Recap: Minnesota vs. Middle Tennessee
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - David Cobb ran for a game-high 220 yards and two touchdowns as the Minnesota Golden Gophers picked up the 35-24 win over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in non-conference action at TCF Bank Stadium.
Cobb carried the ball 29 times as he finished with more rushing yards than the entire Middle Tennessee (1-1) attack (190 yards). Quarterback Mitch Leidner converted five of his 11 passing attempts for the Gophers (2-0), leading to 67 yards and a score, as well as one interception.
Austin Grammer paced the Blue Raiders with 255 yards and a score through the air, but he was sacked twice and suffered three interceptions, one of which was returned for a TD. Running back Reggie Whatley carried the ball 14 times for 84 yards and two scores during the setback.
Minnesota ran out to a 28-0 lead at intermission, with the scoring being kicked off by a one-yard TD run in the first quarter by Donnell Kirkwood. In the second period the defense got in on the act as Jalen Myrick returned an interception 31 yards to the end zone.
Moments later, Leidner hooked up with Maxx Williams for a 27-yard scoring strike and before the end of the half Cobb crossed the goal line from seven yards out.
The Blue Raiders finally broke through in the second half as Whatley posted TD runs of 44 and 12 yards, while kicker Cody Clark knocked through a 21-yard field goal.
However, prior to Whatley's second score of the day, Minnesota struck again as Cobb raced 48 yards for his second TD of the contest, making the score 35-17 heading into the final stanza.
Middle Tennessee managed to close the gap even more in the fourth when Austin Grammer combined with Marcus Henry on a three-yard TD pass play, but that took place with less than a minute remaining and the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Cobb in order for the hosts to run out the clock.
Minnesota, which ran 20 fewer plays on the day, finished with just 351 yards of total offense, compared to 445 yards for the visitors, although Middle Tennessee was hurt by nine penalties for 80 yards.
The Golden Gophers won the first matchup between the programs four seasons ago by a score of 24-17 on the road.Game Notes