Lincoln, Neb. – Gophers quarterback Zack Annexstad did not play in the second half of Saturday’s loss to Nebraska because of an injury to his midsection suffered shortly before halftime, coach P.J. Fleck said. Annexstad was taken to a hospital to be evaluated.
“Zack had an internal injury in his midsection and they got him to the hospital,” Fleck said. “… They wanted to take him in based on the tests they did at halftime.”
Annexstad was released from the hospital and accompanied the team on the flight home, a team spokesman said.
Fleck said Annexstad was coughing a lot after being injured. “Our trainers did a great job of jumping into action,” Fleck said.
Annexstad completed nine of 20 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown in the first half. His 13-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Douglas with 52 seconds in the second quarter cut Nebraska’s lead to 28-8.
Redshirt freshman Tanner Morgan took over for Annexstad in the second half and led three touchdown drives. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 214 yards with an interception and rushed four times for 35 yards, including a 9-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
“Tanner did a great job coming out of the half,” Fleck said.
Brooks not on trip
Gophers senior running back Shannon Brooks did not make the trip. Brooks was arrested Sunday morning after allegedly assaulting his roommate. He was released from Hennepin County jail Monday, and no charges were filed, though the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office continues its investigation, which is expected to be complete next week.
“Everything is still evolving,” Fleck said after the game. “I take that stuff very seriously. When that stuff happens, we’re going to choose to do the right thing. … I just want to make sure I have all the facts.”
Fleck revealed Tuesday that his plan before the arrest was to play Brooks vs. the Huskers, and Fleck said during his weekly TV show that Brooks would practice Thursday. Brooks has yet to play this season because of a torn knee ligament suffered just before spring practice. Fleck plans to play Brooks in four games so he can preserve a year of eligibility for 2019.
• The Gophers let their previous two opponents, Iowa and Ohio State, to rush for an average of 99 yards per game. Nebraska surpassed that mark in only six carries, with running back Devin Ozigbo rushing for touchdowns of 40 and 59 yards in that span. Nebraska finished with 383 rushing yards on 43 carries and 659 total yards.
• Gophers defensive back Antonio Shenault left the game in the second quarter because of a head injury.
• Gophers defensive tackle O.J. Smith missed his second consecutive game because of a head injury. Cornerback Terell Smith returned from a head injury and made four tackles. Defensive end Tai’yon Devers was back after missing the Ohio State game (coach’s decision).
• Nebraska sophomore receiver J.D. Spielman needed five catches to reach 100 for his career. He got seven by halftime and finished with eight catches for 77 yards, becoming the first Huskers player to meet the 100-catch milestone before his junior season. The Eden Prairie product has 35 receptions in his past four games.
• Former Gophers defensive lineman Bob Coughlin, father of rush end Carter Coughlin, gave the captains’ breakfast speech to the team Saturday morning.