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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Mistake-prone Gophers trail 19-3 at halftime

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gopher road games, Gophers game day Updated: September 3, 2011 - 4:04 PM

     The Gophers' third scrimmage of the fall looks a lot like the first two: Lots of mistakes to look at on the film.
     Too bad this one counts.
     Jerry Kill's first half as Gopher coach probably didn't do much for his blood pressure, as Minnesota fell behind 19-3. . The first play from scrimmage was whistled dead for a false start penalty, and things didn't get much better from there.
The Gophers were penalized twice for delay of game and once for too many men on the field -- a quick timeout prevented a second one of those -- and the offense frequently looked confused. A pair of long field goals were tipped, costing the Gophers points.
     But they had some good moments, too, most notably an 11-yard third-down completion to Malcolm Moulton that kept their lone scoring drive alive. When the drive ended on the four, Chris Hawthorne kicked a 21-yard field goal.
     Meanwhile, USC began its Heisman campaign for sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods, who gained 115 yards and scored all three Trojans touchdowns in the first half. Quarterback Matt Barkley completed 18 of 20 passes, 11 of them to Woods.
     Minnesota had 131 total yards by halftime, compared to 200 for USC, 163 of them through the air. MarQueis Gray completed 5 of 9 passes for 63 yards, and gained 29 yards on the ground.
 

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