Carter turns a big corner with his stellar defense

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 27, 2012 - 11:31 PM

Injuries had frustrated Michael Carter -- and the defensive back's attitude and poor grades had frustrated his coaches.

hide

Minnesota defensive back Michael Carter intercepts a pass intended for Purdue wide receiver Gary Bush.

Photo: Jesse Johnson, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The 2011 season was just a year ago, but watching cornerback Michael Carter, it seems a world away.

One season separated from a college career that had presented more questions than answers, Carter again showed on Saturday against Purdue how he has become a critical part of a Gophers secondary that was mostly an unknown factor coming into the season.

Carter had six pass breakups in the game, tying a Minnesota school record set by Michael Lehan against Michigan State in 2001, and grabbed an interception -- the Gophers' first turnover of any kind in Big Ten play -- that he returned for a touchdown.

"I just felt like I was just in the zone," Carter said. "All I seen was daylight, man, the fans cheering. So I was like, 'Let's go.' "

With the Gophers coming off a dominating first half, Carter quickly ensured the second would have the same vibe. In the first drive of the third quarter, Carter was all over Purdue QB Caleb TerBush's receivers, breaking up three of the Purdue playmaker's four incomplete passes and seemingly getting more aggressive with each play.

On second-and-10, Carter dove in front of Gary Bush and swatted the pass to the turf. One play later, Carter ducked in front of Bush, snatched the interception and ran the length of the sideline for the Gophers' fifth touchdown of the day.

"This is my 30th year of coaching and I don't know if I've ever seen a corner have things go like that," coach Jerry Kill said of Carter's dominance of the third-quarter possession. "I was happy for Michael. He's been through a lot and I'm happy for his success."

Indeed, it hasn't always been daylight and cheers for the 5-11, 189-pound senior who came to Minnesota as a highly touted prospect from Pompano, Fla., but struggled for most of his career.

Carter played in 12 games his freshman season, but as off-field struggles started to pile up, his on-field opportunities went the other way.

With injuries frustrating Carter -- and the defensive back's attitude and poor grades frustrating the coaching staff -- his appearances dropped to seven games his sophomore season and then five last year.

"I probably wasn't the most mature kid when I was 18, 19, 20 years old. I made my share of mistakes, but I think it's just maturity and growing up and focusing in on what you want to do," Carter said.

But Carter said before the start of this year that he found a new focus. He sat down with his cousin, Tyrone Carter, a former NFL player and ex-Gopher, who Michael credits with helping turn things around.

  • related content

  • Chart: Michael Carter gets disruptive

    Saturday October 27, 2012

    Gophers senior Michael Carter had one of the best sequences you'll see from a defensive back. Here are four of the six plays Purdue ran during its first possession of...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - N. Martinez 2:35 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Boston - B. Workman 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - G. Cole
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
Washington - G. Gonzalez 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Hand
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Arizona - V. Nuno 7:40 PM
Colorado - Y. Flande
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 8:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

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

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close