Just like old times: Huskers trounce Gophers

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 23, 2011 - 1:36 AM

Nebraska never was out of step as it dominated the Gophers -- again -- in the teams' first clash as conference rivals.

view larger photos

  

There was never any debate about whether Nebraska was a good fit for the Big Ten. These days, it's the Gophers who look like they don't belong.

They played a mistake-riddled first half once again, gave up big plays in critical moments as usual, and limped away with another blowout loss Saturday, 41-14 to their brand-new conference brethren.

Oh, goody; these teams get to play every year from now on.

It's a nice road trip for Cornhuskers fans, who filled at least a third of the seats at TCF Bank Stadium. For the Gophers, it has to be as appetizing as an annual dental exam.

Saturday's loss was Minnesota's 15th in a row to the Huskers, a habit dating to 1960, but at least the Gophers scored. A MarQueis Gray 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter ended Nebraska's streak of 145 unanswered points against them.

But the Huskers already have adopted the recent Big Ten policy of jumping on the Gophers practically during "Oh say can you see ..."

The Gophers have played three Big Ten games this season and have yet to look competitive in the first half. On Saturday, they fumbled the opening kickoff, and while returner Duane Bennett quickly scooped it up, it set the tone for their third consecutive first-half disaster. Their first-half drive chart reads: punt, punt, punt, punt, fumble for a touchdown, turnover on downs because of a fumbled snap.

It was notable only for its familiarity. The Gophers' 34-0 deficit at halftime Saturday meant they have been outscored 103-3 in the first two quarters of their first three Big Ten games.

"We need some big plays," Gophers coach Jerry Kill said after his team fell to 1-6 with its fourth loss in a row. "We need to do something to get out of the gate."

Kill mentioned Gray specifically, after the junior quarterback completed only two of eight passes for 9 yards in the first half. But it was hardly all Gray's fault, Kill said.

"A lot of our [bad] situations are more mental than physical," Kill said. Nebraska is a physical, tough football team, Kill added, but "we didn't get physically manhandled."

Maybe not, but they absorbed an awful lot of punishment. Nebraska rushed for 346 yards, an average of more than 6 yards per carry, while the Gophers managed only 132. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez had issues, too, completing only 13 of 22 passes for 162 yards, 61 coming on an inside screen that Huskers receiver Brandon Kinnie carried to the Gophers 2.

But the domination of Nebraska's offensive line, and physical I-back Rex Burkhead running behind it, allowed Nebraska to shrug off any quarterbacking problems. Burkhead ran for 117 yards on 23 carries, all in the first three quarters.

The Gophers believed for a few minutes that they would remain competitive, especially after halting Nebraska's first drive on the 4, forcing the Huskers to settle for a field goal. And the second Nebraska series appeared to stall, too. Martinez's fourth-and-1 pitch to Aaron Green clanged off the back's hands and out of bounds -- but ahead of the first-down marker. Much to the Gophers' dismay, officials ruled -- correctly, Kill admitted after the game -- that a backwards pass is spotted at the point where it goes out of bounds.

"A big swing. That was huge," Kill said. "But it was the right call."

Minnesota's plethora of mistakes included a Gray fumble that Huskers cornerback Austin Cassidy returned 11 yards for a score, and a fumbled snap on fourth-and-1 at Nebraska's 19 that killed a potential scoring drive.

There were penalties, too: One negated good field position on a kickoff return, and another wiped out a third-down sack that would have ended a Nebraska drive.

And there was some awful tackling, or lack of tackling, on a double reverse that sprung speedy Nebraska receiver Kenny Bell for an 82-yard touchdown.

"We put ourselves in bad positions," Kill said. "But we got a little better. ... We'll find some good things."

They had a couple. Gray pulled off a flea-flicker pass to Da'Jon McKnight in the third quarter, taking a pitch after a double reverse and connecting with his senior receiver inside the 4. Three plays later Gray jumped into the end zone, albeit after bobbling another snap. It was the Gophers' first touchdown of the Big Ten season before the fourth quarter.

And the Gophers tacked on one last scoring drive in the fourth quarter, going 89 yards in 16 plays against Nebraska's third-string defense. Bennett finished it off with a 6-yard run. It wasn't much to cling to, but it's better than nothing. Hey, it's the best showing the Gophers have had against Nebraska since 1970.

And the coach stayed optimistic.

"We'll be there someday," Kill said. "I know a lot of people question that."

  • related content

  • Kill admits right call was made on fumble

    Sunday October 23, 2011

    The spirit of the rule is to keep a team from benefiting from its own mistake. But the football doesn't always bounce the way the rule intends.

  • Recap: No. 14 Nebraska 41, Gophers 14

    Sunday October 23, 2011

    The senior safety from Lincoln, Neb., a former Huskers walk-on, had six tackles and returned a MarQueis Gray fumble 11 yards for a second-quarter TD that gave Nebraska a 27-0...

  • Gophers, QB show they are a work in progress

    Sunday October 23, 2011

    MarQueis Gray, though erratic and tentative at times Saturday, showed glimmers of great potential in the second half.

  • Taylor Martinez

  • NO. 13 NEBRASKA 41, GOPHERS 14

    Up next: 2:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Iowa • TCF Bank Stadium • TV: BTN

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 17 FINAL
New England 9
Cleveland 10 FINAL
Baltimore 20
Dallas 44 FINAL
Washington 17
Indianapolis 27 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
Houston 23
San Diego 7 FINAL
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 37 FINAL
Miami 24
Chicago 9 FINAL
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
NY Giants 26
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 34 FINAL
Atlanta 3
Detroit 20 FINAL
Green Bay 30
Oakland 14 FINAL
Denver 47
Arizona 17 FINAL
San Francisco 20
St. Louis 6 FINAL
Seattle 20
Cincinnati 10 2nd Qtr 0:44
Pittsburgh 17
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Detroit 103 FINAL
Cleveland 80
Houston 106 FINAL
San Antonio 110
Oklahoma City 105 4th Qtr 1:57
Dallas 106
New York 35 2nd Qtr 2:44
Portland 53
Toronto 46 2nd Qtr 5:59
Denver 35
Phoenix 18 1st Qtr 4:13
LA Lakers 19
Toronto 4 FINAL
Florida 6
Vancouver 1 3rd Prd
Anaheim 0
Tulane 57 FINAL
St Johns 82
Central Conn St 48 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Iona 81 FINAL
Drexel 62
Concordia (MI) 42 FINAL
Eastern Mich 100
Harvard 46 FINAL
Arizona State 56
Longwood 64 FINAL
Ball State 69
Sacred Heart 76 FINAL
Brown 79
Colgate 64 FINAL
Columbia 69
MD-Eastern Shore 78 FINAL
Duquesne 69
UNC Greensboro 50 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Marist 64 FINAL
Elon 69
NJIT 71 FINAL
Lafayette 76
Cincinnati Christian 58 FINAL
Liberty 78
Morgan State 53 FINAL
Marquette 81
Campbell 56 FINAL
Samford 65
Bucknell 71 FINAL
Siena 73
Long Beach State 67 FINAL
Syracuse 85
Coppin State 80 FINAL
Evansville 85
UMKC 73 FINAL
Indiana State 70
Hofstra 88 FINAL
Long Island 62
Coast Guard 48 FINAL
Army 93
Thomas (GA) 48 FINAL
High Point 85
Texas Southern 58 FINAL
Kansas State 56
Rutgers 59 FINAL
Monmouth 58
NC Wesleyan 54 FINAL
NC A&T 58
South Dakota St 63 FINAL
Northern Iowa 74
Central Penn College 69 FINAL
Radford 119
Bowling Green 79 FINAL
South Florida 70
Harris-Stowe 66 FINAL
SE Missouri St 94
Robert Morris-IL 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 104
Northland College 59 FINAL
North Dakota St 83
Milwaukee 60 FINAL
South Dakota 84
Northwestern St 92 FINAL
Arkansas 100
Saint Peters 59 FINAL
Cornell 52
St Katherine 62 FINAL
Fresno State 93
Haskell 42 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Wake Forest 65 FINAL
Richmond 63
Fla Gulf Coast 57 FINAL
Xavier 71
SD Christian 45 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Judson 46 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 80
Ill-Chicago 60 FINAL
Bradley 68
Loyola-Maryland 61 FINAL
Fairfield 59
Miss Valley St 53 FINAL
Houston 80
Lehigh 58 FINAL
UMBC 55
Delaware State 56 FINAL
Temple 66
Belmont 56 FINAL
Butler 67
Howard 59 FINAL
Fordham 74
NW Christian 67 FINAL
Nevada 81
UC Davis 83 FINAL
Washington St 90
Abilene Christian 81 FINAL
Grand Canyon 83
UCLA 50 FINAL
Alabama 56
Stony Brook 62 2nd Half 0:05
Washington 57
Buffalo 56 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
CS-Bakersfield 9:00 PM
California
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
St Francis-PA 59 FINAL
Pittsburgh 97
Milwaukee 72 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 78
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Longwood 63
New Hampshire 58 FINAL
Manhattan 54
Bucknell 68 FINAL
Binghamton 57
Northeastern 70 FINAL
Albany 67
George Mason 70 FINAL
Towson 72
Richmond 59 FINAL
William & Mary 56
Tulane 60 FINAL
Cincinnati 50
North Florida 51 FINAL
Florida 63
(14) Georgia 51 FINAL
Seton Hall 70
Tennessee St 75 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 87
American Univ 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 77
Massachusetts 78 FINAL
Boston U 57
Quinnipiac 69 FINAL
Saint Josephs 67
Lafayette 49 FINAL
Saint Peters 34
Northwestern 61 FINAL
(20) Michigan State 57
Duquesne 82 FINAL
Lehigh 75
George Washington 72 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 49
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Indiana 51
(24) Green Bay 66 FINAL
Dayton 72
Western Mich 55 FINAL
Stony Brook 59
Davidson 67 FINAL
Virginia 57
UNC Greensboro 61 FINAL
LSU 82
Denver 63 FINAL
North Texas 55
VA Commonwealth 63 FINAL
Coppin State 52
Huston-Tillotson 36 FINAL
Houston Baptist 86
Lamar 63 FINAL
Rice 97
Miss Valley St 40 FINAL
Alabama 71
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 49
Middle Tennessee 98 FINAL
Tenn Tech 76
Penn State 52 FINAL
(23) Iowa 77
Purdue 62 FINAL
Illinois 55
DePaul 99 FINAL
Illinois State 62
Sam Houston St 46 FINAL
Wichita State 70
South Dakota 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
(4) Notre Dame 82 FINAL
UCLA 67
Coll of Charleston 51 FINAL
SC State 60
Alcorn State 53 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 63
Dartmouth 76 FINAL
Niagara 70
Colgate 68 FINAL
Siena 80
Michigan 53 FINAL
Wisconsin 63
Fla Gulf Coast 73 FINAL
CS-Northridge 64
Yale 51 FINAL
(25) Arizona State 69
UC Santa Barbara 34 FINAL
(16) Stanford 90
Long Island 63 FINAL
Long Beach St 71
Jackson State 56 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Eureka 50 FINAL
Western Ill 91
Cornell 59 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 76
Temple 38 2nd Half 12:10
Memphis 43
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football 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 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close