Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Vikings' Matt Asiata on career day: 'I wish my dad was here to witness it'

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: December 15, 2013 - 5:37 PM

Vikings running back Matt Asiata was one of many reserves that started in the 48-30 win over the Eagles due to injuries.

Asiata had most of his family at the game to witness his three touchdown performance, but he was missing someone.  His father, Pita, passed away on Oct. 28 in a bus accident, and Asiata left the team briefly to attend the funeral.

“My dream was to make it to the NFL, and I wish my dad was here to witness it,” Asiata said.

Due to injuries to running backs Adrian Peterson (foot) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring), Asiata had 30 carries for 51 yards. Asiata said he woke up at 7:30 a.m., two hours before he typically gets up on game day, due to butterflies. He became the first player in a first career start to rush for three or more touchdowns since former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper.

“I look at it as a blessing, just getting the opportunity to show the coaches what I can do and help this offense out,” Asiata said.

“Matt Asiata did a tremendous job today; he had three touchdowns,” quarterback Matt Cassel said. “He is a guy that works tremendously hard each and every day when he gets out there.”


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters