Abdul-Khaliq sets new record

Senior quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq now has the most touchdown passes in school history.

Minnesota quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq threw his 41st career touchdown pass in the third quarter of Saturday’s game to break Corey Sauter’s Minnesota school record.

The pass came on a 55-yard strike to wide receiver Aaron Hosack, the Gophers’ longest play from scrimmage this season.

Hosack faced single coverage down the right sideline. The defender made a play on the ball, and it came loose as they hit the ground, but officials ruled the play a touchdown.

Despite throwing two interceptions, Abdul-Khaliq still completed 10 of 16 passes for 171 yards, rushed seven times for 54 yards and caught a pass from Thomas Tapeh for five yards.

“I thought some of his scrambling early in the game, when we were a little shaky in the red zone, saved us,” Minnesota coach Glen Mason said.

After Saturday’s game, Abdul-Khaliq is now fourth in Minnesota’s record books for career passing completions with 346 and fifth in career passing yards with 4,634.

Sauter currently holds both records.

Utecht misses game

Tight end Ben Utecht sat out Saturday’s game with a hip strain.

Redshirt freshman Matt Spaeth stepped in for Utecht and recorded three catches for 31 yards. Each reception was good for a first down.

“Besides being a talented player, he’s a tough football player,” Mason said of Spaeth after the game.

Mason said he made the decision on Saturday to keep Utecht out of the game, but he refused to comment on the extent of the injury.

With Utecht out, redshirt freshman Mark Rivers saw his first action as punter.

Rivers netted 85 yards on two punts, with his second punt rolling inside Troy State’s five-yard line.

Lloyd kicks 52-yarder

Rhys Lloyd’s 52-yard field goal was the longest first-made field goal for a kicker in Gophers history.

The kick, which put Minnesota on the scoreboard in the first quarter, is tied for the seventh-longest kick in school history. Dan Nystrom kicked a 52-yarder Sept. 23, 2000, versus Purdue.

In addition to the long kick, Lloyd, a junior from Dover, England, made a 26-yard field goal in the second quarter and all six PAT attempts.

“He kicks an extra point 60 yards and he kicks a field goal 60 yards,” Mason joked.

Earlier in the week, kickers Ryan Donahue and Ryan Duffy left the team. Mason attributed that to the emergence of Lloyd as the team’s kicker.

“I think they left for obvious reasons,” Mason said.

Penalties upset Mason

Penalties were one of the few things Mason was not pleased with after the game.

“One of our major goals was not to have those foolish procedure penalties. We started the game off with two, and once we got those out of the way we seemed to be okay,” Mason said.

The Gophers had four penalties for 35 yards in the first quarter, but committed only one more foul the rest of the game.

Maturi introduces donor

With the crowd still standing from the national anthem, Minnesota Athletics Director Joel Maturi introduced T. Denny Sanford, the man who donated $35 million toward the construction of an outdoor football stadium.

Maturi announced University alumnus Sanford as “the man who will bring Gophers football back to campus.”