Reusse: Gophers beat Nebraska? Truly, anything is possible

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 27, 2013 - 12:13 AM
hide

Offensive lineman Josh Campion and other Gophers players were greeted by enthusiastic fans on the field following the school’s first victory over Nebraska since Murray Warmath’s 1960 squad.

Photo: JIM GEHRZ • jgehrz@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Two games into the Big Ten schedule, this batch of Gophers looked as if it had regressed from Jerry Kill’s second group in 2012. The Gophers were pathetic for 60 minutes in a home game against Iowa, and then futile in the second half of what became a blowout loss at Michigan.

They were 4-2 at the time, but those four nonconference victories didn’t really count for anything, and the abysmal efforts vs. Iowa and Michigan made you wonder where the 2013 Gophers might get the two Big Ten victories they had landed at for three consecutive seasons.

We now have the answer: last weekend at Northwestern as 12½-point underdogs and Saturday against Nebraska, as 10-point underdogs in the on-campus stadium.

Northwestern could say that it was missing its best quarterback and running back. Nebraska had nothing to offer in the excuse department.

The current Cornhuskers, the representatives of a half-century of national football importance, came in and were absolutely mauled. The Gophers took apart Nebraska’s defense with a lethal combination of creativity and muscle, and they handled all the Nebraska offense had to offer other than the magnificent running back Ameer Abdullah.

The final was 34-23, and it is being billed as the Gophers’ first victory over Nebraska since 1960. That might deserve an asterisk, since it’s the first victory over Nebraska in the post-Devaney Era, and Cornhuskers football before and after Bob Devaney are two very different grades of seed corn.

The Gophers were 29-6-2 in their frequent meetings with Nebraska from 1900 through 1960. Devaney was hired out of Wyoming in 1962, the series resumed in 1963, and the Gophers were 0-16 in matches since then.

A couple more numbers: In the 12 games played from 1969 through 2012, Nebraska scored 568 points and the Gophers scored 86.

Everything changed Saturday — a mid-schedule perception the 2013 Gophers were going backward rather than forward, and the idea that the Gophers were destined to be pushed around into eternity by Nebraska football teams.

David Cobb ripped through Nebraska’s undersized middle for 138 yards on 31 fierce carries. Offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover broke out freshman receiver Donovahn Jones for four carries and 42 yards on the “jet sweep.’’

Philip Nelson came off the bench to throw for 152 yards, and it could have been better minus a few drops. He also broke out a previously undiscovered weapon in tight end Drew Goodger.

If anyone ever looks the part of a Goodger, it’s this lad — 6-foot-5, massive, whiskered. And yet there the big fellow was chugging his way open for three catches for 68 yards.

Was this a case of Limegrover finally recognizing Goodger’s latent explosiveness?

“No, no,’’ Goodger said. “Our coaches did a great job of scheming them up, and I was able to get lost out there a couple of times.’’

The play of the game came on the Gophers’ second possession of the third quarter. The underdogs were leading 17-13, forced a punt, and then returner Derrick Engel’s facemask was grabbed for a 15-yard penalty.

That put the Gophers at the Nebraska 38. The Gophers of the Iowa mess and the Michigan beatdown would have run a couple of read options for a few yards, misfired on a pass and punted for a touchback.

These were the new Gophers, the ones that said, “Let’s draw up some wild stuff and actually use it.’’

Limegrover sent Nelson to the huddle to call, “Shift Husker Y-Go.’’

Huh? “We don’t have a real name for it,’’ Limegrover said. “We did use the play in the bowl game last year. We wound up getting a penalty.’’

The good old Shift Husker Y-Go sent two players wide left and two wide right (including left tackle Ben Lauer), and Nebraska’s defense didn’t know if it was on foot or on a combine.

Down the middle trundled Goodger, wide open for 21 yards to the 17, and from there Cobb and Nelson took it into the end zone. And it was at that point, long-timers who had followed the Gophers through all the blowout losses to Nebraska were left saying: “They are strong enough, and they are smart enough, and doggone it, they can do this.’’

Minnesota beat Nebraska in football. Anything is now possible.

Heck, give another try at the affordable health care sign-up. It might work.

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500. • preusse@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 FINAL
Washington 5
Boston 8 FINAL
Minnesota 9
Toronto 0 FINAL
Baltimore 5
Oklahoma City 105 FINAL
Chicago 108
Dallas 75 FINAL
Portland 94
Calgary 4 FINAL(SO)
Boston 3
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Washington 1
Toronto 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Dallas 4 FINAL(SO)
Florida 3
NY Islanders 4 FINAL
Nashville 3
Vancouver 2 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 3
Montreal 3 FINAL(SO)
Los Angeles 4
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 83 FINAL
Bucknell 90
Western Ky 88 FINAL
Charlotte 84
Navy 62 FINAL
Colgate 72
Temple 70 FINAL
East Carolina 56
UAB 59 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 62
Boston Univ 64 FINAL
Lafayette 89
American Univ 68 FINAL
Lehigh 62
Wisconsin 76 FINAL
Minnesota 63
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Saint Peters 63
Arkansas 78 FINAL
South Carolina 74
Morehead State 76 FINAL
UT Martin 65
USC Upstate 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 62
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
North Florida 71
Southern Ill 55 FINAL
Missouri State 48
Texas State 64 FINAL
Appalachian St 67
SC State 62 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 72
Delaware State 104 FINAL
Coppin State 92
Middle Tennessee 54 FINAL
FIU 59
Texas-Arlington 64 FINAL
Ga Southern 76
Norfolk State 80 FINAL
Hampton 69
NC A&T 58 FINAL
NC Central 69
Savannah State 57 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Southern Miss 61 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 72
Marshall 50 FINAL
Old Dominion 67
Rice 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 74
South Alabama 81 FINAL
Arkansas State 76
Alabama State 78 FINAL
Grambling St 46
Alabama A&M 54 FINAL
Jackson State 72
Sam Houston St 67 FINAL
Lamar 61
Georgia State 58 FINAL
ULM 50
Central Arkansas 70 FINAL
Nicholls 77
Portland State 51 FINAL
Northern Ariz 58
Southern U 77 FINAL
Prairie View 73
Alcorn State 73 FINAL
Texas Southern 94
Houston Baptist 72 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 85
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Louisiana 75
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
New Orleans 85
California 60 FINAL
Arizona 99
Memphis 54 FINAL
Connecticut 53
VA Commonwealth 55 FINAL
Davidson 82
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Sacramento St 65 FINAL
Southern Utah 69
Northwestern St 66 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 92
North Texas 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 83
Colorado 64 FINAL
Washington 47
Idaho 63 FINAL
Weber State 74
Abilene Christian 52 FINAL
Incarnate Word 64
Eastern Wash 85 FINAL
Idaho State 81
Marist 80 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Eastern Ill 64 FINAL
Belmont 97
Bradley 52 FINAL
Drake 50
Cal State Fullerton 62 FINAL
UC Irvine 68
CS-Northridge 58 FINAL
Long Beach State 69
UC Riverside 59 FINAL
UC Davis 61
Stanford 62 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Utah 67 FINAL
Washington St 59
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
UCLA 80
FIU 30 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
SC State 57 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 56
Delaware State 51 FINAL
Coppin State 80
Portland 58 FINAL
Santa Clara 66
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
Florida Atlantic 56 FINAL
UAB 59
NC A&T 67 FINAL
NC Central 46
Savannah State 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 51
Virginia Tech 51 FINAL
Pittsburgh 45
Central Arkansas 43 FINAL
Nicholls 53
Houston Baptist 48 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 73
Gardner-Webb 70 FINAL
Radford 56
Georgia 75 FINAL
Missouri 64
Old Dominion 67 FINAL
Marshall 55
Ark-Little Rock 68 FINAL
Louisiana 66
South Alabama 60 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Georgia State 66 FINAL
ULM 61
Sam Houston St 73 FINAL
Lamar 92
SE Louisiana 75 FINAL
New Orleans 84
Northwestern St 45 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 56
Alabama A&M 58 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Alabama State 68 FINAL
Grambling 62
Southern U 78 FINAL
Prairie View 50
Alcorn State 55 FINAL
Texas Southern 73
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 54 FINAL
Mercer 75
Abilene Christian 72 FINAL
Incarnate Word 62
La Salle 60 FINAL
Rhode Island 65
Illinois 71 FINAL
Nebraska 86
TX-San Antonio 60 FINAL
Rice 49
Valparaiso 55 FINAL
Oakland 70
Missouri State 65 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Georgia Tech 64 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 84
Charlotte 72 FINAL
Western Ky 80
Texas-El Paso 69 FINAL
North Texas 61
Wichita State 77 FINAL
Evansville 63
Loyola-Chicago 64 FINAL
Northern Iowa 69
Bradley 70 FINAL
Drake 86
Presbyterian 62 FINAL
High Point 75
Vanderbilt 61 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 67
Colorado 75 FINAL
USC 63
San Francisco 74 FINAL
Pacific 64
Idaho State 58 FINAL
Eastern Washington 62
Weber State 42 FINAL
Idaho 71
Purdue 78 FINAL
Minnesota 82
Cal-Irvine 54 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 66
Long Beach St 60 FINAL
CS-Northridge 77
Hawaii 60 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 36
UC Davis 56 FINAL
UC-Riverside 61
Northern Ariz 79 FINAL
Portland State 62
Southern Utah 73 FINAL
Sacramento St 107
Utah 64 FINAL
Washington 75
BYU 65 FINAL
St Marys-CA 64
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is the best center on a Twin Cities sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close