Cobb, Gophers ground game get going after halftime

  • Article by: BRANDON C. WILLIAMS , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 27, 2013 - 11:24 PM

David Cobb fell 9 yards short of cracking the 100-yard mark.


David Cobb managed to scoot forward for extra yardage before falling down after a tackle by Syracuse safety Ritchy Desir.


CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Syracuse brought one of the nation’s toughest run defenses into Reliant Stadium for Friday’s Texas Bowl, a unit that was the only school in the FBS to not allow a 100-yard rusher this season.

The Orange was able to leave with that mark intact, although David Cobb did his best to break that run, as well as the Gophers’ bowl losing streak.

The Gophers running back finished with 91 yards on 18 carries, a 5.1-yard average that made his bid to crack the century mark more impressive considering he had only 34 yards on 10 carries in the first half of the 21-17 loss.

“It wasn’t about the yardage,” Cobb said. “If some of those plays didn’t get called back and we had executed, we probably could have had 200 [yards] on them. It’s nothing they did, but what we did. Hats off to them. They were fired up, flying around, they’re physical and they hit hard.”

After being held to 54 yards on 21 carries in the first 30 minutes, the Gophers were able to assert themselves on the ground after halftime, amassing 119 yards on 17 attempts.

“The biggest thing we did was try to mix it up a little bit and keep them off-balance with throwing and running that ball,” said Gophers coach Jerry Kill, who moved from the press box to the sideline for the second half. “I think we executed a little bit better up front. We made some good runs.”

Added quarterback Mitch Leidner: “We started getting in a pretty good groove. We started feeling confident. We were making plays. You’ve got to give the O-line credit.”

The Gophers had only one run of more than 10 yards in the first half, but they were able to record five such runs in the second half.

Cobb finished the season with 1,202 yards rushing, the most by a Gophers back since Amir Pinnix gained 1,272 yards in 2006. The numbers will look outstanding at some point for him, yet the sting of a close, late loss and the missed opportunity of a bowl victory was more immediate for him.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “You don’t want to go into the offseason like this. You don’t want to come here two years in a row and lose. We’ll swallow it, watch the film, take some weeks off and we’ll get right back to it.”

Kill is confident that Cobb, one of eight returning starters on offense, will be capable of being mentioned among the Big Ten’s top backs next fall.

“I’m very proud of him,” Kill said. “He’s got great vision and has a great future ahead of him. He continues to gain confidence, and we’re excited about that.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Toronto 8 1st Qtr 4:14
Indiana 15
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
Memphis 7:30 PM
Chicago 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 0 1st Prd 8:00
NY Islanders 0
Arizona 2 1st Prd 12:04
Philadelphia 0
Winnipeg 0 1st Prd 9:42
Pittsburgh 1
Washington 0 1st Prd 11:00
Columbus 0
Tampa Bay 6:30 PM
Dallas 6:30 PM
Detroit 6:30 PM
Colorado 7:00 PM
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Anaheim 9:00 PM
Ball State 12 1st Half 11:49
Akron 7
Northern Ill 10 1st Half 10:48
Bowling Green 13
Western Mich 17 1st Half 10:33
Buffalo 21
Ohio 6 1st Half 13:48
Eastern Mich 12
Xavier 11 1st Half 10:43
Georgetown 8
Vanderbilt 22 1st Half 8:02
Georgia 24
West Virginia 10 1st Half 10:58
Kansas State 7
Central Mich 10 1st Half 11:19
Kent State 8
Saint Josephs 12 1st Half 10:30
La Salle 10
Nebraska 9 1st Half 8:09
Michigan 13
Miami-Ohio 9 1st Half 11:40
Toledo 12
Tulsa 13 1st Half 10:45
Tulane 9
George Washington 15 1st Half 10:24
VA Commonwealth 17
Pittsburgh 14 1st Half 10:17
Virginia Tech 10
Indiana State 7:00 PM
Tabor College 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Florida 8:00 PM
Tennessee 8:00 PM
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Baylor 8:00 PM
Oklahoma State
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
Fresno State 8:05 PM
San Diego St
UNLV 9:00 PM
SD Christian 9:00 PM
Colorado State 10:00 PM
Boise State
UNC-Asheville 6:00 PM
Columbia International 6:00 PM
Charleston Southern
Temple 19 1st Half 10:31
UCF 17
Campbell 5 1st Half 12:04
Presbyterian 7
Coastal Carolina 9 1st Half 10:43
High Point 11
Gardner-Webb 13 1st Half 11:15
Radford 7
Winthrop 9 1st Half 11:37
Longwood 16
Tulane 7:00 PM
(3) Baylor 7:00 PM
Navy 7:00 PM
American Univ
Valparaiso 7:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Do you favor the plan for expanded athletic facilities at the U of M?

Weekly Question