That rocky mountain atop the Colorado blast in Boulder? It sure faded quickly.
The good feeling of an offense that reached 441 yards last week? It means little now.
And the optimism of an upcoming Big Ten schedule that seemed manageable? You better check that out.
The Gophers, 31-point favorites over Bowling Green, lost 14-10 to the Falcons on Saturday in front of a stunned 46,236 homecoming crowd at Huntington Bank Stadium.
Minnesota’s offense struggled throughout the game, with the Gophers getting just a 36-yard field goal from Matthew Trickett in the first quarter and Cole Kramer’s 19-yard touchdown in the third. A key piece of offense was missing: Wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell played just one play after seemingly exacerbating the lower leg injury that caused him to miss the first two games of the season.
Bowling Green (2-2) got touchdown runs from quarterback Matt McDonald of 1 yard in the second quarter and 3 in the third to upset the Gophers (2-2). The Falcons’ first TD came after Gophers coach PJ Fleck tried it with his team facing fourth-and-1 from their 29-yard line in the second quarter. Trey Potts was brought down for a 5-yard loss on the play.
Potts rushed 28 times for 141 yards for the Gophers, while quarterback Tanner Morgan had a tough day, completing just five of 13 passes for 59 yards. He was sacked four times, and his unkicked ball aimed at Dylan Wright with 2:13 left in the fourth quarter was intercepted by cornerback Devin Taylor. With 13 seconds left at Minnesota 42, Morgan threw another interception, this one from safety Jordan Anderson.
The victory was Bowling Green’s first over an FBS show since November 2, 2019.
In the first quarter, Minnesota made a great defensive play when linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin intercepted a McDonald pass and returned it 10 yards to Bowling Green 23. However, the Gophers gained only five yards and settled for the 36-yard field. Trickett yards. goal for a 3-0 lead.
On Bowling Green’s next possession, Gophers defensive end Thomas Rush dropped McDonald for a 13-yard loss on third down for his third sack in two games.
On the Gophers’ next possession, Morgan gained 18 yards with an option goalie, but Falcons linebacker Brock Horne stole the ball from the QB and Blaine Spiers recovered at Bowling Green 32. Minnesota’s defense rescued on offense, forcing the Falcons to score three points. and out.
The Gophers led the Falcons 29 later in the first quarter, but Mar’Keise “Bucky” Irving was brought down for a 1-yard loss on the second down and Davon Ferguson sacked Morgan for a 7-yard loss on the third down. . Ferguson was marked to target on the play, but the penalty was disallowed and the Gophers kicked off the Falcons 37.
A 77-yard punt by Bowling Green’s Matt Naranjo, the longest punt in stadium history, was nearly knocked down at 1, but reached the end zone and left the Gophers in their 20s to start with 9:58. remaining in the second quarter. .
Facing fourth and 1 of their 29, the Gophers lined up to give it a try. Fleck called a timeout just before the ball broke. The offense stayed on the field and Billie Roberts dropped Potts for a 5-yard loss, giving the Falcons the ball at Minnesota’s 24th.
Four plays later, McDonald scored on a 1-yard dash for a 7-3 lead over the Falcons with 6:19 left in the second quarter. The TD was set up by a 16-yard pass from McDonald’s to Christian Sims.
The Gophers got into good field position to start the second half when Irving returned the kickoff 34 yards to Minnesota 43 and charged for a 10-7 lead on Kramer’s 19-yard TD run. The key to the series was Morgan’s 24-yard hitch to Daniel Jackson at first and 20 from Minnesota’s 33 after a penalty.
On their second possession of the third quarter, the Gophers were backed to their 9. Potts made quick work of it, stealing a 54-yard gain from the 37 Falcons. Minnesota couldn’t capitalize, with Trickett missing a 52-goal attempt. a one-yard field goal after three runs, including one at third and 6, scored 3 yards.
Bowling Green took a 14-10 lead with 31 seconds left in the third quarter on a McDonald’s 3-yard run on a quarterback tie. McDonald’s 18-yard gain at 4th and 1 from 44 and his 33-yard connection with Taron Keith to Minnesota 5 set the pace.
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