Live: Gophers football vs. South Dakota

by John Hageman

Minnesota (1-0) will host South Dakota (0-1) in the 2010 home opener here at TCF Bank Stadium. Kickoff is set for 11.


FINAL: South Dakota-41, Gophers-38

South Dakota takes a couple of kneels to finish off the Gophers, who will go on to lose their 2010 home opener and start the season at 1-1. 

Gophers use their last timeout after first down with just 1:15 left in the game.

South Dakota converts on third and four with an eight-yard pass. That may have sealed it. 

Minnesota lined up as if they were going to onside, but called an audible to kick it deep. South Dakota takes over from their own 32 with just over three minutes remaining. 

Let’s see if the Gophers opt to onside here with only one timeout remaining.

3:21 4th–41-38 South Dakota

After getting tripped up at the one-yard line on a 25-yard run, Bennett punches in another touchdown for the Gophers. Bennett has now ran 18 times for 104 yards today. 

South Dakota is forced to punt from their own 16, and Green brings the return to the Gophers’ 42.

Weber scrambles for nine yards then fumbles. South Dakota recovers and will take over from their own 26. Just 5:50 remaining in the game.

Gophers driving into South Dakota territory…and here come the “We hate Iowa” chants.

7:30 4th–41-31 South Dakota

Warren fakes the handoff up the middle on fourth and one and goes around the right side to gallop 36 yards into the endzone. We’re now back to a two-possession game. Warren now has 86 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns. He also has 340 yards on 19 completions and three touchdowns.

10:16 4th–34-31 South Dakota

After spinning around and rumbling through defenders on his way to a 25-yard run on first down, Bennett takes a couple handoffs from the South Dakota two-yard line to punch in the score. The Rallis interception could be the turning point of this game. Better late then never.

Mike Rallis intercepts Warren’s pass in the flat on the right side. While he was getting tackled, Rallis attempted to lateral the ball to a teammate, but was called for a illegal forward pass. Gophers take over from where they left off at the South Dakota 27-yard line. 

Gophers drive down the field all the way to the South Dakota 25-yard line, but opted to try for a first down on fourth and two rather than kick the field goal to put the deficit at seven points. Bennett got the pitch on the left side and was stuffed for a two-yard loss and a turnover on downs. South Dakota still holds a two-possession lead and takes over from their own 27.

Gophers will face a second 13 on their own 39-yard line to start the final quarter after D.J. Burris was called for holding.

END OF THIRD–34-24 South Dakota

0:56 3rd–34-24 South Dakota

Warren fakes a handoff to the left and runs untouched into the endzone for a 25-yard run. The PAT was missed wide left, however, and South Dakota now has a ten-point lead.

South Dakota is making James Manuel miss on a couple big plays. The Coyotes are now on the Gophers’ 25-yard line facing second and two.

4:52 3rd–28-24 South Dakota

Gophers drive 66 yards on six plays in 2:46, culminating in a 26-yard pass from Weber to McKnight in the front corner of the endzone. That pass by Weber ties Bryan Cupito and Asad Abdul-Kaliq for the school record in touchdown passes, and puts the Gophers within four points of the Coyotes on 14 unanswered points.

Gophers force South Dakota to punt from their own 19 after the Jewhan Edwards tallied the first Gophers sack for eight yards on first down, Gary Tinsley stuffed the running back screen on second, and a 20-yard pass down the middle was overthrown. Minnesota will take over from their own 33 with 7:38 left in the third quarter.

10:37 3rd–28-17 South Dakota

Gophers inch closer with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Weber to Gray, taking 2:56 to drive 45 yards on six plays. Gray now has five catches for 56 yards, both career highs along with that touchdown for the backup quarterback/wide receiver. 

Gophers take over from the South Dakota 45 after the kickoff went out of bounds.

13:33 3rd–28-10 South Dakota

Powell catches another touchdown pass, this one a 61-yard bomb deep down the middle of the field. No one was within ten yards of Powell when he made the catch after the play action. That drive took just 1:27 to go 82 yards on three plays. Gophers defense looking out of sorts.

South Dakota will get the ball first from their own 17 to start off the second half.

The Gophers going into the locker room to the sound of the boo-birds and down 21-10. Yikes.

HALF–21-10 South Dakota

It looked as though the Gophers were going to make a late-half drive after Weber completed a 19-yard pass to Gray and a seven-yard run on the following play, but after he failed to find a receiver downfield, Weber scrambled for nine yards but fumbled as he got tackled. South Dakota takes over at their own 33 with just under a minute left.

1:51 2nd– 21-10 South Dakota

South Dakota extends the lead to 21-10. Ganious burned the Gophers linebackers and secondary on another screen pass, this one for 26 yards and the touchdown. It looked as thought Coyotes were going to sputter just outside the redzone, but the Gophers defense gave up yet another big play on third and long.

The Gophers fail to capitalize. After not gaining a first down, Ellestad misses a 48-yard kick wide left. South Dakota will take over at their own 31 with 5:36 left in the half.

Michael Carter picks off Warren’s unwarranted pass into traffic on third and 18 deep in their own territory. Gophers take over on South Dakota’s 32. The crowd is starting to gain some momentum after that touchdown pass,; they were louder than they had been all game before that play.

7:59 2nd–14-10 South Dakota

Gophers finally get a touchdown on a beautiful pass from Weber right over Stoudermire’s shoulder for 50 yards. Minnesota drove 73 yards on 7 plays in 4:09. That pass was the first of the drive, after the Gophers managed 23 yards on six carries beforehand.

Hoese gets his first carry of the game, a two-yard carry to give the Gophers a first down on their own 38.

This has been a somewhat ugly game so far, with four, count ’em, four illegal formation penalties.

12:06 2nd–14-3 South Dakota

South Dakota tacks on another touchdown, this one a 14-yard pass from Warren to Will Powell. That was the third time this young Gophers defense gave up a big play on third down on that drive alone. 

The Gophers defense got burned on a couple big plays on third down on this drive, the first coming on a 22-yard screen pass to get to the Gophers 43, the second on a running back screen while the Gophers brought the house on the blitz. Coyotes are currently on the Gophers’ 14, where it’s third and goal.

The second quarter will begin with South Dakota facing a third and five at their own 35 yard line. 

END OF FIRST-South Dakota leads 7-3.

Gophers march down the field on a six-minute drive that ends on the South Dakota 30. After Bennett failed to get a first down on third and short, the Gophers opted to go for it on fourth and five rather than try the long field goal, but Weber’s hurried pass was underthrown towards the endzone. Gray was thrown to three times on that drive, catching two screen passes on the left side for ten yards. The Gophers ran seven times on that drive, with a majority going to DeLeon Eskridge.

7:35 1st–7-3 South Dakota

Just as I suspected, Nowotny stepped out at the half-yard line. But Chris Ganious pounds it in on first down for the first touchdown of the day.

South Dakota quarterback Dante Warren throws a perfect pass down the sideline to Dustin Nowotny for the diving touchdown. Play is currently under review. He may have stepped out at the one or two-yard line.

Gophers get off the punt, but Troy Stoudermire ran into the returner for the penalty. South Dakota starts from the Gophers’ 37 yard line.

Gophers go three and out. Weber’s two passes were incomplete, one intended deep down the middle for Da’Jon McKnight was overthrown, and on third down his pass to Green on the slant was thrown behind him.

Coyotes go three and out on their first drive. Brandon Green fields the punt deep in his own territory and brings it back to the Gophers 13 yard line. First and ten 8:49 remaining in the first.

10:54 1st–3-0 Gophers

Troy Stoudermire almost took the opening kickoff all the way, but was stopped just inside Coyote territory at the 46. Adam Weber ran for a first down on the first play from scrimmage and Duane Bennett took the next carry for seven yards. The Gophers offense spurted in the red zone, taking a false start and getting stuffed on a couple of Bennett runs. Eric Ellestad punched in the 27-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 10:54 remaining in the first quarter.

Minnesota won the coin toss and will elect to receive.