Gophers 31, Miami (Ohio) 26
Recap: Tanner Morgan threw touchdown passes of 25 yards to Dylan Wright and 6 yards to Daniel Jackson, and Trey Potts had a 4-yard TD run as the Gophers rolled to a 21-3 halftime lead. In the third quarter, however, two three-and-outs and a drive that ended near midfield by Minnesota's offense enabled the RedHawks to rally, closing within 21-20 early in the fourth quarter.
True freshman Mar'Keise "Bucky'' Irving ignited the Gophers with a fourth-quarter kickoff return of 41 yards, and Potts carried all five plays on a 53-yard drive capped by a 21-yard TD run that stretched the lead to 28-20. A 50-yard field goal by Matthew Trickett made it 31-20 before the RedHawks closed to within 31-26 with 3:43 to play. Potts capped a 34-carry, 178-yard day with five carries that produced two first downs to drain the clock.
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Pass rush limited
For the second consecutive game, the Gophers didn't sack the opposing quarterback. They ended up with four QB hurries, plus Tyler Nubin's interception.
"We were a little inconsistent. We did a good job stopping the run,'' coach P.J. Fleck said. "… We got some pass rush, but they did a good job of getting the ball out. They were throwing everything quick. They weren't going through progressions, and it's hard to get to the quarterback that way.''
A coach in training
Injured running back Mohamed Ibrahim patrolled the sideline with his left leg resting on a knee cart after undergoing season-ending surgery on Tuesday. Both Fleck and Potts praised Ibrahim's influence on the running backs.
"That's my partner in crime. He was right there the whole game with me,'' Potts said. "He helped me manage the game, gave me pointers. I've always been right on his hip.''
Said Fleck, "He's getting a lot of practice for being a coach one day, I know that.''
Help in the secondary
Safety Jordan Howden, who suffered a thigh injury in the second quarter of the Ohio State game, did not play Saturday. In his place, sophomore Michael Dixon made his first start and finished with seven tackles, third most on the team.
"Flip, he's ready,'' Nubin said, referring to Dixon by his nickname. "He's a guy we trust, and he works very hard. It was awesome to see him out there.''
Up next: at Colorado
Noon Saturday, Folsom Field, TV: Pac-12 Network
The skinny: The Buffaloes (1-1) threw a scare into No. 5 Texas A&M before losing 10-7 in Denver when the Aggies scored their lone touchdown with 2:41 left in the fourth quarter. Led by freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis' nine carries for 76 yards, Colorado rushed for 171 yards. Lewis struggled as passer, going 13-for-25 for 89 yards (3.6 yards per attempt) with an interception. His fourth-down pass to Dmitri Stanley from the Buffs 33 with 1:40 left in the fourth quarter fell 1 yard short.
"There's no reason to hang our head low for anything,'' Buffaloes coach Karl Dorrell said. "We had a chance to win a game, a significant game, and our locker room is more disappointed about not finishing the game.''