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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Jerry Kill attends Gophers game; Nelson replaces Leidner, throws touchdown pass; Gophers, Northwestern tied 7-7

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher road games, Gophers game day Updated: October 19, 2013 - 1:18 PM

EVANSTON, ILL. – Gophers coach Jerry Kill just couldn't bear to watch from home.

Kill had his wife, Rebecca, drive him from their home in Minneapolis to today's game at Northwestern. Kill, who is on an official leave of absence to treat his epilepsy, is watching from the press box coaching booth, though he is said not to be giving instructions.

He did address the team at halftime, a team spokesman said.

Game details

Mitch Leidner started at quarterback for the Gophers, but after four first-quarter punts, they gave Philip Nelson another chance.

Nelson immediately drove the Gophers down the field, hitting Derrick Engel with a game-tying, 29-yard touchdown pass.

Nelson remained on the game, and the Gophers were poised to take the lead, but Chris Hawthorne missed a 44-yard field goal as time expired on the first half, with the score still tied 7-7.

Northwestern played without two of its best offensive players, as quarterback Kain Colter and Venric Mark were both out with ankle injuries.

Northwestern capitalized on some shoddy tackling by the Gophers to take a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter on a 72-yard drive.

The Gophers appeared to have Northwestern receiver Tony Jones stopped short of a first down early in the drive, but Cedric Thompson and Derrick Wells missed the tackle.

Thompson missed another tackle on the next play, as Stephen Buckley broke free for a 33-yard run. Buckley capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown run.

Ra’Shede Hageman had a pass break up and an interception, highlighting the Gophers’ defensive efforts in the first half.

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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 pm
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

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