Hartman: Ponder hopes Vikings build on momentum

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 12, 2012 - 10:49 PM

After struggling in the first half vs. Jacksonville, the second-year QB sparked the team to an overtime victory.

Christian Ponder believes Sunday's 26-23 overtime victory over Jacksonville could set the tone for the rest of the Vikings season. The quarterback said that while the game was flawed offensively, he hoped the momentum from the end of the game would carry over.

"Oh yeah, I mean a heck of a win. We're excited," Ponder said. "We knew going into the game that it was going to set the tone for the rest of the season, and it came down to overtime. These are the ones that you remember, so this is fun.

"I don't think I've ever had overtime. I don't think I've ever played in an overtime game until now, and we won it."

Ponder took the blame for the offense's poor start, but in the second half, he played as well as any Vikings quarterback has played, including Brett Favre when he was healthy. He finished with a 105.5 passer rating.

As for the poor first half, when he completed seven of 11 passes but didn't really shine until he led the offense into the end zone for a touchdown with 41 second to play, Ponder had this to say:

"It starts with me. I didn't play with a great enough sense of urgency early on and I really took it upon myself to change that and change the tempo and play better.

"The quarterback sets the tone for the rest of the offense. So I changed that and turned it around and we started playing better."

Ponder said the Vikings didn't change anything in the second half and overtime to spark their comeback.

"I mean we just ran what our regular game plan was for the game," he said. "A lot of guys made clutch plays, especially on offense. But we can't say enough about Blair Walsh. For him to come in and kick the field goal to tie it and then the field goal to win it, that was big by him."

Ponder said this was a very important victory.

"It will give us a lot of confidence, but we have to remember that it's just one game," he said. "The two words that coach [Leslie] Frazier has been preaching, execute and finish. That's the motto of this team, that's the emotion of this team. We go out and play well and execute and finish and we'll see what we can do."

As for the final drive in regulation to set up the tying field goal with four seconds left, Ponder said: "We were in the two-minute offense and we had to finally put points on the board and turn the game around and we were able to do that. That changed the momentum and changed the tone of the game. That was very important for us."

The Jacksonville game was an example of how much more mature Ponder is this season.

"From this year compared to last year, it's going to have to be [better] decision-making," Ponder said. "I'm just so much more comfortable in this offense, spent a lot of time learning the offense and learning the reads a lot better and getting more comfortable with everything. I really understand where to go with the ball, a lot better than I did last year, that should pay off."

While he won't make any excuses for last year, Ponder did battle through a tough hip injury to end the seaso n and also suffered a concussion.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said he believes Ponder can be just as good as Matt Ryan, whom he coached at Atlanta, and that is a pretty good compliment, because Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Work on facilities

Associate Gophers athletic director Scott Ellison and others members of the athletic department put together a book in 2000 containing a master plan that included what facilities the department needed to be on par with other Big Ten schools. Because of a shortage of revenue, not many facilities were added.

But under new athletic director Norwood Teague, the department is going to hire one of eight firms to put together another master plan for what new facilities the school needs. That company will be hired in the near future and get to work.

Jottings

• Frazier, in an interview with the Indianapolis media Wednesday, said one of the toughest career decisions he's had to make was when he was offered the Vikings defensive coordinator job in 2007 and had to leave the Colts, where he was very happy.

• Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing, said there was about 10 percent no-shows for Sunday's game, and thus the Vikings met the 90 percent blackout minimum and didn't have to pay the visiting team money beyond the regular 34 percent of the gate. LaCroix also said the Vikings also have offered package deals for home games with the Packers and Bears; purchasing a ticket to either of those games requires also buying a ticket to another game.

• Architects for the new Vikings stadium initially were to be chosen by Sept. 24, but now it appears the selection will be delayed. The cost of getting the plans made for the stadium is expected to be in the area of $20 million, according to a Vikings official.

• Matt Kalil is not only the fifth rookie offensive tackle to start the first game of the season for the Vikings, but the former Southern California All-America became only the third player in the history of the franchise to block a point-after kick in the opening game.

• Ex-Viking Randy Moss had a big day as the 49ers defeated the Packers 30-22, catching four passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.

• The offensive coordinator for the No. 22 UCLA football team that edged No. 16 Nebraska 36-30 on Saturday is Noel Mazzone, who was the Gophers quarterback coach under Jim Wacker from 1992 to '94.

• Gophers pitching coach Todd Oakes will receive a bone marrow transplant this week from his brother, Gerald, as he continues his treatment for acute myeloid leukemia.

• Quentin Mege, a Gophers hammer thrower from Chelles, France, who finished fifth in the NCAA tournament and won the Big Ten title in his event last year, has changed his mind about leaving school and will take advantage of his final year of eligibility. ... Logan Connors, who was the top junior college thrower in the javelin with a personal best of 219 feet, 10 inches while competing for Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Calif., is transferring to Minnesota. ... Emmanuel Onyia, also in the Gophers' 2012 track recruiting class from Montego Bay, Jamaica, is expected to be a factor in the shot put.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Christian Ponder

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 92 4th Qtr 2:32
Memphis 86
Portland 84 4th Qtr 4:37
San Antonio 88
LA Clippers 43 3rd Qtr
Denver 59
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 3rd Prd 9:54
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 1 2nd Prd 12:55
Calgary 0
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
NC A&T 57 FINAL
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 2nd Half 0:30
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 31 2nd Half 15:45
Creighton 48
Colorado State 51 2nd Half 12:30
Denver 50
Alabama A&M 24 2nd Half 14:03
Marquette 53
Ark-Pine Bluff 26 2nd Half 20:00
Texas Tech 35
Eastern Wash 9 1st Half 15:24
California 6
Idaho State 2 1st Half 16:24
Utah State 9
Arizona 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 10:59 PM
Chaminade
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
NJIT 62 FINAL
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Miami-Florida 49 2nd Half 3:58
Tulane 56
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
ULM 42 FINAL
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 37 2nd Half 15:40
Southern Ill 38
Pacific 9:00 PM
New Mexico St
Utah Valley U 9:00 PM
Montana
No Dakota State 0 1st Half 20:00
Cal State Fullerton 0
Utah State 6 1st Half 16:08
Sacramento St 17
Bethesda (CA) 0 1st Half 20:00
Fresno State 0
LSU 9:30 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close