Live Blog: Gophers Football v. South Dakota State

Marco LaNave

The Gophers play their final 2009 home game at TCF Bank Stadium against South Dakota State.

Final – GOPHERS 16, SDSU 13.

0:38 4th – With fourth and 1 at the SDSU 47-yard line, the Gophers take a delay-of-game penalty, and then Haudan makes a 42-yard punt to the SDSU 10, where the Jackrabbits will start their drive.

1:42 4th – O’Brien throws four straight incompletions from the Minnesota 44-yard line. Carter and junior cornerback Ryan Collado broke up successive pass plays to complete the stop.

2:19 4th – Ellestad makes a squib kick, but it was probably supposed to travel farther than the SDSU 42-yard line, where the Jackrabbits fielded the ball and will start their drive.

2:22 4th – Ellestad makes a 25-yard field goal after Weber overthrows Tow-Arnett in end-zone coverage. Scoring drive:4 plays, 3 yards, 1:40. GOPHERS 16, SDSU 13.

2:31 4th – Minnesota calls a timeout with the ball at the SDSU 8-yard line. It will be third and 7 for the Gophers. Then they call another timeout to avoid a delay-of-game penalty.

– O’Brien drops the snap on , recovers at the SDSU -yard line. The Jackrabbits have fumbled five times and lost two of them.

4:54 4th – The Gophers drive stalls when Weber is sacked and then throws an incompletion. SDSU starts its drive from its own 18-yard line.

8:27 4th – The Gophers defense stops the Jackrabbits again, but they make the field goal this time. Reifenrath makes a 34-yard attempt one play after junior safety Kim Royston broke up a pass in the end zone. Scoring drive: 13 plays, 60 yards, 5:13. GOPHERS 13, SDSU 13.

9:43 4th – On second and 20 at the Minnesota 32-yard line, O’Brien completes a 21 yard pass to tight end Colin Cochart to the Minnesota 11-yard line.

13:30 4th – After Ellestad missed a 41-yard field goal wide left, O’Brien completes a first-down pass to Fox for 26 yards to midfield.

End 3rd – The Gophers have their longest drive of the second half going. They’ve gone from the SDSU 49-yard line to the 28 after a 12-yard pass from Weber to sophomore wide receiver Troy Stoudermire for a first down.

2:33 3rd – The Jackrabbits goes three and out when O’Brien stumbles in the backfield on third and 4.

7:25 3rd – SDSU drives 50 yards in 3:52 but can’t punch it in when O’Brien overthrows a receiver in the end zone. The Jackrabbits settle for a field-goal attempt, but Reifenrath, kicking from the left hash, misses a 25-yard field goal wide left.

11:10 3rd – On the first play of an SDSU drive, O’Brien completes an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Mike Steffen at the Minnesota 41-yard line.

13:38 3rd – A SDSU punt goes off of Carter, but he is able to recover it at the Minnesota 34-yard line, where the Gophers will start their first drive of the half.

Halftime – The Gophers defense forced a long field goal for SDSU. The Jackrabbits lost 9 yards on a pass play, an incompletion, and a sack. Kickoff specialist Kyle Harris missed a 49-yard attempt wide right as time expired. GOPHERS 13, SDSU 10.

1:28 2nd – On third and 10 for SDSU, O’Brien steps up from the Gophers pass rush and completes a 51-yard pass to wide receiver Glen Fox at the Minnesota 23-yard line. The Jackrabbits had 34 yards of offense before that completion, which was only the third of the game for O’Brien.

2:20 2nd – Haudan kicks a roughly 50-yard punt, and the ball went off the hands of Montague, who recovered his own fumble at the SDSU 11-yard line. Haudan gets credit for a 63-yard kick.

5:45 2nd – On second and 16 for the Gophers, freshman running back Kevin Whaley rushes for 15 yards, but then fumbles and the Jackrabbits recover the ball at the Minnesota 49-yard line. The fumble was forced by SDSU cornerback Cole Brodie and recovered by defensive end Jake Steffen.

9:04 2nd – On third and 13 for SDSU at its 14-yard line, freshman cornerback Michael Carter sacks O’Brien; the ball pops into the air and is grabbed by freshman defensive end D.L. Wilhite, who goes 3 yards for a touchdown. GOPHERS 13, SDSU 10.

9:46 2nd – The Gophers were forced to punt after Weber had to throw an incompletion under heavy pressure. SDSU brought a two-linebacker blitz out of a 3-4 defense for the second time. The first time they did so, they had an easy sack.

13:25 2nd – Weber runs to his right and then tries to throw back across the field with a disastrous result. Jackrabbits linebacker Derek Domino easily jumps in front of the intended receiver for the interception and runs 22 yards for a touchdown. SDSU 10, GOPHERS 6.

14:20 2nd – On third and goal, Lawrence tackles Jackrabbits running back Kyle Minett for no gain at the 3-yard line. Kicker Peter Reifenrath hits a 20-yard field goal. Scoring drive: 4 plays, 8 yards, 1:51. GOPHERS 6, SDSU 3.

End 1st – SDSU is knocking on the door with third and goal at the Minnesota 3-yard line. Instead of driving near the student section, the Jackrabbits will face the open end of the stadium to start the second quarter.

1st – A 50-yard punt by Haudan is returned 49 yards to the Minnesota 11-yard line by Saunders Montague.

2:42 1st – Senior linebacker Simoni Lawrence intercepts O’Brien’s pass on the Minnesota 6-yard line. He returns it to near midfield but a block-in-the-back penalty pushes Minnesota back to its 22.

3:31 1st – Jackrabbits kick returner blazes through the Gophers coverage but Jay Thomas chases him down at the Minnesota 12-yard line. A face-mask penalty on the tackle puts SDSU at the Minnesota 6.

3:43 1st – The Gophers can’t punch it in once again. Weber overthrows Tow-Arnett on third and goal at the 8-yard line. Ellestad hits another 7 plays, 32 yards, 1:51. GOPHERS 6, SDSU 0.

5:34 1st – Jackrabbits quarterback Thomas O’Brien didn’t expect his wide receiver to cut on the right side, so he found a wide-open Gophers senior cornerback Traye Simmons, who would have returned it for a score if he wasn’t tripped by at the SDSU 32-yard line.

6:26 1st – The Gophers put together a long drive on their second possession, but can’t punch it in for six. Minnesota tries three rushes with goal to go, and Whaley stumbles for a loss of 3 yards on third and goal at the 3-yard line. Junior kicker Eric Ellestad makes the field goal. Scoring Drive: 13 plays, 78 yards, 5:45. GOPHERS 3, SDSU 0.

13:09 1st – The Gophers first drive ended as a three-and-out when junior quarterback Adam Weber slipped and fell untouched on third and 5. Senior Blake Haudan’s punt went off an SDSU blocker but was recovered by the Jackrabbits at their 47-yard line.

15:00 1st – The Gophers win the toss, elect to receive, and then watch the SDSU kick go out the side of the end zone. Minnesota ball at its 20-yard line.

The student section is the most vacant area of the stadium. A handful are in the upper deck, and the whole section is roughly one-third full.

The Gophers just went through pregame introductions of the senior class. Head coach Tim Brewster gave each senior a hug before they ran onto the field. Senior center Jeff Tow-Arnett, who was expected to miss the rest of the season with a right leg injury suffered against Wisconsin on Oct. 3, ran out in full pads alongside his brother, senior tight end Nick Tow-Arnett. Senior wide receiver Eric Decker came out on crutches but moved pretty quickly.