Lopsided win in home opener

Temple crossed the 50-yard line just twice in the game on its way to 151 total yards.

Mark Remme

Minnesota’s football team didn’t waste any time getting back in the win column.

The Gophers (2-1 overall) forced an interception, a fumble, and a botched punt attempt on each of Temple’s first three possessions and never looked back in a 62-0 win over the Owls on Saturday.

Coach Glen Mason said he knew Temple would be outmanned in certain areas.

“You get in a game like this when you don’t make mistakes and they do, and you capitalize on them,” Mason said. “It tends to get away from you – it tends to get away from both teams.”

The win allowed Minnesota to showcase its passing, which produced four touchdown passes and 166 yards.

All four of those touchdown receptions went in the direction of senior wide receiver Logan Payne.

Payne finished with six receptions for 136 yards on the day, including a career-long 67-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.

The Gophers started their passing onslaught early in the team’s first drive.

After junior safety Dominique Barber intercepted the Owls on their first offensive possession, senior quarterback Bryan Cupito hooked up with Payne for a 25-yard score on Minnesota’s sixth offensive play of the day.

Temple sophomore quarterback Adam DiMichele fumbled on the next possession, which allowed Cupito to find Payne in the end zone on a two-yard play-action pass.

“I’m not sure why (Payne) was so open,” Cupito said. “The first one he just made a great play. He caught a simple hitch pass and made plays, and that’s what he does well.”

While Minnesota’s offense carved up Temple’s secondary, its defense had productive results against a dismal Temple offense.

The Owls struggled to get a running attack going, yielding negative rushing yards in the first quarter. It finished with 61 net yards on the ground in the contest.

Temple crossed the 50-yard line just two times on the way to 151 total yards in the contest.

The Owls’ lack of an offensive presence was more than made up for by Minnesota’s first string offense, most of which did not play in the second half.

Cupito finished the contest by completing eight of 10 passes for 148 yards and four touchdowns before sophomore Tony Mortensen took over at halftime.

After Cupito’s arm helped compile a comfortable lead, the Gophers looked to the running attack to run the clock down while giving time to less experienced players.

Overall, Minnesota had rushing yards from nine players while also giving playing time to three quarterbacks.

The results were the same from all levels of the depth chart as the Gophers beat Temple in total yards 448-157.

Those stats reflect how lop-sided the game was from start to finish, and was indicative of how the Owls have played over the past few seasons.

While Minnesota earned its 18th nonconference victory in 19 games, Temple pushed its two-year-old losing streak to 15 games.

Junior tackle Steve Shidell said it was a matter of Minnesota having better players and having to go out and execute their game plan.

“That’s why they play football games,” Shidell said. “Any team can go out and win on any given day.”