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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Halftime: Spartans lead Gophers 7-3

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gophers game day Updated: November 30, 2013 - 12:25 PM

EAST LANSING, MICH. -- The Gophers gave up a quick touchdown to Michigan State on Saturday but showed some toughness for the rest of the first half, as the Spartans went to the locker room with a 7-3 lead.

The Gophers have now gone eight consecutive quarters without an offensive touchdown, but they have been very competitive in this one, gaining 112 yards to Michigan State's 136 and controlling the ball for 19:52 compared to 10:08 for the Spartans.

On its first drive, Michigan State marched 80 yards for a touchdown showing off the strengths of this year’s offense. Connor Cook completed three passes, and Jeremy Langford had several big gains before racing for a 15-yard score.

The Gophers first three drives went: punt, interception, punt.

Mitch Leidner took over for Philip Nelson on the fourth drive, but the Gophers went three-and-out again. Nelson returned for the next drive, and the Gophers, successfully executed a fake punt en route to a 21-yard Chris Hawthorne field goal.

Nelson, who hadn’t thrown an interception since Sept. 28, was picked off twice in the first half, both times by Trae Waynes.

David Cobb suffered a lacerated right knee in the first half but was able to return. Gophers senior cornerback Brock Vereen injured his left arm and did not return.

Those injury updates are courtesy of KFAN's Justin Gaard from the sideline.

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