Miracle TD Sends Gophers to Overtime vs Fresno; Winfield INT Seals Win (Again)

Photo: @GopherFootball - Twitter
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We went into the Fresno State game on Saturday night with a lot of pent-up anxiety after a lackluster performance in week 1 vs a less-formidable South Dakota State team. But, it only took one drive for the Gophers to ease some of that stress…

We got the ball first and didn’t want to give it back. Tanner Morgan led the Gopher offense down the field like a finely-tuned parade performance, stopping to wow the crowd, before picking up and moving to the next stop and next performance. It took 10 plays, 75 yards, over five minutes, and some of Fresno State’s defensive pride, for the good guys to put 7 points on the board.

It was a completely different offense than what we saw just 9 days earlier.

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The rest of the half was a lot more Gophers than it was Bulldogs but key penalties and a turnover (both uncharacteristic) killed momentum on both sides of the ball, at bad times. Mo Ibrahim fumbled on the Gophers’ 2nd drive, one that was lining up to finish a lot like the first one. Then later in the half, Tai’yon Devers got frisky after a play and turned 2nd and 14 from the 5o-yard line, following a sack, into a 1st and 10 from the Gophers 25. The next play was a touchdown.

Rodney Smith did pop into the end-zone for his first TD of 2019, though, and the Gophers took a 14-10 lead into the half.

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The 3rd quarter though, was a complete disaster. Instead of correcting mental mistakes that this team usually doesn’t make, the Gophers got worse to start the 2nd half. There were more turnovers and even more penalties. We weren’t watching the same team.

It seemed like every mistake the Gophers made turned into chunk plays and points for Fresno too. It was one after another… Throw in a trick 2-point conversion, and you had yourself a 7-point Gopher deficit. I don’t want to type about it anymore. Here, watch it for yourself:

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The penalties and mistakes continued in the 4th at the most crucial moments. This is by far one of the most frustrating games I’ve watched in the PJ Fleck era. We had 5 million penalties and 47 turnovers, even a muffed punt that ruined relationships on Twitter.

Yet somehow, the Gophers found themselves in the redzone and only trailing by 7 points, with a minute left. After fucking up 2 out of their first 3 snaps, it was 4th and 13… I’ll be honest, my hope was about empty when Tanner Morgan took this snap.

Also, after this play, Fresno State almost gave us the ball in 3 of the 4 plays they ran on the next drive before we went to overtime. This game was all over the place. OT started at 12:52 AM.

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OT was just an addition to the rollercoaster that was this game and it ended in just as much excitement as how it got there. I want to keep typing and tell you how the whole overtime went but I just can’t get over what happened on that last play! Let’s do this…

  1. Fresno: TD
  2. Gophers: TD
  3. Gophers: FG
  4. Fresno: INT
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Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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