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Replay: Gophers 48, Oregon State 14

The recap

The Gophers used a dominant second half to steamroll the Beavers. Shannon Brooks rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns and Rodney Smith matched him in yards and scored a TD as Minnesota racked up 253 yards on the ground. Conor Rhoda took control by going 7-for-8 for 158 yards, including another big-play TD to Tyler Johnson, this one a 67-yarder in the first quarter. The Gophers were especially efficient in the second half, when they rushed for 171 yards to Oregon State’s 3 and held the Beavers to 35 total yards while draining the clock. “We held the ball 38 minutes,’’ coach P.J. Fleck said “… We know we’re executing at a high level when we control the football.’’

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Offensive line dominates

After struggling in a 17-7 victory over Buffalo in the season opener, the Gophers offensive line hammered away at a defense that will give up yards in bunches. The line enabled the Gophers to keep churning the yards on the ground. “I looked in their eyes. They were a different team from last week,’’ Fleck said. “I thought they improved the most of anybody. … They were challenged to run the ball, and they did.’’

Practicing to celebrate

After a lackluster practice leading up to the game, Fleck in an unorthodox move had his players practice celebrating big plays. He wanted his players to loosen up and get back to having fun. “It was kind of fun,’’ linebacker Thomas Barber said. “It’s kind of weird that you have to teach to celebrate, but some things you don’t realize have to happen to get the team going on the field.’’

Up next: Middle Tennessee State

2:30 p.m. Sunday, TCF Bank Stadium,

TV: BTN. Radio: 100.3-FM

The skinny: Middle Tennessee State improved to 1-1 Saturday with a 30-23 victory over Syracuse on Saturday. The Blue Raiders, who fell to Vanderbilt 28-6 in their opener, overcame a 16-9 halftime deficit and got the winning touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Brent Stockstill to Shane Tucker with 6:46 remaining. The Blue Raiders’ Richie James caught eight passes for 96 yards and a TD, giving him 18 catches for 208 yards and two TDs in two games. Stockstill, the son of coach Rick Stockstill, is 40-for-67 for 435 yards and four TDs with two interceptions over two games.

Randy Johnson