Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Gray rates diving catch his best ever "by far"

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gopher quarterbacks Updated: November 1, 2012 - 9:01 AM

      He's had longer gains, a couple of them anyway. He's had touchdowns, too. But MarQueis Gray had never had a better catch than the one he stretched, stumbled and summersaulted for on Saturday.
     "MarQueis made (quarterback Philip Nelson) look good on that one, because he overthrew it and MarQueis ran it down," Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said. "That was probably (Nelson's) worst throw of the day, but MarQueis made it right. Good receivers will make a good quarterback. You've got to have some guys make a play."
     Gray did, and it was one of the highlights of Minnesota's 44-28 victory over Purdue. The score was tied at 7-7, and the Gophers had the ball at the Boilermakers' 37, but were facing a third-and-four. Nelson took a deep drop to give Gray time to execute a double move and get deep, but the quarterback had to rush the throw when Purdue defensive tackle Kawaan Short burst through the line and hit Nelson.
     The ball was already away, however, sailing toward the deep left post, seemingly a few yards beyond Gray. But the 6-4 senior didn't give up on the throw.
     "I just tried to speed up as much as I can. Phil did a great job of putting a lot of air under the ball, giving me a chance to run under it," Gray said.
     Gray lunged forward and stretched as far as he could, catching the ball with his fingertips, about two feet off the ground, at the 12-yard line. He took a couple more steps trying to get his balance, then fell forward and rolled to a stop inside the 5.      The ball was placed at the 4, a 33-yard gain that was the third-longest of his career, and set up Rodrick Williams' touchdown run on the next play. "If I had known I was that close to the end zone," Gray said with a smile, "I probably would have tried to stretch a little more and stumble in there."
     Still, he rated it as his best catch ever -- "by far." Not bad for a guy who has caught 56 passes in his career, but had not practiced at receiver since 2010. Gray started the season's first three games at quarterback before a leg injury and Nelson's promotion forced him back to receiver.
     Nelson was impressed, too, once he saw it on tape.
     "To be honest, I didn't even see him catch it," Nelson said. "I just had to give him a chance, because I knew he would go and get it."
     That's what Kill wants, too, for the rest of the season. "We've got four hard games down the stretch, and we want to get him back and get him healthy," the coach said. "I can't say enough about him as a kid. He's an unselfish kid."

 

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Kansas City 3 Top 8th Inning
San Francisco 2
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Dallas 117 FINAL
Orlando 92
New York 80 FINAL
Toronto 83
San Antonio 87 FINAL
Houston 96
Miami 104 FINAL
Memphis 98
Minnesota 113 FINAL
Chicago 112
Phoenix 69 3rd Qtr 2:34
Utah 72
Sacramento 27 2nd Qtr 8:32
LA Lakers 32
Denver 2 1st Qtr 11:14
Golden State 2
Portland 6 1st Qtr 9:15
LA Clippers 3
Dallas 3 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 2 3rd Prd
Colorado 3
Carolina 0 2nd Prd 10:16
Edmonton 1
Columbus 1 2nd Prd
Anaheim 2
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 16 2nd Qtr 0:27
Boise State 41
(6) Oregon 14 1st Qtr 4:29
California 14
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
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(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
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Toledo
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Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
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Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
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(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 13 1:03
Calgary 8
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
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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 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

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