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.

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Halftime blog: Gophers overcome shaky start, lead Eastern Illinois 14-0

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gophers game day Updated: August 28, 2014 - 7:33 PM

The Gophers took a 14-0 lead into the locker room at halftime against Eastern Illinois at TCF Bank Stadium.

Mitch Leidner got off to a shaky start for the Gophers as they punted twice and fumbled once on their first three drives.

But Eastern Illinois botched two snaps, with the first one derailing its first drive and the second one giving Minnesota the ball at the Panthers’ 5-yard line.

On third-and-goal, Leidner scrambled for a 2-yard touchdown run.

Minnesota’s defense kept holding strong, and then Leidner led the Gophers on a 90-yard touchdown drive late in the half. He found Maxx Williams for a 25-yard gain and then hit Donovahn Jones, who shook a defender and raced 35 yards for a touchdown.

Leidner completed his final five passes of the half. He was 7-for-12 overall for 100 yards.

David Cobb had eight carries for 47 yards.

The Gophers had two defensive tackles get hurt in the first half -- Scott Ekpe and Yoshoub Timms. Throw in Michael Amaefula, who hasn't played, and that's three defensive linemen injured.

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