Quick hitters: Gopher-Badger football game

by Adam Richard

  • Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray became a father late Friday night, as his girlfriend gave birth to twin boys named MarShawn and MarZell.
    Gray said he received a call during team activities and was given a ride to the hospital to be with his girlfriend.
    âÄúIt was the best day of my life,âÄù Gray said.
    Though he and head coach Jerry Kill said it was unrelated, he had his worst statistical performance of the year Saturday.
    He had only six completions for 51 yards and threw an interception. His longest completion was only 12 yards.
  • The 51 yards passing was MinnesotaâÄôs lowest total this season. Its previous low for passing yards was 104 yards in a 58-0 loss at Michigan.
  • Minnesota only had 48 plays from scrimmage.
    âÄúI said we could not win this game unless we snapped the ball 70 or 80 times,âÄù Kill said. âÄúWe couldnâÄôt leave our defense out on the football field all the time.  Our defense was out there and they controlled the football.âÄù Minnesota averaged a season-low 3.25 yards on those 48 plays.
  • Minnesota scored its two touchdowns on special teams plays.  The first was a fake field goal and run by kicker Jordan Wettstein. Wettstein had to break a tackle on the five-yard run to the end zone.
    âÄúI thought I was down. I saw him coming, but I tried making a little move on him.  I watched the running backs all week on that,âÄù Wettstein said.
    Wettstein missed the extra point after his touchdown.
    The second special teams touchdown was a 96-yard kickoff return by senior Duane Bennett to open the second half. It was the GophersâÄô second kickoff return for a touchdown this year.
  • Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson finished the game 16-for-17 for 178 yards and four touchdowns.  His only incompletion was a dropped pass by Nick Toon.
    The GophersâÄô defense also gave up 16 straight completions to Matt Barkley in the first game of the year. Minnesota has given up at least nine straight completions to five different quarterbacks.
  • Wisconsin running back Montee Ball ran for 166 yards and two touchdowns and added a touchdown reception.
    MinnesotaâÄôs running backs, by contrast, were held to 32 yards on 12 carries.
  • The GophersâÄô defense penetrated WisconsinâÄôs offensive line and sacked Wilson twice, which brought MinnesotaâÄôs season total to 12.
    Senior linebacker Gary Tinsley, who recorded one of those sacks, had three tackles for loss and had double-digit tackles âÄî 12 âÄî for the first time this year.
    Minnesota recorded eight tackles for loss throughout the game, the most since its opening game against USC.
    Safety Kim Royston recorded nine tackles against his former team, including one for a loss. Royston, a Minneapolis native, played for the Badgers before he transferred to Minnesota.
    Despite the numerous tackles for loss and sacks, the GophersâÄô defense allowed Wisconsin to succeed on third down 70 percent of the time.