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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Ugly 1st half puts Gophers in 38-0 hole

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gophers game day Updated: October 1, 2011 - 12:34 PM

     ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- MarQueis Gray is in street clothes, watching the Gophers from the sidelines.
     He might be having the best day by any Gopher on the field anyway.
     Minnesota is being thoroughly embarrassed by Michigan through the first half at Michigan Stadium, with the Wolverines scoring at will en route to a 38-0 halftime lead.
     The 19th-ranked Wolverines piled up 223 yards in the first quarter alone, while holding the Gophers to four total yards. Of the 21 plays Michigan ran in the first quarter, 12 of them resulted in a first down or a touchdown. The Wolverines gained nine or more yards on a play 13 times in the first quarter, to none by the Gophers.
     And while Minnesota's first two drives went three-and-out, Michigan ran off touchdown drives of 80, 75, 85, 69 and 56 yards. The Gophers' biggest success was holding the Wolverines to three points on a second-quarter drive, in part because of a pair of holding penalties.
     Max Shortell started in place of Gray, who wore a protective boot on his left foot to treat his turf-toe injury, and the freshman was harassed throughout, sacked three times. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson completed his first 11 passes.
     By halftime, Minnesota had 69 total yards, to 384 for the Wolverines, and four first downs to 21 for Michigan. The Wolverines have 214 rushing yards and 170 through the air; Minnesota's totals are 25 and 44.

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