Gophers replay

 

Gophers 10, Kent State 7

The recap: Mitch Leidner’s 14-yard touchdown pass to KJ Maye made it 10-0 just before halftime. Kent State pulled within three points when cornerback Demetrius Monday stripped the ball from true freshman receiver Rashad Still and returned the fumble 85 yards for a touchdown. But the Gophers held on for the victory.

What was learned: While the Gophers continue to struggle offensively, their defense is getting scary good. Kent State rushed for 79 yards, passed for 63 and went 3-for-17 on third down. The Golden Flashes offense didn’t move the ball into Minnesota territory until the fourth quarter, and that was just for three plays.

 

YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

• Kent State’s longest drive went 24 yards.

• The 10 points were the fewest in a Gophers victory since they defeated North Dakota State 10-9 in 2006.

• The Gophers hadn’t allowed a fumble return touchdown since 1996.

• Noah Scarver, a walk-on transfer from Montana and a Minneapolis Washburn grad, entered at tight end and made his first college catch — a 5-yard gain in the second quarter.

• True freshman linebacker Julian Huff didn’t play until Kent State’s final drive. He came in cold and still managed a 9-yard sack of Colin Reardon on third-and-10.

• The Gophers lost the turnover battle 3-0. Before this game, they had been 0-9 when committing three turnovers under coach Jerry Kill, and 2-17 when losing the turnover battle.

• The announced attendance of 52,823 was the third largest for a Gophers game at TCF Bank Stadium. They set a record for the opener against TCU, at 54,147.

 

UP NEXT: Ohio

2:30 p.m. Saturday, TCF Bank Stadium

TV: Big Ten Network • Radio: 100.3-FM

Records: Gophers 2-1, Ohio 3-0

The skinny: Former Nebraska coach Frank Solich is in his 10th year at Ohio. He led the Bobcats to a 36-10 record over a four-year span before leveling off with 7-6 and 6-6 finishes the past two years. This season, he has a veteran squad that showed its promise when it beat Marshall 21-10 two weeks ago. Marshall won 13 games last season and defeated Purdue in this year’s opener. Ohio returned seven defensive starters after ranking second in the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense last year. Senior quarterback Derrius Vick has completed 69.4 percent of his passes, and senior running back Daz Patterson is averaging 6.4 yards per carry.

JOE CHRISTENSEN