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Continued: Late score gives Syracuse a 21-17 Texas Bowl victory over Gophers

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 28, 2013 - 7:08 AM

But the Gophers went three-and-out on their next two possessions. Then came Estime’s big punt return, and Hunt’s second touchdown run.

As Kill noted, the Gophers could have had Mortell purposely kick the ball out of bounds.

“But if you do that, you’ve got a chance to shank it,” Kill said. “We punted the ball well. They executed better than we did.”

And on Hunt’s game-winning touchdown run, the Gophers had safety Antonio Johnson and linebacker Aaron Hill blitzing. Johnson and Hill leapt in the air, taking away the passing lane for Hunt, but the quarterback tucked the ball and found a wide-open path up the middle to the end zone.

“We had a good blitz called,” Kill said. “We had a couple guys come free, actually, and he tucked the ball and made a play, so give him credit.”

In the game’s waning seconds, Leidner threw a Hail Mary into the end zone that Wolitarsky had a chance to catch, but the ball glanced off his arm and his hip before falling to the ground.

“You’re running down the field full speed, you turn around really quick, the ball is there,” Wolitarsky said. “I gave my best effort to get it. It’s not like I did it intentionally, obviously. It’s tough, but we’re going to move forward.”


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