GOPHERS 44, NEW HAMPSHIRE 7

  • Updated: September 9, 2012 - 11:13 PM

GOPHERS 44, NEW HAMPSHIRE 7

The recap: The Gophers punted away three of their first four possessions, then got their offense in gear behind MarQueis Gray for their biggest rout since 2006.

What was learned: Minnesota's defensive front may be the most improved part of the team, the Gophers are turning into a running-and-play-action team, and Minnesota is a more competent team than last year all around.

YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

• MarQueis Gray, who overthrew one receiver after another in Las Vegas, completed six of eight passes against the Wildcats. The low number of passes wasn't because of his difficulties, coach Jerry Kill said, but reflected the Gophers' intent to avoid "getting into a run-and-shoot game with them."

• New Hampshire completed 19 passes, but the Gophers still lead the Big Ten in passing defense, allowing only 279 total yards and one touchdown pass in two games. The Gophers also rank second in the conference in total defense, behind only Michigan State.

• Defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman sacked New Hampshire quarterback Andy Vailas twice on Saturday, giving him three sacks for the year, already surpassing his total of two a year ago.

• Kicker Jordan Wettstein missed a 52-yard field-goal try in the second quarter, the longest kick attempted by a Gopher since Joel Monroe made a 54-yard kick against Iowa in 2007.

UP NEXT: WESTERN MICHIGAN

11 a.m. Saturday, TCF Bank Stadium

TV: BTN • Radio: 100.3-FM

Records: Gophers 2-0, Western Michigan 1-1

The skinny: The Broncos always seem to be in the middle of the Mid-American Conference; it's been 12 years since they won the MAC, but they've finished lower than fifth only once in that time. WMU rushed for minus-6 yards in a season-opening loss to Illinois but gained 229, and 631 yards of offense overall, in a rout of Eastern Illinois. Which team will Minnesota face?

PHIL MILLER

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