There is probably some way that the first half of today's game could have been more disastrous for the Gophers, but that would have involved broken bones.
This is bad enough. Minnesota trails South Dakota 21-10 at halftime, mostly because the Gopher defense is being shredded by a junior quarterback who faces little pressure in the pocket and patiently waits for his receivers to inevitably spring open. Dante Warren has completed four passes of more than 20 yards, and has 184 passing yards already.
Most impressive is how well the Coyotes have anticipated the Gophers' blitz; twice Minnesota sent extra men to pressure Warren (who hasn't come close to being sacked yet), and both times, he calmly looped an outlet pass over the defense to running back Chris Ganious. One turned into a 30-yard completion that set up a touchdown, and the next time Ganious reached the end zone himself, a 20-yard score.
The Gopher offense has stuck to its gameplan by running 21 times in the first half, but nobody has gained more than 30 yards so far. Adam Weber has been erratic, overthrowing a couple of receivers, but did connect with Troy Stoudermire on a 49-yard touchdown score on a wide-open post play.
Still, the crowd booed as Minnesota left the field at halftime. The Gophers have plenty of work left if they are to go 2-0 for the third straight year. They are in danger of losing to a FCS school for the second time in three seasons.