Sept 8, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray (5) runs with the ball for a first down in the second half against the New Hampshire Wildcats at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers won 44-7. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota Vs. New Hampshire: Gophers Win Big Over Wildcats, 44-7

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are still searching for improvement following their big win over New Hampshire this weekend.

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Gophers Undefeated, But Coach Sees Plenty Of Room For Improvement

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have started their season with consecutive wins, but that doesn't mean head coach Jerry Kill is completely happy about his team's performance. He's certainly pleased, of course, but sees plenty of room for improvement.

Kill talked about his team's performance against New Hampshire with the Pioneer Press, noting multiple things that didn't go quite the way he had planned.

"We have a young offensive group," he said Sunday. "Most people are trying to find their timing and execution. We're not clean there. If you're clean, you don't drop a couple shotgun snaps and we have to punt the ball. There's so much precision (needed) on offense."

"I didn't feel like we blocked particularly well in the backfield in this particular game," Kill said. "And I think we missed some cuts in the running game. I think as a running back group, we probably played better in the first game."

Things likely aren't going to get better than a 44-7 victory, but it's nice to see the effort.

For all things Golden Gopher, check out The Daily Gopher. Stay here at SB Nation Minnesota for more coverage of Minnesota football, and SB Nation's college football hub has all the news and analysis you need from around the NCAA.

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MarQueis Gray Setting School Records For Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers football squad hasn't really had a running quarterback recently so it should be no surprise that MarQueis Gray is breaking records. It's certainly nice to see that he's doing as much, however, as he broke another record on Saturday afternoon.

The Gophers only played New Hampshire, of course, but that shouldn't diminish Gray's newest record (courtesy of the Pioneer Press).

With his 109 yards and two touchdowns on the ground Saturday, Sept. 8, in a 44-7 win against New Hampshire, Gophers senior quarterback MarQueis Gray surpassed Rickey Foggie and Billy Cockerham with the fifth 100-yard rushing game of his career.

Considering the Gophers are also 2-0 on the season, the Minnesota faithful should be happy with the start of their season.

For all things Golden Gopher, check out The Daily Gopher. Stay here at SB Nation Minnesota for more coverage of Minnesota football, and SB Nation's college football hub has all the news and analysis you need from around the NCAA.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota Final Score: Gophers Throttle Wildcats, 44-7

Things got off to a bit of a slow start for the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday afternoon against the New Hampshire Wildcats. Then, they remembered that they were a Big Ten team taking on an FCS opponent, and turned on the jets to eventually coast to a 44-7 victory over New Hampshire in their 2012 home opener.

Minnesota had lost their last two games against FCS opponents, dropping games to North Dakota State in 2011 and South Dakota State the year before that. (Maybe it's just teams from the Dakotas that are the problem.) But behind the arm and legs of Marqueis Gray and a very stout defensive performance, the Gophers thumped the Wildcats to give themselves their first three-game winning streak since 2009.

The Gophers got on the board first, as New Hampshire had a bad snap on a punt on their first possession. New Hampshire punter Andy MacCarthy tossed the ball out of the back of the end zone to make it 2-0 in favor of the home team. After a huge return for Troy Stoudermire gave the Gophers good field position, Gray found Isaac Fruechte for a 27-yard touchdown strike to make the lead 9-0.

New Hampshire did answer with a touchdown to make the score 9-7, but it was all Gophers after that, as Minnesota scored 35 unanswered points. Gray had touchdown runs of 75 and 11 yards, as well as a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end John Rabe. Running back Donnell Kirkwood had a 2-yard touchdown run in the second half as well. Even backup quarterback Max Shortell got into the act, leading the Gophers' last two offensive drives and hitting A.J. Barker for a 19-yard touchdown pass to provide the final margin of victory.

The Gophers forced two New Hampshire turnovers, both of which led to touchdowns. D.L. Wilhite forced a fumble from New Hampshire quarterback Andy Vailas that set up Gray's second touchdown run, and Martez Shabazz intercepted Vailas in the fourth quarter prior to the drive that ended with Shortell's touchdown pass. The interception by Shabbaz was the fourth by the Gophers this year, which ties their total for the entire 2011 season.

Gray finished the afternoon with 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. He added 100 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 6-of-8 passing. Shortell looked impressive in his short stint, completing 5-of-6 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. Minnesota gained 412 yards in total offense (including 240 on the ground), while holding New Hampshire to just 231. The Gophers were also an impressive 11-of-17 on third down, while holding the Wildcats to 5-of-16 in that same category.

The Gophers' next game will come next Saturday, when they will host the Western Michigan Broncos at TCF Bank Stadium. Western Michigan is currently 0-1, having lost to Illinois by a score of 24-7 in their season opener. They will be taking on Eastern Michigan at home starting at 6 PM Central time.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Max Shortell Leads Another Scoring Drive, Now 44-7

With the game well in hand, Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill went to his bench and gave quarterback Max Shortell some playing time. Shortell gave Gopher fans reason for optimism after the Marqueis Gray era ends in the Twin Cities, engineering a very impressive drive to tack on yet another Golden Gopher touchdown and increase the lead over New Hampshire to 44-7.

The drive came after junior college transfer Martez Shabazz intercepted New Hampshire quarterback Andy Vailas, with a penalty on the return giving Minnesota the ball on their own 13-yard line. Shortell proceeded to go 4-of-5 for 65 yards on the drive, hitting four different receivers in the process. It was all a part of a 12-play, 83-yard drive that took nearly six minutes off of the clock.

Shortell concluded the drive by hitting A.J. Barker from 19-yards out for the touchdown, and Jordan Wettstein's extra point gave the Gophers a 44-7 lead. Since New Hampshire scored a first-quarter touchdown to make the score 9-7 in favor of Minnesota, the Gophers have scored 35 unanswered points.

We've got about six and a half minutes to go at TCF Bank Stadium, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers have this one on cruise control, leading 44-7.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Gophers Lead Wildcats After Three Quarters, 37-7

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have been the dominant team for most of the afternoon against the New Hampshire Wildcats, holding a 37-7 lead as we go to the fourth quarter of play at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Wildcats are driving, however, courtesy of a Minnesota miscue. After forcing a New Hampshire punt, Minnesota running back James Gillum fumbled on Minnesota's first offensive play, giving the Wildcats the ball at the Gophers' 44-yard line. New Hampshire has converted a couple of first downs behind backup quarterback Andy Valias, and now has a third-and-eight from the Minnesota 15-yard line as we move to the fourth quarter.

Be sure to keep it right here for all of your updates on this matchup as it winds down. We will also have a recap of the game posted for your viewing pleasure shortly after the game concludes.

We're moving into the fourth quarter of play in Minneapolis, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers are in control against the New Hampshire Wildcats, holding a 37-7 lead.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Donnell Kirkwood Gives Gophers A 37-7 Lead

The Minnesota Golden Gophers' first drive of the second half was, by far, their most impressive of the game thus far, as they've opened up their lead over the New Hampshire Wildcats even further.

After the Gophers forced the Wildcats to punt, they took over on their own 15-yard line. From there, Marqueis Gray and company went on the march, orchestrating a 16-play, 85-yard drive that saw them convert four consecutive third downs. Most of the damage came on the ground, with the lone pass completion coming when Gray hit Isaac Fruechte for a 26-yard gaine on third-and-three from the Minnesota 22-yard line. Donnell Kirkwood carried the ball seven times on the drive for a total of 31 yards, including capping the drive for Minnesota with a two-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 from the New Hampshire 2-yard line.

The drive took more than eight minutes off of the clock, and increased the Minnesota lead to 30 points. With just a shade over three minutes remaining in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Golden Gophers lead the New Hampshire Wildcats by a score of 37-7.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Gophers Lead Wildcats At Halftime, 30-7

After their last couple of not-so-successful experiences against FCS teams, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are throttling their lone FCS opponent of 2012. At the half at TCF Bank Stadium, they lead the New Hampshire Wildcats by a score of 30-7. The 30 points scored by the Gophers gives them more points that they scored in any one game in 2011, and already matches the total from their three-overtime thriller last week against UNLV.

The star on offense has been quarterback Marqueis Gray, who has played a role in all four Minnesota touchdowns on the afternoon. After a New Hampshire safety on a botched punt snap, Gray got the Gophers a touchdown on a 1-play drive, finding Isaac Fruechte from 27 yards out to increase the Minnesota lead to 9-0.

Following the Wildcats' lone touchdown of the first half, Gray and company took over at their own 25-yard line, and Gray once again took just one play to score, rushing 75 yards to give the Gophers a 16-7 lead. He then found tight end John Rabe for a two-yard scoring pass to increase the lead to 23-7. To cap things off, Gray helped the Gophers to capitalize on a New Hampshire turnover with an 11-yard touchdown run to make the score 30-7 going into the half.

Overall, Gray is 4-of-5 for 65 yards and two scores through the air, and has also carried 11 times for 86 yards and two more scores.

The bigger story thus far has been the Gophers defense. The Gophers have allowed just 147 yards thus far, and have sacked New Hampshire quarterbacks four times. Rashede Hageman has two sacks, and D.L. Wilhite has one sack of his own (which led to Gray's second rushing touchdown) and one that he shared with Michael Amaefula. With a big lead, expect the Gophers defenders to be able to pin their ears back and rush the passer even more in the second half.

We're at halftime in the Minnesota Golden Gophers' home opener at TCF Bank Stadium, and they have opened up a big lead over the New Hampshire Wildcats, 30-7.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Marqueis Gray's Second Rushing Score Makes It 30-7

A big play by the Minnesota Golden Gophers' defense was the catalyst for the team increasing their lead over the New Hampshire Wildcats even further, and it appears as though the rout might actually be on at TCF Bank Stadium.

New Hampshire faced a third-and-nine from their own 26-yard line. Defensive end D.L. Wilhite blew past the New Hampshire offensive line and forced a fumble from New Hampshire quarterback Andy Vailas. The fumble was recovered by Michael Amaefula, and the Gophers were able to set up shop at the New Hampshire 18-yard line.

After a couple of carries from Donnell Kirkwood, the Gophers faced a third-and-three from the New Hampshire 11. Gray handled business himself, taking the snap and rambling the 11 yards to the end zone for a 30-7 Minnesota lead.

With two touchdown passes and two touchdown runs, Gray has played a role in all four Minnesota touchdowns on the afternoon. He's really putting together a nice performance.

With about four minutes left before halftime in the home opener, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are blowing out the New Hampshire Wildcats, 30-7.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Marqueis Gray And John Rabe Connect For 23-7 Gophers Lead

The Minnesota Golden Gophers might finally be hitting their stride against the New Hampshire Wildcats, as they've just put together their most impressive drive of the afternoon.

Minnesota once again stopped the Wildcats on a fourth down play, and took over at their own 33-yard line. Marqueis Gray led the offense down the field, and Minnesota faced a third-and-two from the New Hampshire 35-yard line. Gray went back to pass, did a great job of hanging in the pocket, and fired a strike down the middle of the field to a wide open John Rabe, putting the ball all the way down at the 2-yard line.

Rabe was once again the target for Gray on the next snap, as Gray found him in the end zone off of a nice play-action fake for a 2-yard touchdown pass and a 23-7 Gophers lead.

On the afternoon, Gray is 4-of-5 passing for 65 yards and a touchdown. He has also thrown in seven carries for 79 yards, including the big 75-yard touchdown run we mentioned earlier.

With just under seven minutes left before halftime at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have increased their lead over the New Hampshire Wildcats to 23-7.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Marqueis Gray Strikes Back To Give Gophers 16-7 Lead

The Minnesota Golden Gophers needed to do something to answer back after the New Hampshire Wildcats cut their lead to two points late in the first quarter of their home opener. Marqueis Gray took matters into his own hands and shift the momentum back to Minnesota.

After a touchback on the kickoff following New Hampshire's touchdown, the Gophers had first-and-ten from their own 25-yard line. Gray took the first snap of the drive, faked a handoff, and then flew through the line of scrimmage and into the clear. 75 yards later, Gray had outrun the entire Wildcat defense into the end zone, and the Gophers' lead was back to nine points at 16-7.

The play was the first run of over 50 yards for the Minnesota Golden Gophers since Duane Bennett had a 61-yard run against Northern Illinois on August 30, 2008. Huge play by the Gophers' best player to give his team back the momentum in this one.

We have reached the end of the first quarter at TCF Bank Stadium, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers have the lead over the New Hampshire Wildcats, 16-7.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Wildcats Answer Back To Cut Lead To 9-7

The New Hampshire Wildcats are looking to extend the Minnesota Golden Gophers' losing streak against FCS teams to three, and they've answered back to cut the lead to 2.

The Wildcats took over at their own 24-yard line, and behind backup quarterback Andy Vailas, moved the ball 76 yards against a Gophers' defense that didn't look particularly sharp on the drive. The big play on the drive was a pass from Vailas to receiver Jimmy Giansante for 25 yards that moved the Wildcats into Gophers territory. The play that ultimately got the Wildcats into the end zone was a 5-yard run by Chris Setien, and Mike MacArthur's extra point made the score 9-7.

The Minnesota offense hasn't generated a whole lot of yardage at this point. Their one touchdown drive consisted of a one-play drive, and they really haven't done a whole lot outside of that.

We are under one minute to play in the first quarter at TCF Bank Stadium for the Gophers home opener, and Minnesota continues to lead New Hampshire by a score of 9-7.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Marqueis Gray Finds Isaac Fruechte For A 9-0 Gopher Lead

It didn't take long for the Minnesota Golden Gophers to really capitalize on the first big mistake of their game against the New Hampshire Wildcats.

Troy Stoudermire took the free kick from New Hampshire and gave the Gophers a huge return. After a 15-yard penalty for a horse collar tackle was marked off, the Gophers started out on the New Hampshire 27-yard line.

The Gophers didn't waste any time from there, as it took Minnesota just one play to find the end zone. Marqueis Gray took the snap from center, scanned the field, and found a wide open Isaac Fruechte down the right sideline for a 27-yard touchdown pass, and Jordan Wettstein's extra point gave the Golden Gophers a quick 9-0 lead.

The safety recorded by the Gophers was their first since 2000 against Louisiana-Monroe.

New Hampshire's starting quarterback, Sean Goldrich, is out of the game after suffering what appeared to be a shoulder injury on the Wildcats' second offensive play. The backup is sophomore Andy Vailas.

New Hampshire is driving with just under nine minutes left in the first quarter and the Gophers holding a 9-0 lead.

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New Hampshire At Minnesota: Safety On Bad Snap Gives Gophers Early 2-0 Lead

Things have started off a little bit better for the Minnesota Golden Gophers against the FCS New Hampshire Wildcats at TCF Bank Stadium this afternoon.

Minnesota's first drive eventually stalled out, and Christian Eldred got off a nice 52-yard punt to put New Hampshire down at their own 11-yard line. The Gophers held the Wildcats to minimal yardage, and New Hampshire lined up for a punt of their own.

The snap for the punt, however, went off of the hands of New Hampshire punter Mike MacArthur and bounced around the end zone. Faced with a swarm of maroon jerseys, MacArthur simply tossed the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 Minnesota lead.

New Hampshire is now lining up for a free kick from their own 20-yard line, after which the Gophers will take possession.

We are just about five minutes into the home opener for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and they have taken a 2-0 lead over the New Hampshire Wildcats. Keep it here for all of your updates.

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New Hampshire Vs. Minnesota 2012: Game Time, TV Schedule, Spread And More

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will be looking to get their second-straight win to start the 2012 schedule when they host the New Hampshire Wildcats on Saturday. The Wildcats are an FCS team out of the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Gophers started their season with a triple-overtime 30-27 win on the road over UNLV. Senior quarterback MarQueis Gray led Minnesota to the victory, going 17/30 for 269 and two touchdowns while adding 68 net yards on the ground.

The Wildcats are 1-0 after a 38-17 road victory over Holy Cross in Week 1. New Hampshire's running attack led the way, as they piled up 279 rushing yards. It was a group effort, as no Wildcat rushed for more than 71 yards.

These two teams have never met in football before, and this marks the first time since 2003 that Minnesota starts their season with two opponents they had never faced.

Game time, TV channel: 11 a.m. CT, Big Ten Network

Point spread: No spead published.

For news, discussion and more: For more on Gophers football, visit Minnesota blog The Daily Gopher, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire and SB Nation Minnesota.

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Gophers Vs. New Hampshire Game Stems From Hockey Rivalry

The Gophers take on New Hampshire at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. CT.

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