Several solid Gophers’ performances overshadowed in loss

by Brian Hall

The developments at the end of Saturday’s football game between Minnesota and Purdue overshadowed just about everything taking place in the first 59 minutes of regulation.

Lost in the Boilermakers 35-28 overtime win were strong offensive efforts put forth by the Gophers.

The three-week layoff did not seem to affect Minnesota’s offensive output. Many players put together solid games.

“I thought we had some guys that played good football,” Mason said. “Tellis Redmon played good football today. We got some big plays out of Travis Cole. Ron Johnson seemed unstoppable in the first half and Marion Barber continues to play well as a true freshman.”

Johnson extended his nation-leading streak of consecutive games with a reception to 38. He has caught a pass in every game of his career.

Johnson caught eight passes for 92 yards, leaving him 11 receptions and 327 yards short of the Gophers career records. He also hauled in a pair of scores to extend his own school mark of touchdown receptions with 24.

Redmon ran for 152 yards, the eighth time in his career he’s rushed for over the century mark. His second quarter run of 43 yards was a career best.

Minnesota maight have discovered an effective dual running back system as Barber (49 yards rushing) was used to spell Redmon at times. Redmon had 24 carries to Barber’s dozen.

“Marion is a good ball carrier,” Redmon said. “He has got the potential to play so he can come in and give me a break a little. And at the end of the game he did a great job.”

In an unexpected maneuver, quarterback Travis Cole played the entire game, throwing for 153 yards on 12 of 26 passing with two touchdowns.

“I did think Asad (Abdul-Khaliq) was going to come in on certain situations,” Cole said. “I don’t know why he didn’t. That’s not my decision.

“It does feel good to stay in there the whole game and try to get some rhythm going.”

Asked if Mason plans to start Cole next week, the coach, who was already upset over the officiating said: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Extra points

ïCornerback Mike Lehan played a game normally worthy of more recognition.

The junior blocked a punt which set up a Johnson touchdown in the first, then had a interception in the third which led to another score.

ïThomas Tapeh was used for several plays at fullback, but still didn’t see any action at running back. Tapeh had a strong lead block on Redmon’s two-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

“We’ve been working on it for a couple weeks,” Mason said.

ïFreshman defensive tackle Darrell Reid had his first career sack, while freshman linebacker Bradley Vance hauled in his first interception.

ïReceiver Antoine Burns’ 51-yard catch was the longest of his career and the Gophers longest play from scrimmage this year.

ïRight guard Ryan Roth missed his second straight game with an injury. Jeremiah Carter started in Roth’s place.

– John R. Carter contributed to this report.