Just 30 minutes after the Gophers football team toppled Northwestern on Saturday, the signature maroon and gold “M” had nearly vanished from TCF Bank Stadium’s 50-yard line.
More than 100,000 fans filed into the University of Minnesota stadium over the weekend to watch the Gophers or Vikings, as the teams played consecutive games Saturday and Sunday. But behind the players’ stage, operation staff worked overnight to transition the facility from a college scene to one ready for an NFL game.
The Gophers (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) took a 7-0 lead toward the end of the first quarter with a 1-yard quarterback sneak from Mitch Leidner. The team never trailed in a 24-17 win against Northwestern.
The Wildcats did fight back in the fourth quarter with a 97-yard drive to tie the game at 17-17. But sophomore defensive back Jalen Myrick quickly put the Gophers back on top with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, giving Minnesota the lead that finished the game.
Sophomore Jalen Myrick scored the deciding touchdown in Saturday’s game.
There’s no consensus among the Gophers football team regarding who the team’s fastest player is.
But sophomore defensive back Jalen Myrick made his case as he bolted down the left sideline for a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Saturday, which made the difference in Minnesota’s 24-17 victory over Northwestern.
Minnesota’s passing attack is struggling, but KJ Maye is gaining momentum.
When fall camp ended and reporters asked Jerry Kill who had impressed him the most, the Gophers head coach quickly said KJ Maye.
But Maye didn’t have a single catch in Minnesota’s season-opening victory against Eastern Illinois.
A few days later, redshirt sophomore quarterback Mitch Leidner said there were “a lot more things” the Gophers would do in their next game in early September against Middle Tennessee State to get Maye the ball.
Maye finished that game with zero receptions, too.
As Big Ten play approaches, Minnesota is dealing with a string of hurt football players.
A series of injuries have challenged the Gophers football team this season, spurring frustration from head coach Jerry Kill as a handful of his players go under the knife this week.
With only one more game between Minnesota and Big Ten play, the team is counting on the injured athletes to heal quickly and having younger players step up to fill the gap in attempt to ensure a strong performance in upcoming games.
Northwestern has beaten Penn State and Wisconsin in its past two games.