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.
Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was first-half jitters.
Whatever the reason, the Gophers found themselves in a dogfight Thursday night in their season opener against UNLV at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Gophers headed to the locker room with a 16-13 lead.
Philip Nelson, who ran for a 48-yard touchdown run earlier in the half, found Maxx Williams with a 10-yard touchdown pass to give Minnesota the lead. It was Williams’ first career reception, and he made a nice lunging catch, keeping himself in bounds.
Chris Hawthorne missed the extra point, negating an earlier missed PAT by UNLV.
The Rebels took a 13-10 lead midway through the second quarter with a big play on fourth down. Sophomore quarterback Nick Sherry scrambled and found Devante Davis for a 34-yard touchdown pass.
The temperature was 92 degrees at kickoff, and was 90 degrees as the teams headed to the locker rooms. The Gophers entered the game as 14-point favorites.
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