With Jerry Kill back on the sidelines, the Gophers played their best first half of the season by far on Saturday, taking a 13-10 lead against Miami (Ohio) at TCF Bank Stadium.
The RedHawks scored first, as each of the Gophers' opponents have done this season, but after being stopped at the 5 yard line, they settled for a 22-yard field goal.
The Gophers tied the score on their first possession, on Chris Hawthorne's 33-yard field goal, then took their first lead of the season on Donnell Kirkwood's first carry of the season. The redshirt freshman romped through an enormous hole on the left side of the line, picking up four yards untouched for a touchdown that put Minnesota ahead 10-3. Another field goal, this one a 19-yarder, put Minnesota ahead by 10, but the RedHawks -- after being foiled deep in Gophers territory by a Troy Stoudermire interception -- managed a 65-yard scoring drive just before halftime. Tailback Erik Finklea picked up the score on a 1-yard run.
Kill, appearing mildly subdued one week after suffering a seizure on the sidelines during last week's loss, grew more animated and involved as the game wore on, even challenging a referee following Finklea's late score.