Gophers 30, Oregon State 23
The recap: Oregon State took a 23-17 lead with 2:30 left in the third quarter. But Mitch Leidner (130 passing yards, 76 rushing yards) and Rodney Smith (125 rushing yards) led the Gophers back with several big plays on the final two touchdown drives. Each finished with two rushing TDs.
What was learned: The Gophers are lucky they overcame several first-game hiccups against a 13-point underdog. They had three players ejected for targeting, two errant snaps (one for a safety), seven pre-snap penalties on offense and a fumbled punt.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
• Wide receiver Rashad Still (shoulder) and linebacker Nick Rallis (elbow) will miss next week’s game with their respective injuries, coach Tracy Claeys said Friday.
• Cody Poock, ejected for targeting in the first half, will be eligible to return for the start of next week’s game. Devers and Jonathan Celestin must sit out the first half next week since their targeting penalties came in the second half against Oregon State.
• Four true freshman played, burning potential redshirts: wide receiver Tyler Johnson, defensive end Tai’yon Devers, linebacker Kamal Martin and defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. Winfield played only on special teams, but he’s expected to take on an increased role in the secondary.
• The Gophers managed just 22 sacks last year, ranking 84th in the nation. But they had four against Oregon State, including two by Devers, one by Steven Richardson and one by Andrew Stelter.
UP NEXT: Indiana State
11 a.m., Sept. 10, TCF Bank Stadium
TV: ESPNNews. Radio: 100.3-FM
Records: Gophers 1-0, Indiana State 0-0
The skinny: Indiana State opens its season Saturday at home against Butler, a game shown on ESPN3. Two years ago, Indiana State made the second round of the FCS playoffs, but the Sycamores fell to 5-6 last season, including a 38-14 loss at Purdue. The Gophers should have little trouble moving to 2-0 and will likely be careful with players returning from injury – running back Shannon Brooks (foot), tight end Brandon Lingen (shoulder), Eric Carter (ankle) – knowing they have an open date the following week.