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.
Wow. The way Mike Kafka was throwing the ball, I never would have thought he could overthrow an open receiver like that.
But he did, missing an open Drake Dunsmore running a post route. And Kim Royston came up with the key interception late in the first half, preserving the 14-10 Gophers lead.
Reflections on the first half"
--What incredible inconsistency by the Gophers offense. It has, at times, looked marvelous. Other times not so much. Quarterback Adam Weber has been very good or looked a bit confused.
--Hello running game. When the Gophers moved the ball in the first half it was because of efficient running. Kevin Whaley, finally healthy after being slowed by a turf toe, has looked very good. And it should be noted that both DeLeon Eskridge and Duane Bennett, on consecutive plays, did a nice job of pass protection on big Weber completions on the drive that ended with Bennett's 3-yard touchdown run. Whaley has averaged 8 yards on three runs.
--MarQueis Gray looked good in limited action, running twice for 21 yards. On the first run he was very close to breaking it all the way.
--The Gophers defense is being worn down by the no-huddle Northwestern attack. Minnesota has to get off the field on third down; Northwestern was 7-for-11 on third downs in the first half.
Matt Stommes started at left tackle in place of Dom Alford. Backup defensive tackle Brandon Kirksey, who has a cut toe, is not playing.
That's about it for now.
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