Although Minnesota is not normally known as a team that attempts long field goals, on Saturday at Iowa one of the most exciting plays was just that.
when: 2:30 p.m., Saturday
Junior kicker Joel Monroe, who replaced the veteran Jason Giannini earlier this season in field goal and extra point duties to go along with his normal job at kicking off, blasted a career-high 54-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to send the Gophers into halftime with some rare momentum.
The long field goal is recorded as the fifth longest in Minnesota history, and was the longest for the Gophers since 2003.
Monroe’s previous career long was just 39 yards, and the junior said after the game that he didn’t even practice anything much longer than that in pre-game warm-ups.
“I started it a little right of center,” Monroe said. “It ended up exactly where I aimed it.”
With the wind at his back, Brewster’s field goal decision proved to be the right one as all Monroe could do was hope he estimated the cross-wind correctly.
“Joel Monroe really has a strong leg,” Brewster said. “He’s made them from there and longer in practice. We felt confident with the wind at his back that he had a chance to make that field goal. I’ll be darned if the kid didn’t go up there and drill it.”
Record setting day
While Monroe set the one field goal record, freshman quarterback Adam Weber bested his teammate by obtaining three records during his performance Saturday in Iowa.
Although it was not nearly his best single game performance of the season, Weber’s numbers gave him just enough to set Minnesota’s new single season records for completions (237), pass attempts (412) and total offense (3,073).
The freshman signal-caller passed 2006 Gophers’ quarterback Bryan Cupito for completions, Marquel Fleetwood’s 1992 record for pass attempts and Billy Cockerham’s 1999 total yards record.
Weber has one more game to add to his record-setting freshman season when Minnesota hosts Wisconsin on Saturday.
ï Freshman returner Harold Howell did not make the trip. Brewster said it was a coach’s decision. Sophomore Marcus Sherels took his returning duties for the day
ï Minnesota did not yield a sack on Saturday, marking the fifth time this season the offensive line did not give up a sack in a game.
ï With six wins now on the season, Iowa becomes the 10th team in the Big Ten that is bowl eligible.