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.