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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Gophers scrimmage report: Defense dominates early, but offensive fireworks come late

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher quarterbacks, Gophers spring football Updated: April 5, 2014 - 4:10 PM

One week before their annual spring game, the Gophers held their most extensive scrimmage of spring practice Saturday.

The defense dominated early, keeping the offense without a point for the first seven drives. But the Gophers started running their hurry-up offense, and converted several big plays.

Here were some notable highlights:

- Cedric Thompson made a terrific interception to halt the first drive.

- Ryan Santoso made field goals of 26 and 46 yards. Andrew Harte hit a 43-yard field goal, and those two combined to make every extra point. Those two are both redshirt freshmen.

- Mitch Leidner hit KJ Maye with a 50-yard touchdown pass.

- Donnell Kirkwood had rushes for 7, 8, 37, 9, 19 and 10 yards.

- Chris Streveler completed a 32-yard pass to Eric Carter

- Rodrick Williams had touchdown runs of 7 and 15 yards.

- Berkley Edwards had 49-yard touchdown run.

- Logan Hutton made a big diving catch on a throw by Conor Rhoda.

- Leidner added a 29-yard touchdown run.

For more perspective, noting which defense was on the field for each drive, etc., here’s a summation from my play-by-play notes:

SESSION I

First-offense (Leidner at QB) vs. first defense

Cobb: 2 rushes, 16 yards.

Kirkwood: 1 rush, 7 yards

Last play: Leidner threw a pass for Plsek that got tipped, and Cedric Thompson intercepted it with an acrobatic play.

Click here for the rest of the play-by-play

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