Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.

Gophers prevent shutout, but routed by Huskers 38-14

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gophers postgame Updated: November 17, 2012 - 5:59 PM

     LINCOLN, Neb. -- They honored Tom Osborne during Saturday's Cornhusker game. Then they played a game with the Gophers that must have looked awfully familiar to the Hall of Fame coach.
     Minnesota didn't move within 38 yards of the end zone until it trailed by 38 points, while Nebraska rolled up more than 400 yards of offense, leading to a throwback final score of 38-14.
     Talk about a historic relic: Osborne, who led the Cornhuskers onto the field before the game as part of ceremonies to mark his impending retirement as Nebraska's athletic director, coached against Minnesota six times during his career, and managed a 328-27 total score.
     Bo Pelini is the coach now, and he's got the Cornhuskers within one win of a Legends Division championship after quarterback Taylor Martinez led a nearly flawless offensive performance. The junior quarterback completed 21 of 29 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns, and led the Huskers to scored on four of their first six possessions.
     The Gophers, meanwhile, were never competitive, not that it's a huge surprise. The Gophers have now lost 16 straight games to Nebraska, and have been outscored 277-28 in their last seven visits to Memorial Stadium.
     Minnesota went three-and-out on its first two possessions, and trailed 10-0 before it registered a first down. The Gophers punted away all six first-half possessions, and punted four more times in the second half before finally ruining the Huskers' shutout with a fourth-quarter touchdown. MarQueis Gray scored his first rushing touchdown since September by lining up at tailback, taking a direct snap, and plowing five yards into the end zone.
     When the Huskers' second-team offense fumbled deep in their own territory in the final minutes, the Gophers pounced on it. Gray immediately turned it into a face-saving touchdown, running the ball in from 6 yards out.
     But the game was long out of reach by then. The 16th-ranked Huskers, now 9-2 on the season and needing only to win at Iowa on Friday to claim a berth against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game, rolled down the field with ease in the first half. Martinez threw a 36-yard scoring strike to Kenny Bell, and set up the other two Husker scores with a pair of 29-yard completions to move the ball inside the Gophers' 5. On both occasions, fullback Imani Cross did the honors of carrying the ball across the goal line, one from 3 yards out and the other from the 1.
     The defeat could have been worse, too: Nebraska ran an effective two-minute drill to close the first half, moving 64 yards in the final 90 seconds to reach Minnesota's 1, but Cross was stuffed at the goal line as the clock ran out.
     Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson had little luck against a Nebraska defense that leads the nation in completion percentage. The 19-year-old freshman completed just 8 of 23 passes for 59 yards, and he was picked off twice, his first interceptions since his debut in Wisconsin last month. The second of those interceptions, on a pass that slipped through receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts' hands, was returned 45 yards by cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste.
 

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Utah State 41
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(9) Georgia 55
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(10) Michigan State 45
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(21) Nebraska 24
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Purdue 14
(18) Marshall 23 FINAL
UAB 18
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(23) Oklahoma 44
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(7) Ohio State 42
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Buffalo 73
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Radford 44
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Indiana State 52
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UMKC 60
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Rice 40
(23) Syracuse 77 FINAL
Jacksonville 61
NC Central 53 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 73
New Orleans 51 FINAL
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LSU 57
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Wichita State 71
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George Washington 65
Presbyterian 51 FINAL
Western Carolina 44
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Rider 60
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Jackson State 45
Kennesaw St 72 FINAL
Georgia Southern 51
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Northern Ky 38
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La Salle 65
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Tennessee St 73 FINAL
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UC-Riverside 66
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Kansas 76
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Idaho 52
Concordia (OR) 35 FINAL
(20) Oregon State 92
Corban 74 FINAL
Portland State 64
Charleston Southern 48 FINAL
Wofford 55
UT Martin 58 FINAL
Pepperdine 59
Eastern Kentucky 64 FINAL
Mercer 69
Weber State 40 FINAL
Utah Valley U 61
North Dakota 54 FINAL
Towson 52
Seton Hall 64 2nd Half 3:28
Penn State 60
LSU-Shreveport 56 2nd Half 5:00
Grambling 56
Brown 57 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Penn 60 FINAL
Navy 51
Xavier 64 2nd Half 4:24
Binghamton 79
Georgetown 32 2nd Half 15:00
Alabama 46
(13) Kentucky 26 1st Half 7:23
Central Michigan 21
Texas Southern 27 2nd Half
TCU 31
South Dakota St 19 1st Half 5:37
(18) DePaul 29
Talladega 7:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Arkansas State 34 2nd Half
Colorado 36
Alcorn State 18 2nd Half
UAB 26
Tenn Tech 34 2nd Half
Valparaiso 48
Dayton 16 1st Half 13:29
(19) Iowa 9
Nevada 8:30 PM
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