Despite being thoroughly outplayed Saturday, the Gophers football team thought it had one final opportunity to win the game when North Dakota State lined up for a punt with 1 minute, 48 seconds left in regulation.
But coach Tim Brewster had his team go for the block, senior Dominique Barber got called for roughing the punter, and NDSU was able to run out the clock for a 27-21 victory Saturday at the Metrodome.
"It was my decision to go for the block," Brewster said. "We thought we had a great scheme. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to go for it, and we did. Unfortunately, we roughed the punter. Game over. As long as I'm the head football coach at the University of Minnesota, we are going to be as aggressive as we can be."
On fourth-and-14, Barber broke through the line and ran into NDSU's Mike Dragosavich after he kicked the ball. Barber said the official made a good call.
"Coach had faith in me or [Curtis Thomas] to block it," Barber said. "We're just trying to make play. Unfortunately I hit the punter."
Gophers freshman quarterback Adam Weber threw his 15th interception of the season early in the fourth quarter after NDSU's Nate Agbetola, who is only 5-8, wrestled the ball away from 6-5 wide receiver Ernie Wheelwright.
"I thought [Wheelwright] competed hard for the ball," Brewster said. "Sure, I'd love to see him get the ball out. But I thought he did do a good job of competing and trying to scratch it out."
Said Agbetola: "Basically, height doesn't matter. It's about the effort of going for the ball. I had one hand on it, he grabbed it but then I had the leverage and brought it down. The short man won."
Gophers sophomore tailback Jay Thomas suffered what appears to be another serious knee injury on a 15-yard run in the second quarter. Thomas' right knee got twisted awkwardly as he spun around.
Brewster said he didn't know the extent of Thomas' injury, but a steady stream of players and coaches consoled Thomas on the sideline.
"The indications I have right now about Jay are not good," Brewster said. "I'm heart sick about Jay."
Thomas suffered a serious left knee injury as a freshman.
North Dakota State's 394 rushing yards were the seventh most by a Gophers opponent since 1982.
Gophers senior cornerback Jamal Harris was benched in the second half after a rough first half. He missed several tackles, including one on Tyler Roehl's 77-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
The Gophers looked as if they might pin NDSU inside its 5-yard line on a punt early in the second half. Steve Davis caught the ball on a bounce at the 4, but he bobbled the ball and it rolled into the end zone for a touchback.
|NY Mets||4||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Boston||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|Toronto||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|Oklahoma City||7:00 PM|
|Calgary||0||1st Prd 9:35|
|St. Louis||0||1st Prd 8:16|
|Minnesota||0||1st Prd 11:58|
|NY Islanders||7:00 PM|
|Holy Cross||13||1st Half 12:24|
|Western Ky||15||1st Half 10:30|
|Navy||9||1st Half 12:38|
|Temple||0||1st Half 19:38|
|UAB||17||1st Half 10:15|
|Boston Univ||10||1st Half 13:39|
|American Univ||10||1st Half 11:50|
|Wisconsin||32||1st Half 7:36|
|Fairfield||5||1st Half 11:04|
|Arkansas||31||1st Half 9:02|
|Morehead State||29||1st Half 6:57|
|USC Upstate||13||1st Half 11:11|
|Fla Gulf Coast||7|
|Lipscomb||15||1st Half 11:24|
|Southern Ill||11||1st Half 11:20|
|Texas State||6:30 PM|
|SC State||6:30 PM|
|Delaware State||6:30 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||6:30 PM|
|Norfolk State||6:30 PM|
|NC A&T||6:30 PM|
|Savannah State||7:00 PM|
|Southern Miss||7:00 PM|
|Georgia State||7:00 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:15 PM|
|South Alabama||7:30 PM|
|Alabama State||7:30 PM|
|Alabama A&M||7:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St||7:30 PM|
|Central Arkansas||7:30 PM|
|Portland State||7:30 PM|
|Southern U||7:30 PM|
|Alcorn State||7:30 PM|
|Houston Baptist||7:30 PM|
|SE Louisiana||7:45 PM|
|Eastern Ill||8:00 PM|
|VA Commonwealth||8:00 PM|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|Northwestern St||8:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin|
|North Texas||8:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Wash||8:05 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|UC Riverside||9:00 PM|
|(18) Texas A&M||57|
|East Tenn St||73|
|SC State||48||2nd Half 3:43|
|Delaware State||51||2nd Half 0:31|
|Portland||56||2nd Half 0:16|
|Savannah State||49||2nd Half 17:00|
|Virginia Tech||27||2nd Half 15:54|
|Central Arkansas||37||2nd Half 8:08|
|Houston Baptist||41||2nd Half 11:53|
|Gardner-Webb||47||2nd Half 11:57|
|Georgia||38||2nd Half 15:31|
|Old Dominion||48||2nd Half 10:40|
|Ark-Little Rock||46||2nd Half 14:47|
|South Alabama||44||2nd Half 13:42|
|Georgia State||39||2nd Half 16:04|
|Sam Houston St||29||2nd Half|
|SE Louisiana||36||2nd Half|
|Northwestern St||22||2nd Half|
|Stephen F Austin||18|
|Alabama A&M||31||2nd Half|
|Alabama State||21||1st Half 3:54|
|Southern U||34||2nd Half|
|Alcorn State||24||2nd Half|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Abilene Christian||20||1st Half 7:37|
|La Salle||17||1st Half 9:37|
|Illinois||15||1st Half 11:43|
|TX-San Antonio||6||1st Half 13:55|
|Valparaiso||7||1st Half 11:56|
|Missouri State||13||1st Half 11:00|
|Georgia Tech||7:00 PM|
|(15) North Carolina|
|Florida Atlantic||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Wichita State||7:00 PM|
|San Francisco||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Weber State||8:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Long Beach St||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Northern Ariz||9:00 PM|
|Southern Utah||9:00 PM|