Gophers take same old shelling in Lincoln

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 18, 2012 - 5:52 AM

Nebraska rambled through the Gophers for 400-plus yards while adding to a series of dominant victories in the rivalry.

view larger photos

  

LINCOLN, NEB. - They honored Tom Osborne during Saturday's Cornhuskers game. Then they played a game with the Gophers that must have looked awfully familiar to the Hall of Fame coach.

The Gophers didn't move within 38 yards of the end zone until they trailed by 38 points, while Nebraska rolled up more than 400 yards of offense, leading to a throwback final score of 38-14.

Talk about a historic relic: Osborne, who led the Cornhuskers onto the field before the game as part of ceremonies to mark his impending retirement as Nebraska's athletic director, coached against the Gophers six times during his career, and managed a 328-27 total score.

Bo Pelini is the coach now, and he's got the Cornhuskers within one victory of a Legends Division championship after Taylor Martinez led a nearly flawless offensive performance. The junior quarterback completed 21 of 29 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns, and led the Huskers to scores on four of their first six possessions.

"I haven't seen Ohio State, but [Nebraska is] playing as good football as any teams in the Big Ten," Gophers coach Jerry Kill said after the Gophers' least competitive loss of the season. "We don't have any excuses. They just dominated us on the line of scrimmage."

That's not a huge surprise, given the teams' history. The Gophers have lost 16 consecutive games to Nebraska and have been outscored 277-28 in their past seven visits to Memorial Stadium.

The Gophers (6-5, 2-5 Big Ten) went three-and-out on their first two possessions and trailed 10-0 before they registered a first down. They could not run or pass -- they finished with 87 yards on 29 carries and completed only 10 of 28 passes for 90 yards. The overall yardage gap was 444-177, and it never seemed that close. The Gophers punted away all six first-half possessions, and punted four more times in the second half before finally ruining the Huskers' shutout with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

"You can't go three-and-out, certainly not against a team that averages [almost] 500 yards of offense," Kill said. "It's a pretty tall task to ask [the defense] to be on the field so much."

Did the Gophers' fourth-quarter touchdowns offer any comfort? "Not really," said MarQueis Gray, who scored both of them. "The game was over."

That's true, though the late scores disappointed the 85,330 in attendance -- the record 325th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium. Gray scored his first rushing touchdown since September by lining up at tailback, taking a direct snap and plowing into the end zone from a yard out.

When Nebraska's second-team offense fumbled deep in its own territory in the final minutes, the Gophers pounced on it. Gray immediately turned it into a face-saving touchdown, running the ball in from the 6.

But the game was long out of reach by then. The 16th-ranked Huskers (9-2, 6-1), needing only to win at Iowa on Friday to claim a berth against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game, rolled down the field with ease in the first half. Martinez threw a 36-yard scoring strike to Kenny Bell and set up the other two Nebraska scores with a pair of 29-yard completions that moved the ball inside the Gophers 5. On both occasions, fullback Imani Cross did the honors of carrying the ball across the goal line, one from 3 yards out and the other from the 1.

"Martinez did a great job of throwing the ball around the field," Kill said. "From my standpoint, I think he knows their offense inside and out. ... We know he's got great athleticism, but he's got command of their offense."

The defeat could have been worse, too: Nebraska ran an effective two-minute drill to close the first half, moving 64 yards in the final 90 seconds to reach the Gophers 1, but Cross was stuffed at the goal line as the clock ran out.

Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson had little luck against a defense that leads the nation in completion percentage. The freshman completed only eight of 23 passes for 59 yards, and he was picked off twice, his first interceptions since his debut in Wisconsin last month. The second of those interceptions, on a pass that slipped through receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts' hands, was returned 48 yards by cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste.

"I don't think [the loss] has a lot to do with the quarterback," Kill said. "We got beat at the line of scrimmage, period. Dominated."

  • related content

  • Scoggins: Minnesota-Nebraska gulf still wide

    Saturday November 17, 2012

    The Gophers had a snowball's chance of shocking the Huskers on this day, and the outcome was predictably one-sided.

  • Chart: It's been worse in Lincoln

    Saturday November 17, 2012

  • Gray's late contributions frustrate Huskers' defense

    Sunday November 18, 2012

    LINCOLN, NEB. - Here's how bad Saturday was for the Gophers: MarQueis Gray's fourth-quarter touchdowns meant a lot more to the Cornhuskers than they did to the Gophers.

  • Chart: Missing A.J. Barker

    Saturday November 17, 2012

    Gophers freshman QB Philip Nelson made an early connection with receiver A.J. Barker -- and he clearly misses the injured receiver. Here are Nelson's numbers in the first half against...

  • OFFENSIVE MVP

    Saturday November 17, 2012

    He was rumored to have become a true dual-threat quarterback this season, and the Gophers saw plenty of evidence Saturday. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 308 yards and...

  • Gophers offense limping along in Barker's absence

    Saturday November 17, 2012

    The junior wide receiver seemed to have good rapport with QB Philip Nelson. His ankle injury three games ago has proved to be a devastating loss.

  • Nebraska's Ciante Evans, left, nearly intercepts a pass intended for M...

  • NO. 16 NEBRASKA 38, GOPHERS 14

    Up next: 2:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Michigan State • TCF Bank Stadium • TV: BTN (100.3-FM)
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 4
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 5 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 6
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Hughes 2
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 8 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 12
Boston - WP: C. Buchholz 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 0
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 6
Texas - LP: N. Cotts 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Veras 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 6 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: P. Neshek 9
Oakland - LP: S. Kazmir 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Milwaukee - LP: K. Lohse 5 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 15
Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 7 FINAL
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 1
Washington - LP: T. Roark 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: C. Anderson 6
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 0 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 1
Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Red Bull New York 0 FINAL
D.C. 2
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
Chivas USA 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Phoenix 77 FINAL
Minnesota 82
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 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
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: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close