After falling behind No. 24 Nebraska 10-0 in the first quarter, the Gophers took a 17-13 lead into halftime today at TCF Bank Stadium.
Mitch Leidner got the start at quarterback for the Gophers. Taylor Martinez started for Nebraska. Gophers coach Jerry Kill gave a pregame talk to the team and watched from the press box coaching booth.
Nebraska took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for a 75-yard touchdown drive capped with a two-yard run by Imani Cross. The Gophers went three-and-out with their first possession, and Nebraska came right back and hit a 45-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead.
But the Gophers had a strong second drive, going 75 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown. Leidner’s one-yard sneak capped the drive, which took six minutes, 48 seconds.
Philip Nelson came on at quarterback midway through the second quarter and led a touchdown drive of his own. On fourth-and-10 from Nebraska’s 33-yard line, Nelson threw toward the end zone, and Derrick Engel made a terrific leaping catch for the go-ahead touchdown.
Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah suffered a left leg injury in the second quarter. He returned after the Gophers took a 14-10 lead and fumbled on his next carry. Aaron Hill forced the fumble, and Cedric Thompson recovered.
Chris Hawthorne’s 26-yard field goal made it 17-10.
Martinez took a shot into the end zone late in the first half, but Kenny Bell couldn’t make the catch, and Nebraska settled for a 42-yard field goal.