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Gophers Final Drive: Play by Play with GIF's

GopherDigest goes play by play on Minnesota's final drive to show you how the Gophers pulled out the victory.

Play #1: 1st and 10 from MN 22; Leidner to Smith for 15

Leidner checks down to Smith who shows why he should always be a mismatch vs. a linebacker. Gets to fourth gear in a hurry, gets a block from WR Isaiah Gentry and goes up field for the first down stopping the clock.

Play #2: 1st and 5 from MN 42; Leidner runs for 3

I should mention Ohio jumped off-sides so Minnesota got in 1st and 5 from their own 42. Leidner gets the shotgun snap and takes off after he doesn't see his first read, gets three yards and out of bounds to stop the clock.

Play #3: 2nd and 2 from MN 45; Smith runs for 3

2nd and 2 from just about midfield, Limegrover dials up a dive to RB Rodney Smith who gets the first down. From examining this play in more detail, if Smith bounces it outside here, he's got RG Connor Mayes in space with a few other blockers, but still picked up the first down regardless.

Play #4:  1st and 10 from MN 48; Leidner near INT

Yeah....Minnesota dodged a bullet here. QB Mitch Leidner had Maye open on the sidelines, but under threw him for what should have been an easy INT for the Ohio defensive back, except he drops it. Gophers definitely got a gift there.

Play #5: 2nd and 10 from MN 48; Leidner to Carter gets 14

After an awful throw previously, Leidner throws a near perfect pass his next attempt. He floats it over the MLB just enough and is able to hit Eric Carter in stride for a nice 14 yard gain putting the Gophers in Ohio territory with a fresh set of downs.

Play #6: 1st and 10 from Ohio 38; Leidner to Hart for 4

The Gophers try a quick pass to the sideline in hoping to stop the clock, but Leidner to TE Nick Hart keeps them in bounds with a four yard out. 

Play #7: 2nd and 6 from Ohio 34; Leidner to Hart gets 9

The very next play, Leidner goes back to his tight end and gets the first down. Nice little flag route gets the Gophers out of bounds and the first down stopping the clock. 

Play #8: 1st and 10 from Ohio 25; Lingen gets PI call

Leidner tries to connect with TE Brandon Lingen in the flats, but the throw is a bit off, but luckily for Minnesota, the Ohio bear hugs Lingen drawing a pass interference call giving Minnesota a first down.

Play #9: 1st and 10 from Ohio 22; Smith scampers for 12

Minnesota calls a draw again with Rodney Smith and behind the blocking of the offense line and and tight ends, Smith scampers for 12 yards. Two guys I'd like to give recognition to are RG Connor Mayes (#55) who pulls around the center and seals the LB for Smith and TE Brandon Lingen (#86) who seals the OLB as well. Great job by those two give Smith the green grass to navigate.

Play #10: 1st and goal from Ohio 10; Smith for 4

Looks like the Gophers go back to the same play, except on the right side and it almost results it points. RT Campion does a great job of allowing the DE up field and WR Eric Carter (#9) in the slot washes the OLB down leaving Smith one on one versus the safety. It's tough to fault Gentry (#2) here as he ran the play as called, but if he gets the block on the outside, Smith turns the corner and has a chance to fice for the pylon. 

Play #11a: 2nd and goal from Ohio 6; Ohio offsides

Even though this play didn't count because of the Ohio offsides, I want to give kudos to both center Brian Bobek and QB Mitch Leidner here. Bobek is smart enough to see the Ohio DE off-sides, so he quick snaps it to Leidner, knowing that it's a free play, throws it to the back pylon for a jump ball for KJ Maye. Ends up going incomplete, but nice to see awareness from both players. Wish Isaiah Gentry or Rashad Still would have been there instead, but I'm being picky here.

Play #11b: 2nd and goal from Ohio 3; Brooks touchdown

Gophers spread the defense in a three WR set and the right side of the OL, plus TE Brandon Lingen open a huge hole for RB Shannon Brooks to walk in for the game-winning TD. Read-option for Leidner is an easy give to Brooks for the score. 

Total stats of the drive:

  • 11 plays for 78 yards in 2:06
  • QB Leidner: 4/6 for 42 yards
  • RB Rodney Smith: 34 total yards (15 receiving and 19 rushing) 
  • TE Nick Hart: Two catches for 13 yards

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