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.
After falling behind No. 24 Nebraska 10-0 in the first quarter, the Gophers took a 17-13 lead into halftime today at TCF Bank Stadium.
Mitch Leidner got the start at quarterback for the Gophers. Taylor Martinez started for Nebraska. Gophers coach Jerry Kill gave a pregame talk to the team and watched from the press box coaching booth.
Nebraska took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for a 75-yard touchdown drive capped with a two-yard run by Imani Cross. The Gophers went three-and-out with their first possession, and Nebraska came right back and hit a 45-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead.
But the Gophers had a strong second drive, going 75 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown. Leidner’s one-yard sneak capped the drive, which took six minutes, 48 seconds.
Philip Nelson came on at quarterback midway through the second quarter and led a touchdown drive of his own. On fourth-and-10 from Nebraska’s 33-yard line, Nelson threw toward the end zone, and Derrick Engel made a terrific leaping catch for the go-ahead touchdown.
Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah suffered a left leg injury in the second quarter. He returned after the Gophers took a 14-10 lead and fumbled on his next carry. Aaron Hill forced the fumble, and Cedric Thompson recovered.
Chris Hawthorne’s 26-yard field goal made it 17-10.
Martinez took a shot into the end zone late in the first half, but Kenny Bell couldn’t make the catch, and Nebraska settled for a 42-yard field goal.
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