Gophers replay Minn. 26, Miami (Oh.) 3

The recap

The Gophers completed a 3-0 nonconference season with a victory over Miami that was highlighted by a strong defensive effort, Tyler Johnson’s three touchdown receptions and true freshman Bryce Williams’ 141-yard rushing day in his starting debut. The offense wasn’t always sharp, with four possessions inside the RedHawks 31-yard line resulting in just one field goal.

The Gophers defense limited Miami to a second-quarter field goal and got a safety after a Jacob Herbers punt pinned the RedHawks at their 2. Herbers was a weapon throughout the game, with three punts that were downed inside the Miami 8 and another at the 15. “Player of the game. Period,” Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said.

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Strong debut

With Rodney Smith lost for the season because of a knee injury and Mohamed Ibrahim dressed but not playing, Williams carried the load for the Gophers at running back. He rushed 33 times for 141 yards and had a 35-yard reception.

“He ran hard. He was tough,” Fleck said. “He’s been here 3 ½ months. And when you’re here 3 ½ months as a running back and you’re only 18 and not developed, it’s hard to break all those tackles because you haven’t even been in the strength program an entire year. He should be redshirting right now. We can’t. … I thought he played his butt off, and I thought he was very selfless. He made some huge plays in some huge instances. He also fumbled the football.”

Scoreboard watching

Early Sunday morning, this score became final: Fresno State 38, UCLA 14. The Bulldogs improved to 2-1 and dropped the Bruins, under first-year coach Chip Kelly to 0-3.

The result wasn’t lost on Fleck, whose team beat Fresno State 21-14 last week.

“I don’t think a lot of people understand how good Fresno is,” Fleck said Sunday on his WCCO radio appearance. “If you’re a football fan, you know.”

Some votes

The Gophers received three votes in the USA Today coaches poll, the first votes they have received this season. They did not receive votes in the Associated Press Top 25.

Up next: at Maryland

11 a.m. Saturday

TV (radio): BTN (100.3-FM)

The skinny: After upsetting Texas 34-29 in the opener and breezing past Bowling Green 45-14, Maryland suffered a 35-14 home loss to Temple. The Terrapins were outgained 429-195 and gave up seven sacks. Quarterbacks Kasim Hill and Tyrrell Pigrome completed only eight of 21 passes for 63 yards and two interceptions.

“We didn’t do anything on offense today, so I take full responsibility for this loss,” Maryland interim coach Matt Canada said.

Randy Johnson