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.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
If the Gophers had any urgency about winning Saturday, it looks like they left it back in Minneapolis.
With coach Tim Brewster's job perhaps on the line, Minnesota has put on its worst offensive performance by far in the first half, not only failing to turn their seven possessions into points, but failing even to reach Purdue territory. Those Gopher "drives" have resulted in six punts -- well, five punts and a fumbled snap -- and an interception on the final play of the first half, and the teams are in the locker rooms with Purdue holding a 14-0 lead.
The Boilermakers aren't exactly a juggernaut, either, but they have put together a pair of long drives, one resulting in a Rob Henry four-yard stroll for a touchdown, the other reaching the 1-yard line before kicker Carson Wiggs whiffed on an 18-yard chip shot, pulling it wide left. Purdue's other touchdown was gift-wrapped by Gopher special teams, when long-snapper Jake Filkins hiked the ball over punter Dan Orseske's head. Purdue recovered on the Gophers' 22, and six plays later, Henry rolled right for another score, this one from 1 yard out.
Henry has completed six of 10 passes for 94 yards, more than half of them on a 51-yard strike to O.J. Ross. Adam Weber is 9-for-18, but has only 40 yards and has misfired on a handful of passes. Minnesota's running backs have only 27 yards on 12 carries. Purdue has 195 yards of offense to Minnesota's meager total of 64.
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