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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Mistakes doom Gophers again, trail 34-0 at half

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gophers game day Updated: October 22, 2011 - 4:08 PM

     The Gophers will never know if they could have given Nebraska a competitive game. As it has in all three Big Ten games this season, Minnesota short-circuited its own chances with mistake after mistake, and the Gophers trail the Cornhuskers 34-0 at halftime.
     The first-half shutout means the Gophers have been outscored 103-3 in the first two periods during the Big Ten season; their halftime deficits this year have been 38-0, 31-3 and 34-0. They have also surrendered 145 consecutive points to the Cornhuskers, a streak dating back to 1984.
     It's one thing to fall behind the nation's 13th-ranked team, but the Gophers are so often the culprits in their own demise. Ill-timed penalties, fumbles and poor tackling handed the Cornhuskers more than enough breaks to run to a big advantage. Nebraska has 330 yards of offense at halftime, Minnesota 88. Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray is 2-for-8 for 9 yards.
     While the score was still only 10-0, the Cornhuskers were also aided by a freak play on fourth-and-two at the Gophers' 13. I-back Aaron Green fumbled a pitch from Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, but the ball bounced forward off his hands and out of bounds beyond the first-down marker. By rule, a backward pass fumbled out of bounds is spotted where it goes out, and the Huskers received a first down on the play, over heated objections from Minnesota's coaching staff. The Huskers scored two plays later.
     Nebraska also scored on an 82-yard double reverse by Kenny Bell, and cornerback Austin Cassidy added another score by picking up a Gray fumble and tip-toeing along the left sideline for an 11-yard score.
 

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