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Minnesota At USC: Golden Gophers Fall To Trojans, 19-17

The Minnesota Golden Gophers had a shot at the end of the game to upset the USC Trojans, but a semi-controversial play-calling decision by Jerry Kill led to an interception from freshman Max Shortell and snuffed out the last drive of the afternoon, leading to a 19-17 loss for Minnesota.

The Gophers took over on the final drive on their own 9-yard line, and got a first down on a pass to Malcolm Mouton to the 19. He followed that up with an 8-yard hook-up with Da'Jon McKnight, but a one-yard scramble left the Gophers with 3rd and a short 1 from their own 27. Shortell lined up in the shotgun, and tried to hit McKnight on the left sideline, but he was intercepted by USC's Torin Harris at the 42-yard line. USC knelt down on the ball a few times, and the ball game was over.

It was a valiant effort by the Golden Gophers, as USC was very heavily favored going into this one, and they held the Trojans scoreless in the second half after looking pretty bad at times in the first half of play. Personally, I don't like the play call at the end by the Gophers, but it's hard to argue with a one-on-one situation with one of the Big Ten's best receivers. Overall, however, you have to like the effort that the Gophers put forward in this one, as they could have folded up the tents relatively early but fought through all the way to the end.

The Gophers' next game will be next Saturday, as they will host the New Mexico State Aggies in the home opener at TCF Bank Stadium. We'll have a look at that one, and a full wrap-up of this one, right here at SB Nation Minnesota.

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