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Minnesota at USC: Promising First Drive Ends With Nothing

It wasn't always pretty, but the Minnesota Golden Gophers put together a fairly decent first drive against the USC Trojans to get things started.

After a false start on the first play, the first successful snap of the year was a give to running back Duane Bennett, who sprinted for 35 yards to near midfield. The Gophers also converted their first third down opportunity of the 2011 season, thanks to a nice pass from MarQueis Gray to tight end Eric Lair for 13 yards.

Unfortunately, the drive stalled after an incompletion on the next third down attempt, and the Gophers attempted a 51-yard field goal. Unfortunately, Chris Hawthorne's kick came up well short of its intended target, and Southern Cal took over at its own 34-yard line.

With a little more than ten minutes remaining in the first quarter of play, the Trojans have the ball near midfield with the game still tied at zero.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.