Giving Gophers keep taking it

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 9, 2011 - 12:05 AM

Minnesota basically handed Purdue a 24-point lead in a brutal first quarter, committing all sorts of mistakes in another painful, punishing Saturday.

view larger photos

  

WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. - Whip them, punish them, humiliate them. Inflict scars both psychic and physical, and even dance a mocking makes-we-want-to-shout shimmy in front of their facemasks. The Gophers absorb it all, climb back to their feet, and respond with a startling request:

More. Give me more.

"I wish we could have played another quarter, just to keep playing," coach Jerry Kill said almost masochistically after his Gophers fell behind by 31 points seemingly during the opening coin flip and walked away after the requisite 60 minutes with their second consecutive blowout loss, 45-17 to Purdue. "We need repetitions, with the youngsters we have playing right now."

It's not fun and it's not sublime, but this is what the Gophers are left with now: Learning how to operate the cockpit controls before they can ever try to fly.

This week's crash came not in the form of a far-superior force, as in last week's 58-0 disaster in Michigan, but in the Gophers' own ineptitude. Two fumbles in their own territory, an interception returned for a touchdown, and a roughing-the-punter penalty that extended a Boilermakers touchdown drive -- all that before halftime, no less -- decided the outcome. But not the day's worth.

"There's some guys who got better today. There's some young guys who played pretty good. There's some older guys that I thought stepped it up," Kill said. "We just haven't done it as a team."

Not even close, not in Big Ten play. The Gophers allowed 372 yards to just 213 of their own, 22 first downs while picking up only half as many, eight extra minutes of possession under a hot, defense-roasting sun. So it's not fair to the Boilermakers to say the Gophers, who used 18 freshmen in various roles, gave a victory away.

But Purdue's first three scoring drives went 39, 36 and 11 yards, thanks to a pair of Donnell Kirkwood fumbles and Dan Orseske's shanked punt, and their fourth first-quarter score was provided by cornerback Ricardo Allen's easy read of MarQueis Gray's underthrown pass and 37-yard return to the end zone. A second-quarter Boilermakers drive stalled at their own 33, but Devon Wright dived into the punter's legs and reignited what turned into a 70-yard touchdown march.

"To be honest, the whole first quarter was one of those things that just hits you in the mouth. We just seemed not to be able to fight back off that with a big play of our own," Kill said. "All four of those [mistakes], that's 24 points. We certainly compliment Purdue for what they did and their aggressiveness to cause those, but on our side of it, you can't make mistakes like that."

Or drop an open pass at the goal line, as Marcus Jones did. Or react to a pass breakup by shoving the cornerback, another freshman mistake that cost Jones and the Gophers 15 yards and killed a drive. Or scatter passes in the vicinity of, but rarely directly to, receivers, as Gray did upon relieving Max Shortell at quarterback. Gray was 4-for-14 at one point before locating his receivers late in the game, but the missed connections were chronic and crippling.

"I felt confident in myself. We were getting out and doing some good things. Then all of a sudden, [we'd] do something bad," said Gray, who didn't start but was called upon after the first three drives under Shortell were short-circuited by mistakes. "We couldn't find a rhythm on offense."

Not until Purdue, after its players took part in an exaggerated dance-off between the third and fourth quarters, sent in its own second- and third-teamers. Gray, who finished with 104 passing yards on 8-for-20 effectiveness, directed a six-minute drive that ate up 78 yards in the final period, completing a couple of timely passes and keeping the defense off-balance with a couple of runs, including the touchdown plunge from a yard out.

It's not much, but it's a step. In a season likely doomed to the Big Ten basement but devoted to laying a foundation while they're down there, the Gophers took heart from small but tangible accomplishments. Jones' electrifying 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and his 32-yard reception along the sidelines. Duane Bennett's 3.5-yard rushing average. Three sacks, a shocking total for a team that had two in the season's first five games.

And especially, the chance to get experience that will help them someday.

"This is how we're going to be -- 60 minutes hard, no matter what it says on the scoreboard," linebacker Mike Rallis said. "I completely agree [that he would have played even longer]. Me personally, and as a team, we need all the experience and reps we can get."

  • related content

  • Gophers' Gray rusty but glad to be back in game

    Saturday October 8, 2011

    The quarterback played with little practice this week because of a hurt big toe, but coach Jerry Kill is confident he will improve.

  • Jones' jaunt counts this time around

    Saturday October 8, 2011

    He didn't even turn around to look.

  • Recap: Purdue 45, Gophers 17

    Saturday October 8, 2011

    The junior quarterback excelled mostly by avoiding mistakes; his 140-yard day included a touchdown pass and no turnovers.

  • No stopping 'em

    Sunday October 9, 2011

    The Gophers have given up 103 points over the past two weeks, and the remaining schedule features high-scoring offenses from...

  • Purdue running back Raheem Mostert ran past Gophers defensive back Kim Royston for a 25-yard score in the third quarter.

  • PURDUE 45, GOPHERS 17

    Up next: 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22 vs. No. 14 Nebraska • TCF Bank Stadium • TV: Ch. 5 (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Dallas 12/4/14 7:25 PM
Chicago
Chicago 109 FINAL
Boston 102
Golden State 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Dallas 6:30 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
Detroit
New Orleans 6:30 PM
Atlanta
LA Clippers 7:00 PM
Houston
New York 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Orlando 7:00 PM
Indiana
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Phoenix 8:00 PM
Denver
Memphis 9:00 PM
Portland
Minnesota 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Chicago 3 3rd Prd 10:32
Anaheim 1
NY Islanders 2 2nd Prd 17:19
Washington 2
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Boston
Montreal 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Detroit 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Carolina 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Vancouver 6:00 PM
Columbus
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Florida
Edmonton 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 7:30 PM
Dallas
Tennessee 67 FINAL
Kansas 82
Eastern Ill 40 FINAL
NC Central 65
New Orleans 65 FINAL
Texas A&M 87
Radford 65 FINAL
NC A&T 57
Butler 64 FINAL
Georgetown 58
Prairie View 71 FINAL
Brown 81
Southern U 63 FINAL
Northern Ariz 70
Santa Clara 44 FINAL
Rhode Island 66
IUPU-Ft Wayne 67 FINAL
Dartmouth 68
FIU 61 FINAL
Wright State 59
Texas-El Paso 77 FINAL
Xavier 73
Penn State 88 FINAL
Bucknell 80
James Madison 56 FINAL
Ohio State 73
Yale 66 FINAL
Providence 72
Lamar 56 FINAL
Texas Southern 71
Miss Valley St 66 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 75
Missouri State 55 FINAL
Alaska-Anchorage 51
Minnesota 52 2nd Half 8:02
Georgia 45
Oklahoma 48 2nd Half 9:22
Wisconsin 57
Stephen F Austin 56 2nd Half 16:18
Austin Peay 32
Norfolk State 33 2nd Half 15:13
St Francis-NY 39
Middle Tennessee 0 1st Half 14:28
Cincinnati 6
Char Southern 2 1st Half 16:28
Florida State 6
Princeton 5 1st Half 15:40
San Diego 4
Drake 3 1st Half 14:43
Valparaiso 4
Rice 5:15 PM
Washington St
USC Upstate 5:25 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Rider 5:30 PM
Georgia Tech
High Point 6:00 PM
Clemson
Emerson 6:00 PM
Hartford
Savannah State 6:00 PM
Jacksonville St
Monmouth 6:00 PM
Maryland
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Boise State 6:00 PM
NC State
Vanderbilt 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Gonzaga 6:00 PM
St Johns
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Syracuse
Bradley 6:00 PM
TCU
Alabama State 6:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Tennessee St 6:30 PM
Saint Peters
North Carolina 7:00 PM
Florida
Memphis 7:00 PM
Indiana State
Hofstra 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Samford 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Cleveland State 7:00 PM
Marshall
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Nebraska
SE Louisiana 7:00 PM
Tulane
Creighton 7:30 PM
Ole Miss
Murray State 7:30 PM
Portland
North Texas 8:00 PM
Arkansas
UNC Greensboro 8:00 PM
Indiana
Michigan State 8:00 PM
Marquette
Western Mich 8:00 PM
San Jose St
Stetson 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Texas-Arlington 8:05 PM
Montana State
Pacific 8:30 PM
Colorado State
Miss State 8:30 PM
Saint Louis
La Salle 8:30 PM
Virginia
North Dakota 9:00 PM
Utah
UCLA 9:30 PM
UAB
Baylor 9:30 PM
Illinois
Long Beach State 10:30 PM
Washington
Mercer 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 31 FINAL
Western Mich 21
Nebraska 37 FINAL
Iowa 34
Western Ky 67 FINAL
(19) Marshall 66
UCF 16 FINAL
So Florida 0
Houston 35 FINAL
SMU 9
Akron 24 FINAL
Kent State 27
Ball State 41 FINAL
Bowling Green 24
Buffalo 41 FINAL
Massachusetts 21
Toledo 52 FINAL
Eastern Mich 16
Arkansas 14 4th Qtr 2:11
(17) Missouri 21
Navy 42 4th Qtr 0:59
South Alabama 34
(13) Arizona State 21 4th Qtr 11:45
(12) Arizona 35
Stanford 31 4th Qtr 8:41
(9) UCLA 10
(21) Colorado State 10 3rd Qtr 3:00
Air Force 24
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Northern Ill 12/5/14 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
TBA 12/5/14 8:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Marshall 12/6/14 2:00 AM
TBA
(11) Kansas State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(5) Baylor
Iowa State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(6) TCU
Oklahoma State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(20) Oklahoma
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Michigan 76 FINAL
Washington St 64
Green Bay 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 50
Eastern Kentucky 71 FINAL
Western Carolina 62
NJIT 65 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 57
Fordham 74 FINAL
Incarnate Word 42
Furman 63 FINAL
Florida State 94
Illinois State 44 FINAL
Miami-Florida 95
Eastern Michigan 74 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 78
George Washington 74 FINAL
NC State 66
Ohio State 55 FINAL
Wichita State 70
Western Ky 69 FINAL
Tulane 64
La Salle 71 FINAL
Long Island 66
Binghamton 51 FINAL
St Johns 67
UNC-Asheville 52 FINAL
NC Central 55
North Florida 55 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 41
Akron 73 FINAL
Belmont 58
Miss Valley St 46 FINAL
UMKC 62
Liberty 80 FINAL
Penn State 68
Colgate 44 FINAL
(21) Rutgers 60
Mercer 80 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Northeastern 72 FINAL
No Dakota State 79
(10) Maryland 80 FINAL
James Madison 64
Villanova 46 FINAL
Arizona State 51
Tulsa 87 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Boston College 90 FINAL
Brown 80
Wyoming 63 FINAL
Iowa State 84
Weber State 87 2nd OT
New Mexico St 87
Texas Tech 53 FINAL
Purdue 69
Washington 81 FINAL
Hartford 70
Fla Gulf Coast 86 FINAL
Clemson 61
Drake 69 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 61
UNC Greensboro 64 FINAL
Navy 71
(15) Nebraska 71 FINAL
UCLA 66
Austin Peay 71 FINAL
Southern Miss 80
(17) Iowa 67 FINAL
Arkansas 77
Cal-Irvine 54 FINAL
Bowling Green 62
Northern Iowa 47 2nd Half 3:52
Hofstra 42
Samford 55 2nd Half 3:00
Georgia State 59
Siena 74 2nd Half 3:17
Denver 50
Abilene Christian 82 2nd Half 1:30
George Mason 81
Towson 36 2nd Half 7:42
Rhode Island 45
Howard 27 2nd Half
St Marys-CA 37
Houston 39 2nd Half 15:34
Idaho State 39
IUPUI 21 1st Half 3:48
Texas Southern 31
East Carolina 10 1st Half 11:52
Wisconsin 7
USC 0 1st Half 20:00
Sam Houston St 0
Minnesota 10 1st Half 17:08
Vanderbilt 6
Kent State 0 1st Half 20:00
TX A&M-CC 0
Montana 0 1st Half 20:00
Princeton 0
(9) Kentucky 0 1st Half 20:00
Oklahoma 0
Arizona 8 1st Half 14:24
FIU 4
Northern Ky 0 1st Half 20:00
Grand Canyon 0
Stetson 4 1st Half 16:04
Marist 5
American Univ 5:30 PM
Gonzaga
UAB 5:30 PM
Loyola Marymount
Oral Roberts 5:30 PM
NC A&T
Stony Brook 5:30 PM
(8) Duke
TCU 6:00 PM
Colorado State
(5) Stanford 6:00 PM
(11) North Carolina
Monmouth 6:00 PM
Wagner
Portland 6:00 PM
Nevada
Stephen F Austin 6:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Alcorn State 6:00 PM
Rice
Lafayette 6:00 PM
(12) Louisville
Florida 6:00 PM
Georgetown
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Oakland
SE Missouri St 6:05 PM
Southern Ill
Florida A&M 7:00 PM
SMU
Northern Colorado 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Montana State 7:00 PM
CS-Northridge
(22) Syracuse 7:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
Dartmouth 7:00 PM
Cal Poly
Utah State 7:00 PM
(13) Baylor
Toledo 7:00 PM
Virginia
Christian Brothers 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
South Florida 7:15 PM
Illinois
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
(3) Connecticut
Wake Forest 7:30 PM
Charlotte
San Jose St 7:30 PM
(14) California
Central Michigan 8:00 PM
Oregon
Fresno State 8:00 PM
San Diego
Boston U 8:00 PM
New Mexico
Missouri State 8:30 PM
Colorado
Ole Miss 8:30 PM
Utah
Prairie View 8:30 PM
Hawaii
Army 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Cincinnati 9:30 PM
Creighton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pm

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers and Vikings do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close