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.