Redhawks At Gophers: Gray's Record Day Paces Gophers To Victory

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Redhawks At Gophers: Gray Breaks 50-Year Old Mark In Minnesota Victory

It wasn't always pretty, and it was more exciting than it may have needed to be at the end of the day, but the Minnesota Golden Gophers got their first victory of the 2011 season on Saturday afternoon, holding off a very game squad from the University of Miami (Ohio) by a final score of 29-23 at TCF Bank Stadium.

It looked like it might be more of the same for the Gophers early on, as Redhawks' quarterback Zac Dysert hit receiver Nick Harwell for a 66-yard gain on Miami (Ohio)'s third play from scrimmage, moving the ball down to the Gophers' 9-yard line. However, the Gopher defense stiffened up, and the Redhawks had to settle for a field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. Minnesota came up with a big play of their own on their first drive, as MarQueis Gray hit Malcolm Mouton with a swing pass on Minnesota's second play for a 55-yard gain down to the Redhawks' 25. The drive stalled, however, and the Gophers also had to settle for a field goal, tying the game at three.

The Gopher defense continued to impress, forcing the Redhawks to go three-and-out on three consecutive drives, yielding a total of just 11 yards in those three Miami (Ohio) possessions. In a drive that stretched from the first quarter into the second, redshirt freshman Donnell Kirkwood capped off a ten-play, 80-yard drive with his first career touchdown, a rushing score from four yards out to make the score 10-3 in favor of Minnesota.

The Gophers would get another Chris Hawthorne field goal on their next drive to extend the lead to 13-3, and an interception by Troy Stoudermire thwarted the Redhawks' next drive. The Gophers could do nothing with it, however, and the Redhawks got the ball back, getting a big completion from Dysert to Chris Givens for a 31-yard gain to put the Redhawks deep into Minnesota territory. Miami (Ohio) got a huge fourth down conversion on a 4th-and-1 at the Minnesota 5-yard line, and a couple of plays later Erik Finklea powered into the end zone from a yard out to make the score 13-10 going into the locker room.

Minnesota turned their first drive of the second half into another Hawthorne field goal to make the score 16-10, but the Redhawks answered back, marching 77 yards for a score. Dysert and Harwell were the key components again, as they connected for a 32-yard gain to move the Redhawks inside the Minnesota 10-yard line. Two plays later, Dysert hit Givens for a 7-yard score to tie the game at 16. The Redhawks then proceeded to botch the snap on the extra point attempt, and the game remained tied.

The Redhawks put the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, and that's when the MarQueis Gray show kicked into high gear. Gray was almost completely responsible for the first 55 yards of the drive, with 47 of them coming on the ground and 8 coming on a completion to Da'Jon McKnight. With the Gophers at the Miami (Ohio) 5-yard line, Duane Bennett picked up three yards on first and goal to move Minnesota to the 2, and Kirkwood picked up another yard. On third and goal and the Gophers in a "stacked-I" formation (with two blocking backs in front of Kirkwood), Gray faked a handoff to Kirkwood and hit tight end John Rabe in the end zone for a touchdown and a 23-16 Minnesota lead.

After the two teams exchanged punts, the Gophers' special teams came up huge. The Redhawks were punting away from their own 30-yard line, and Bennett got a free release towards Redhawks' punter Zac Murphy. Bennett blocked the punt, sending it high into the air, and the Gophers waited for it to come down. It went off the hands of another Gopher player and into Bennett's hands, who walked into the end zone for the score. It was the first blocked punt for the Gophers since their game against Illinois on November 7, 2009. . .a block that also went for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Hawthorne missed the extra point, making the lead 29-16 in favor of the Gophers.

The Redhawks wasted no time in answering, however, going 80 yards in 8 plays in just 2:34 on the ensuing possession. Dysert was 6-for-8 on the drive, eventually hitting Dawan Scott for a 26-yard touchdown pass to slice the Minnesota lead to 29-23.

The Gophers next. . .and final. . .possession was interesting. Starting at their own 33 with just a shade under eight minutes to play, Minnesota took nearly five minutes off the clock, but eventually faced a 4th-and-9 from the Miami (Ohio) 34-yard line. Gray took a shotgun snap and looked to pass, but didn't have much of a chance in the face of the Redhawks' pass rush. Though he did manage to throw the ball away, the Gophers turned it over on downs, and gave Miami (Ohio) a chance to steal the victory with 2:58 remaining.

Dysert, who was under relentless pressure from the Gophers' pass rush on the entire final drive, managed to move the Redhawks downfield. Miami (Ohio) got to the Minnesota 20-yard line, but on a fourth down play with time running out, Dysert tried to hit Givens in double coverage in the end zone, but Kim Royston broke up the pass to preserve the victory for Minnesota.

Gray had a record day for the Gophers running the football, as he broke the record set by the legendary Sandy Stephens on October 28, 1961 for the most rushing yards for a quarterback in a single game. Stephens' old record was 160 yards, and Gray finished the day with 171 yards on 25 carries. Gray also generated 163 yards and a touchdown through the air. . .and, more importantly, he and the rest of the Gophers did not turn the ball over once against the Redhawks.

The win was the first as Gophers' coach for Jerry Kill, who suffered a seizure a week ago on this same field in Minnesota's loss to New Mexico State.

The Gophers will resume play next weekend at TCF Bank Stadium, as they will host the North Dakota State University Bison.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Minnesota Holds Off Rally To Win, 29-23

The Minnesota Golden Gophers certainly didn't make things easy on themselves, but they did manage to hold off a furious, last-minute rally by the Miami (Ohio) University Redhawks on Saturday afternoon to get Jerry Kill his first win as the head coach of the Gophers by a final score of 29-23.

The last few minutes saw some pretty crazy action, to say the least. The Gophers failed on a 4th-and-9 attempt from the Miami (Ohio) 34-yard line late in the game, giving the Redhawks the ball with good field position. From there, junior quarterback Zac Dysert moved the Redhawks down the field, converting a big 4th-and-10 play to keep the Redhawks' final drive alive. However, on Miami's final offensive play, Dysert attempted to force one to Chris Givens in double coverage, and Kim Royston broke up the pass to preserve the Minnesota victory.

We'll have a more in-depth recap of this one later on, but for now, the Gophers have emerged with their first victory of the 2011 season in a thriller over the Miami (Ohio) University Redhawks by a final score of 29-23.

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MarQueis Gray Sets Minnesota Golden Gophers' Single-Game QB Rushing Record

With a 7-yard gain in the fourth quarter of the Minnesota Golden Gophers' game against the Miami (Ohio) University Redhawks, Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray has broken a 50-year old Gophers' record.

The carry gave Gray 162 yards on the afternoon, which is the most that any Gopher quarterback has ever rushed for in a single game. The previous record was set by legendary Gopher quarterback Sandy Stephens in a game against the University of Michigan on October 28, 1961.

Hopefully Gray won't lose any yardage from here on out and, potentially, lose the record. More importantly, hopefully he can continue having an impressive afternoon for the Gophers. At the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter, the Gophers lead the Redhawks by a score of 29-23 at TCF Bank Stadium. The team is looking to give Jerry Kill his first victory as the Minnesota head coach, and get themselves into the W column after an 0-2 start.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Miami (Ohio) Strikes Back To Make It 29-23

The Miami (Ohio) University Redhawks needed to make something happen to get back into the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and they did just that after giving up a blocked punt for a touchdown by getting a touchdown of their own.

Redhawks' quarterback Zac Dysert went to work after the Redhawks retook possession of the ball, hitting Dawan Scott for a 22-yard gain on the first play of the drive. On a big 3rd-and-4, Dysert hit Nick Harwell for six yards to keep the drive alive for Miami (Ohio). After a 19-yard completion to Harwell put the Redhawks, Dysert then found Scott again for a 26-yard touchdown strike. Mason Krysinski converted the extra point, and the Golden Gophers' lead was back down to six at 29-23.

The Gophers have retaken possession and are currently at their own 42-yard line, looking at 2nd-and-2 with around seven minutes left in the game.

Can the Gophers get their first win of 2011? Keep it right here to find out!

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Redhawks At Gophers: Special Teams Gives Minnesota A 29-16 Lead

The Minnesota Golden Gophers' defense forced another three-and-out against the Miami (Ohio) University Redhawks, and the special teams came through in a huge way.

The Redhawks lined up to punt, and senior running back Duane Bennett charged Redhawks' punter Zac Murphy completely untouched. Bennett got to Murphy and blocked the punt, causing it to go high into the air. The ball actually caromed off of the hands of another Gopher that was waiting for it to come down, and into the waiting hands of Bennett at the Redhawks' 2-yard line. Bennett walked into the end zone from there, and gave the Gophers a 29-16 lead.

The play was the first blocked punt for a touchdown that the Gophers have gotten since they accomplished the feat against the Illinois Fighting Illini back in 2009.

Unfortunately, Chris Hawthorne was unable to convert the PAT, and the score now sits at 29-16 in favor of the Golden Gophers.

The Redhawks have taken the ensuing kickoff and have moved close to midfield with just under ten minutes remaining, trailing the Minnesota Golden Gophers by a score of 29-16.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Minnesota Retakes The Lead, 23-16

The Minnesota Golden Gophers were on the doorstep again when the third quarter finished, and two plays into the fourth quarter, they had put their second touchdown of the day on the board.

The Gophers went out of a "stacked-I" formation on both of their plays after the quarter break, meaning that they had two blocking backs in a straight line in front of tailback Donnell Kirkwood. On the first play, Kirkwood was stopped after a 1-yard gain to move the ball down to the 1-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Marqueis Gray faked the handoff to Kirkwood, and hit tight end John Rabe for the 1-yard touchdown reception.

The scoring drive for the Gophers moved 60 yards in 12 plays, taking 6:01 off of the clock. The touchdown pass to Rabe was one of only two completed passes on the drive. . .the rest of the yardage came on the ground. The catch for Rabe was his first catch as a Gopher.

With 14:23 left in the ball game, the Minnesota Golden Gophers lead the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks by a score of 23-16.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Gophers On The Doorstep As Third Quarter Ends

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are on the verge of another touchdown as we move to the fourth quarter of play at TCF Bank Stadium.

After the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks tied things up at 16 on their last drive, the Gophers got good field position when Mason Krysinski put the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving the Gophers the ball at the 40-yard line. From there, the MarQueis Gray show continued, as he carried for 14 yards and moved the Gophers into Redhawks' territory. In fact, Gray has accounted for nearly all 55 yards that the Gophers have gained on this drive, and all of it has come on the ground. He has attempted two passes. One of them went incomplete, while the other one was caught by Da'Jon McKnight for an 8-yard gain. Donnell Kirkwood has had two carries on the drive, both of which were stuffed for no gain.

The Gophers are now looking at a second and goal from the Miami (OH) 2-yard line as we start the fourth quarter. Our score is tied at 16.

Keep it right here to see if the Gophers can get the first win of the Jerry Kill Era this afternoon.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Miami Responds, Game Now Tied At 16

The Miami (Ohio) Redhawks have stopped the Minnesota Golden Gophers' momentum, but followed it up with something that may haunt them later on.

The Redhawks started out from their own 23-yard line, and proceeded to march downfield thanks to a couple of big plays, notably a 32-yard pass from Zac Dysert to Nick Harwell to put the Redhawks at the Gophers' 8-yard line. Two plays later, Dysert found Chris Givens in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown catch to make the score 16-16.

However, when the Redhawks went for the extra point, their holder was unable to field the snap from center cleanly, and put it on the turf. The result is that, rather than being ahead by a point, the Redhawks are now tied with the Gophers.

There is 5:24 left in the third quarter of play at TCF Bank Stadium, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Miami (Ohio) Redhawks are tied at 16. The Redhawks just put the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, which will give the Gophers good field position at the 40-yard line.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Gray Impressive On Minnesota Scoring Drive

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have once again extended their lead over the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks, this time by a field goal to make the score 16-10 at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Gophers took the opening kickoff of the second half and, starting at their own 25-yard line, moved the ball down the field thanks to the talents of running back Donnell Kirkwood and quarterback MarQueis Gray. The first two plays of the drive saw Kirkwood carry the ball twice for 20 yards, and Gray followed that up with a 20-yard rush of his own to move the ball to the Redhawks' 35-yard line. Kirkwood and Gray moved the Gophers all the way down to the Redhawks' 6-yard line, but Gray was sacked on a 3rd-and-3 play to stop the drive.

Chris Hawthorne converted his third field goal of the afternoon, this one from 26 yards away, to give Minnesota a six-point lead at 16-10.

The Gophers are preparing to kick off at a windy TCF Bank Stadium with 8:32 left in the third quarter of play, holding a 16-10 lead over the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Miami Cuts Lead To 13-10

The Miami (Ohio) Redhawks put together a very impressive drive at the end of the first half, including a big fourth down conversion, to cut the Minnesota Golden Gophers' lead to 13-10.

The Gophers thwarted the previous Redhawks' drive, thanks to an interception by Troy Stoudermire. However, Minnesota was unable to do anything with it, and had to punt the ball back to the Redhawks, who started their drive on their own 35-yard line. Quarterback Zac Dysert made a huge third down play early in the drive, hitting Chris Givens for 31 yards to keep the drive alive for Miami (Ohio).

The Redhawks matriculated the ball down to the Gophers' 5-yard line, where they faced a 4th-and-1 situation. The Gophers were unable to stop Redhawks' running back Erik Finklea, who converted the first down for his team. Three plays later, Finklea found the end zone from a yard out, and the extra point by Mason Krysinski made the score 13-10 in favor of Minnesota.

The Gophers' defense has looked much more impressive in this one than they have to this point in the season so far, and it will be interesting to see if they can keep it up in the second half of play.

As we go to the locker room at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Golden Gophers lead the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks by a score of 13-10.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Minnesota Extends Lead To 13-3

The Minnesota Golden Gophers' defense has forced the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks into three consecutive three-and-outs, and the offense is taking advantage.

Minnesota started their most recent drive with a 43-yard connection from MarQueis Gray to tight end Eric Lair, moving Minnesota all the way down to the Redhawks' 16-yard line. After converting on a third down and setting themselves up with a first-and-goal situation, the Gophers were stuffed on three consecutive plays. Kicker Chris Hawthorne converted his second field goal of the afternoon, this one measuring 19 yards, to give the Gophers a 13-3 lead over the Redhawks.

On the previous three drives, the Redhawks had gained a total of 11 yards, including going four yards backwards on their last drive. The Gophers even racked up their first sack of the year on defense, as Michael Amaefula got to Miami (Ohio) quarterback Zac Dysert for a four-yard loss on the Redhawks' last drive.

With a little more than eight minutes left in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Golden Gophers lead the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks by a score of 13-3.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Kirkwood Runs Gophers To 10-3 Lead

We told you that the Gophers were threatening as the first quarter came to an end, and on the second play of the second quarter, Minnesota cashed in with a touchdown to take their first lead of the 2011 season.

Redshirt freshman Donnell Kirkwood rushed for four yards on 2nd-and-3 to set the Gophers up with a 1st-and-goal situation. On the next play, Kirkwood took another handoff and blasted through a hole that you could have driven a truck through, going into the end zone untouched and giving the Gophers the lead. Chris Hawthorne converted the extra point, and the Gophers went ahead by a score of 10-3.

The scoring drive for the Gophers covered 80 yards in 10 plays, taking 4:34 off of the clock. The touchdown for Kirkwood is the first of his career.

With 14:31 remaining in the first half of play, the Minnesota Golden Gophers lead the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks by a score of 10-3.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Minnesota Threatening As First Quarter Ends

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are tied with the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks at three after one quarter of play, but the Gophers are driving and have a very good opportunity to take the lead.

The first big play of the drive came on a keeper by quarterback MarQueis Gray, who sprinted for 33 yards on the play to put the Gophers into Redhawks territory at the 33-yard line. After it looked like the drive was going to stall, Coach Jerry Kill kept his offense on the field on 4th-and-3, and Gray responded by finding Da'Jon McKnight for a ten-yard gain to keep the drive alive.

Gray then ran a keeper for seven more yards, down to the Miami (OH) 8-yard line on the final play of the first quarter, and the Gophers are looking at 2nd and 3 when we come back from the break.

With one quarter of play in the books at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks are tied at three.

Keep it right here and keep refreshing for the latest updates from us here at SB Nation Minnesota!

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Redhawks At Gophers: Minnesota Quickly Ties It Up

Not to be outdone by the Miami (OH) Redhawks, the Minnesota Golden Gophers generated a big play of their own, but then may have gotten a little too cute, causing them to have to settle for a field goal and an early 3-3 tie with the Redhawks.

On 2nd-and-9 from their own 16-yard line, quarterback MarQueis Gray flicked a quick bubble screen out to wide receiver Malcolm Mouton. Mouton got into the open field and sprinted down the left sideline, eventually gaining 59 yards and setting the Gophers up at the Redhawks' 25.

After a 9-yard pass from Gray to Da'Jon McKnight, the Gophers got stuffed on second down. On third down, freshman quarterback Max Shortell lined up to take the snap, with Gray split out to the left. Gray came in motion, took a handoff from Shortell, and then pitched it to McKnight on what was supposed to be a reverse. The Redhawks sniffed it out, however, and stopped McKnight for no gain.

The Gophers then settled for a 33-yard field goal from Chris Hawthorne to tie the score at three.

Minnesota has just kicked off, and the Redhawks take over at their own 21-yard line with 8:31 left in the first quarter of play from TCF Bank Stadium.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Big Play Has Gophers Down Early Again

Coach Jerry Kill is doing his job from the sidelines this afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium. Now, it appears he's just waiting for his players to actually join him.

This is bad, because the game kicked off about ten minutes ago.

On a 3rd-and-5 play from their own territory after receiving the opening kickoff, the Redhawks put together a 66-yard pitch-and-catch from quarterback Zac Dysert to Nick Harwell, moving Miami (OH) all the way down to the Minnesota 9-yard line. Fortunately, the Gopher defense was able to stiffen from there, allowing a few yards on the ground and an incomplete pass on third down.

Mason Krysinski converted a 22-yard field goal for the Redhawks, and they are on the board first in this one, leading the Gophers by a score of 3-0.

Again, we are just underway at TCF Bank Stadium, and the Redhawks lead the Gophers by a score of 3-0 with about 12 minutes left in the first quarter of play.

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Redhawks At Gophers: Coach Kill On Field For Warmups

After suffering a frightening seizure in the waning moments of the Golden Gophers' loss to the New Mexico State Aggies last week, Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill is on the field while the teams are warming up at TCF Bank Stadium this afternoon.

A combination of heat exhaustion and dehydration was thought to have played a role in Coach Kill's seizure last week, and the reports from the reporters on the scene at the stadium say that he is remaining hydrated. With temperatures in the Twin Cities today only expected to reach into the lower 60s, the heat should not be a factor in such things this afternoon.

There has not yet been any word at this point about whether or not Coach Kill will be coaching from the sidelines this afternoon or from up in the press box. Either way, it's pretty impressive that he's there at all this week, given what happened to him a week ago.

The Gophers and Redhawks will kick things off approximately 45 minutes from now.

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