Nystrom overtakes Lohmiller for career points record

Brian Hall

Minnesota kicker Dan Nystrom has faced a few ups and downs during his Gopher career.

As a freshman, Nystrom kicked the game-winning field goal against then No. 2 Penn State in one of the biggest wins in school history.

As a junior last season, Nystrom struggled through his worst season as a Gopher, converting only nine of 15 field goals and totaling a mere 64 points.

This year Nystrom entered camp as the top kicker, but he faced competition from true freshman Kenny Harper.

Having won that battle, Nystrom has reached a new high.

With his fourth extra point on Saturday, Nystrom became the school’s all-time scoring leader surpassing Chip Lohmiller’s 268 points.

“There have been some great kickers at the University of Minnesota, including Chip Lohmiller,” Nystrom said. “To break the record is a great honor. The linemen have been doing a great job and the holders and snappers have allowed me to score a lot of points.”

Entering the season, Nystrom already held the career record for converted extra point attempts with 112, while trailing Lohmiller in field goals made with 57 to 51.

After finishing Saturday with six points, Nystrom now stands at 271 for his career and is within reach of the Big Ten career scoring mark for kickers of 355 points set by Purdue’s Travis Dorsch from 1998-2001.

Hitting pay dirt

Junior running back Zack Kartak scored his first collegiate touchdown on a five-yard run late in the third quarter.

Kartak, who saw his first action in a Gophers uniform, ran the ball six times for 22 yards.

Sophomore wide receiver Aaron Hosack, a junior college transfer also seeing his first game action for Minnesota, scored his first touchdown on a 67-yard pass from Asad Abdul-Khaliq in the first quarter. The catch was Hosack’s first as a Gopher as he finished the day with three catches for 88 yards.

Barber kept out

Sophomore running back Marion Barber III was held out of the game due to a hamstring injury.

Barber was available to play if needed but never saw action. Thomas Tapeh filled in as the starting running back and was relieved by Kartak and sophomore Terry Jackson II later in the game.

Big play quarter

During the 28-0 first quarter, Abdul-Khaliq and the Gophers showcased their big play potential.

Abdul-Khaliq posted the longest completion of his career, a 75-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Utecht, and the longest touchdown run of his career, a 36-yard jump through the middle.

The pass also marked Utecht’s longest career reception, while Abdul-Khaliq’s run was the second longest run of his career, just six yards short of a 42-yard run against Ohio State last season.

Brian Hall covers football and welcomes comments at [email protected]