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Continued: Hartman: Ponder hopes Vikings build on momentum

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

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

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Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
UAB 47 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 43 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 71
Baylor 71 FINAL
Memphis 47
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
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2014 preseason     
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