Offensive MVP

Donovahn Jones

With the Gophers offense struggling early, Jones made a couple of grabs to get them going. He was the first receiver to catch a pass — with 3:54 remaining in the second quarter. But two minutes later he was zipping into the end zone on a 35-yard catch-and-run, putting the Gophers up 14-0. He finished with three catches for 57 yards.


Defensive MVP

Alex Keith

The junior defensive end was an injury sub, and he made the most of his opportunity — until he too left with an injury. With defensive end Michael Amaefula out (knee injury), Keith made the start and promptly recovered a first-quarter fumble to set up the Gophers’ first score. In the third quarter, with Eastern Illinois driving deep, Keith tackled receiver Stephen Bravo-Brown, forced a fumble and recovered it on the Gophers 4-yard line. He left in the second half after four tackles with a knee injury and did not return.


By the numbers

21 Total yards for the offense in the first quarter. It was the fourth slow start to a season opener in a row for the Gophers under Jerry Kill.

2 Rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter for redshirt freshman Berkley Edwards, on runs of 1 and 42 yards.