wasted little time in getting things started, finding Derrick Engel for 33 yards to move into UNLV territory. A 2-yard rush by K.J. Maye and a 12-yard run by Gray moved the Gophers closer to the goal line.
Facing a 3rd-and-2 from the UNLV 25, the Rebels were called for "disconcerting signals," meaning they were attempting to simulate the snap count to make the Gophers commit a false start penalty. The flag gave the Gophers a first down, and the drive continued. However, the drive stalled at the UNLV 15-yard line.
Jordan Wettstein then came into the game, and lined up for a 32-yard field goal from the right hash. However, Wettstein missed the field goal, and Minnesota stopped the ensuing UNLV drive to take a 7-3 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Gophers are dominating the stat sheet as we hit the break, outgaining the Rebels by a margin of 241 to 125, but they have only seven points to show for it. Minnesota currently has 125 yards on the ground and 116 through the air, while UNLV has 41 rushing yards and 93 passing yards to this point.
Minnesota is just 1-for-6 on third down, while UNLV has converted three of their seven third-down chances. The Gophers have two sacks as well. In the time of possession battle, the Gophers have had the ball for exactly 16 minutes, while the Rebels have had possession for 14 minutes. Penalties have been relatively even, with the Gophers having been flagged four times and the Rebels having been called for three infractions.
Marqueis Gray is currently 8-of-14 passing for 116 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Gray is also the Gophers' leading rusher thus far, with 43 yards on 7 carries. For UNLV, Nick Sherry is 12-of-18 for 93 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Tim Cornett is leading the way on the ground for the Rebels with six carries for 35 yards.
We've hit halftime at Sam Boyd Stadium, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers lead the UNLV Rebels by a score of 7-3.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers defense has stiffened up since the early going, and the offense might have gotten back on track. Minnesota just engineered an impressive six-play drive to take their first lead of the 2012 season, as they've gone in front of the UNLV Rebels by a score of 7-3.
The Gophers took over at their own 20-yard line, and Donnell Kirkwood got things started with a 12-yard carry. A 3-yard run by James Gillum and an 8-yard pass to K.J. Maye moved the Gophers to their own 43. On 2nd-and-8, Marqueis Gray found A.J. Barker for a big 39 yard catch-and-run to move the ball into UNLV territory at the 16, and Gillum finished things off from there, scoring on a run from 16 yards out. Jordan Wettstein hit the extra point, and the Gophers took a 7-3 lead.
The drive went 80 yards in six plays, and took a mere 2:28 off of the clock.
On a down note, it appears that running back Jamel Harbison suffered a serious knee injury. If we find out more information, we will pass it along to you.
With a little more than nine minutes left in the first half at Sam Boyd Stadium, the Minnesota Golden Gophers lead the UNLV Rebels by a score of 7-3.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and UNLV Rebels have each turned the ball over once, but the Rebels converted theirs into points, and as a result lead Minnesota by a score of 3-0 after one quarter of play.
Minnesota is dominating the stat sheet thus far, with 94 total yards (66 rushing, 28 passing) to just 48 for UNLV (31 rushing, 17 passing). However, the interception by MarQueis Gray kept Minnesota off the board, and the Gophers haven't gotten much going on offense since then.
UNLV had good field position toward the end of the first quarter after a bad Minnesota punt gave them the ball at the Minnesota 47, but went three-and-out, concluding with a sack by RaShede Hageman to snuff out the drive.
The Rebels will be lining up to punt when the second quarter starts, facing a 4th-and-11 from the Minnesota 48-yard line. With one quarter of play in the books, the UNLV Rebels lead the Minnesota Golden Gophers by a score of 3-0.
Just when it looked like the UNLV Rebels were going to move the ball on the Minnesota Golden Gophers defense with no problems, a member of the Gophers secondary made a big play to stop UNLV in their tracks.
UNLV freshman quarterback Nick Sherry completed a pass for a first down to Devante Davis for 10 yards, and running back Tim Cornett rushed for another 12 to put UNLV at midfield. Sherry then tried to hit one of his receivers deep, but the long pass was intercepted by safety Brock Vereen at the Minnesota 15-yard line. The interception thwarted the drive of UNLV and looks to have turned the momentum in Minnesota's direction.
With a little more than five minutes left in the first quarter of play, the Gophers have the ball and are making their way downfield. They still trail the UNLV Rebels by a score of 3-0 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers didn't let the interception by MarQueis Gray do too much damage, as they slowed down the UNLV Runnin' Rebels enough to force a field goal.
The Rebels started out on the Minnesota 44 after the interception, and it looked like Tim Cornett was going to start taking over for UNLV, as he had two carries for a quick 20 yards. However, the Gopher defense locked down after that and pushed UNLV back a yard. UNLV kicker Nolan Kohorst then put the Runnin' Rebels on the board, connecting on a field goal from 39 yards out to give UNLV a 3-0 advantage.
With 9:13 left in the first quarter of play at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, the Minnesota Golden Gophers trail the UNLV Runnin' Rebels by a score of 3-0. It will be interesting to see how Gray reacts to his first turnover of the 2012 season and if the Gophers can respond to the UNLV score.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers' first drive started out in a very promising manner, but ended up quite disappointing, as the UNLV Runnin' Rebels made a big play when they had to in order to keep the Gophers off the scoreboard.
Starting from their own 21-yard line, Donnell Kirkwood got things started for Minnesota with a 14-yard run, and a 3-yard run to follow that up. Quarterback MarQueis Gray then got in on the act, rushing for 18 yards to move the ball into UNLV territory, and after an incompletion, Gray got his first completion of the season to freshman K.J. Maye for 13 yards. After another 10-yard run for Kirkwood, Gray missed what would have been a touchdown strike to John Rabe. Gray then had a short run, and facing 3rd-and-7 from the UNLV 18-yard line, Gray threw a pass over the middle that was tipped and intercepted by UNLV's Tim Hasson. Hasson got a big return out of it, taking the ball into Gopher territory to the 44-yard line.
UNLV is currently driving, and we are tied at zero from Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas early in the first quarter.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are opening up their season in lovely Las Vegas for a game against the UNLV Runnin' Rebels.
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