Rapid Recation: Miami (Ohio) at Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Golden Gophers picked up their first win against the Redhawks of Miami (OH) 29-23. GoldenSports.net has a rapid reaction to Jerry Kill's inaugural victory as the Gophers' head coach.

The Good: The Minnesota Golden Gophers offense finally clicked this Saturday, especially when running back Donnell Kirkwood started to receive more touches. Kirkwood looked to be a much tougher runner compared to the other tailbacks on the roster. He was also able to give the Gophers a consistent running threat to go with MarQueis Gray who rushed for a school quarterback record 171 yards on the ground. The Gophers' special teams also shined with Chris Hawthorne hitting all three of his field goals attempts and Du'ane Bennett blocking a punt and returning it 30 yards for a score.

The Bad: Gray started the game on a hot streak passing, going 8 of 10 for 146 yards in the first half. Gray was able to find open receivers on short routes throughout the half. It was a different story in the second when he finished with just 3 of 11 for 17 yards. If the Gophers wish to be competitive for the remainder of their season, Gray will have to be much more consistent in the second half passing the ball.

The Ugly: The Gophers defense started off the game quickly with two of Miami (OH) first three drives ending in three-and-outs. The Gophers' defense played well for much of the game against the Redhawks rushing attack and held their passing game in check for most of the game. The Gophers must work on containing opposing quarterbacks in the pocket. There were a few plays in which the Miami (OH) quarterback, Zac Dysert, was able to scramble away from the pressure and either move the chains through a pass or run. The Gophers put consistent pressure on Dysert but will need to work on bringing down the quarterback when he is scrambling.

My Take: The Gophers played very well on both sides of the ball, picking up their first win. There are some things that they need to work on such as redzone offense and quarterback containment, but for the most part they played a very solid game. The defensive line got a good push up front and harassed Dysert for much of the game. After a complete offensive performance in the first half, the Gophers will need to focus on putting it together for an entire 60 minutes. This was a very good win over a very talented Miami (OH) squad and should give the Gophers momentum heading into their final nonconference game against the North Dakota State Bison.


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