Live Blog: Gophers football at Syracuse

Marco LaNave

Follow the Gophers’ season opener at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.

1st OT (Minnesota ball) – After a pass and two short runs, Ellestad hits a 35-yard field goal to end it. Gophers 23, Syracuse 20.

1st OT (Syracuse ball) – On third-and-four at the Minnesota five-yard line, Paulus scrambles to his left and throws into the end zone, where Gophers linebacker Nate Triplett intercepts the pass. A touchdown or field goal will give the Gophers a win.

The Gophers will play in their first overtime game since their 49-48 double-overtime loss at Northwestern on Oct. 13, 2007.

The Gophers win the overtime coin toss and elect to play defense first. Each team will have a possession in the first overtime, starting at the opponent’s 25-yard line. There is no game clock, only a play clock.

End 4th – Gophers defensive end D.L. Wilhite picks up his first career sack by tackling Paulus at the 18-yard line. The Orange let the clock expire.

0:51 4th – Orange returner Jones reaches the 20-yard line. Paulus and the offense have 51 seconds and one timeout to go for the win.

0:57 4th – Junior Eric Ellestad hits a 26-yard field goal. Gophers 20, Syracuse 20.

1:05 4th – Minnesota takes a timeout after sophomore running back Duane Bennett took the ball to the middle of the field for one yard. The Gophers have third-and-four at the Orange nine-yard line. One timeout remaining for both teams.

1:19 4th – Syracuse calls a timeout. The Gophers have a first down at the Orange 15-yard line after another completion from Weber to Green, who now has three catches for 28 yards, all of it coming in this drive.

2:03 4th – Weber completes a 21-yard pass to Decker for a first down at the Syracuse 26-yard line.

2:52 4th – Weber hits Green again on third-and-four, this time for seven yards and another first down.

4:06 4th – Weber hits Green on third-and-four with a 10-yard slant pass for a big first down.

4:45 4th – The Gophers force a Syracuse punt, but Troy Stoudermire runs with the kick after signaling for a fair catch. The five-yard delay-of-game penalty puts Minnesota at its own 12-yard line.

8:16 4th – The Gophers appeared to have recovered a fumble by Syracuse running back Antwon Bailey, but a review overturned the play, sustaining the Orange drive.

Correction on the field-goal atempt: the kick was deflected by Orange defensive tackle Anthony Perkins.

8:54 4th – On fourth-and-nine at the Syracuse 30-yard line, the Gophers attempt a 47-yard field goal. Eric Ellestad’s kick falls well short. Syracuse 20, Gophers 17.

10:10 4th – On third-and-one from the Minnesota 39-yard line, Weber drops back completes a pass to Decker in double coverage for a 30-yard gain to the Syracuse 31-yard line. Decker has caught five passes for 139 yards.

13:28 4th – After Weber hit Decker for a 53-yard gain to the Syracuse 27-yard line, the Gophers were pushed back by a false start penalty. On second-and-15, Weber is sacked by Orange defensive end Brandon Sharpe and fumbles the ball. Linebacker Derrell Smith recovers the ball at the Syracuse 32-yard line.

End 3rd – Syracuse 20, Gophers 17.

4:45 3rd – On a punt play, Gophers linebacker Simoni Lawrence is the first to touch the returner, but is slow to get up on the play. He walked off the field under his own power and sat out the first three plays of the Gophers’ defensive series.

8:03 3rd – The Gophers drive stalled at the Syracuse nine-yard line after incomplete passes by Weber to Decker and Eskridge. Junior Eric Ellestad makes his first collegiate field goal attempt from 26 yards out. Syracuse 20, Gophers 17.

10:57 3rd – On first down, Weber dodged blitzing Orange cornerback Nico Scott, and threw to Decker in the end zone, but strong safety Max Suter broke up the pass.

11:05 3rd – Gophers cornerback Traye Simmons nearly had an interception at the Syracuse 25-yard line on third-and-13, but the ball went through his hands. A short punt on the next play puts the Gophers at the Syracuse 42-yard line.

14:53 3rd – Stoudermire takes the second-half kickoff to the Gophers 29-yard line, where Minnesota will begin its comeback attempt.

Halftime – Syracuse 20, Gophers 14. Minnesota runs three plays for five yards to close out the half. After the first two drives of the game went for 59 yards, the Gophers have had eight drives for a total of 45 yards, and have not achieved a first down since the first play of the second quarter.

1:39 2nd – Another methodical drive by the Orange ends with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Delone Carter. Carter had three carries for 20 yards, and Paulus was 4-4 for 57 yards on the drive. Syracuse 20, Gophers 14.

5:23 2nd – A false start penalty turned a third-and-three for the Gophers into a third-and-eight. Weber’s pass to Green was incomplete, forcing the Gophers to punt.

7:26 2nd – Syracuse drives to the Minnesota 24-yard line, but Gophers linebacker Nate Triplett tackles Orange running back Delone Carter on third-and-one, forcing a 42-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Lichtenstein, who puts it through the uprights. Gophers 14, Syracuse 13.

10:44 2nd – After a third-and-one handoff to fullback Jon Hoese was stopped at the line of scrimmage, the Gophers go for it on fourth down. A quarterback sneak by Weber appears short. Minnesota challenges unsuccessfully. Syracuse takes over at its own 40-yard line.

13:45 2nd – On third-and-12 at the Minnesota 44, Weber escapes the rush and tries to hit Brandon Green in one-on-one coverage. Orange free safety Mike Holmes intercepts the pass just in front of Green. Syracuse takes over at the 30-yard line.

End 1st – Gophers 14, Syracuse 10.

0:32 1st – Orange quarterback Greg Paulus tosses a 29-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Mike Williams, who has caught a touchdown pass in each of the last 10 games in which he has played (the previous nine came in 2007), a Syracuse record. Paulus made a good pump-fake that shook Gophers safety Mike Rallis and left Williams wide open. Gophers 14, Syracuse 10

2:25 1st – The Gophers punt after a three-and-out. On first down, Troy Stoudermire took a direct snap and was tackled six yards behind the line of scrimmage. Minnesota couldn’t muster anything on the next two plays.

9:59 1st – For the third straight drive, the Gophers defense did not allow a first down to the Orange. Gophers returner Marcus Sherels calls for a fair catch at the Minnesota 17-yard line.

11:48 1st – The Gophers extend their lead with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Adam Weber to Troy Stoudermire, who set up the drive with a kickoff return to the Syracuse 43-yard line. The score came after a third-and-goal incomplete pass was wiped out by a false start penalty on the Gophers. Gophers 14, Syracuse 3.

13:01 1st – After Mike Jones returned the ball to the Minnesota 16-yard line, the Gophers prevented the Orange from gaining a first down, and they settled for a Ryan Lichtenstein 23-yard field goal. Gophers 7, Syracuse 3.

14:41 1st – Duane Bennett carries the ball around the right end for a 16-yard touchdown. Gophers 7, Syracuse 0.

14:51 1st – The first snap of the season for Syracuse gets away from quarterback Greg Paulus. Gophers defensive end Cedric McKinley recovers for the Gophers at the 16-yard line.

15:00 1st – Gophers kick off, and Syracuse returner Mike Jones takes the ball to about the 30-yard line.

With about five minutes remaining before kickoff of the 2009 season, the Carrier Dome is no more than two-thirds full.  A small pocket of Gophers fans sits behind one end zone.