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Michigan Game Review: First Half

GopherDigest takes a look at plays that changed the game in this review of the Gophers vs. Wolverines first half, with GIF's.

Leidner to Still for the first down

Have to first give credit here to the offensive line in pass protection, plus running back Rodney Smith who lays out to take on the blitzing Wolverine defender. Leidner delivers a good ball to freshman wide receiver Rashad Still for the first down early in the first quarter. Watch the post corner route by Still as he sold it, getting the Michigan DB to bite. Still makes a nice play on the ball for the first down.

Stelter makes some plays in his start

Gophers sophomore defensive tackle Andrew Stelter made the start with Scott Ekpe out and showed some good moves here to swim the Michigan RG for the tackle for loss. 

Boddy-Calhoun with another big play

Gophers drop back into Cover 3 and the lack of pass rush lets Rudock step up into the pocket here on third down. Rudock thinks about running, but a closing Jalen Myrick makes the Michigan quarterback pitch it running back De'Veon Smith, but De'Vondre Campbell gets a hand on it, popping it up into the air of CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun for the Gopher turnover. 

Brandon Lingen starts his big day

Almost certain that this wasn't the route combination OC Matt Limegrover drew up as TE Brandon Lingen and WR Drew Wolitarsky end up on top of each other, but Leidner still connects with the Wayzata tight end for the huge gain. Lingen was tackled to the ground before the pass even reached him, but he made a great adjustment to the ball and completed the catch. 

Leidner misses a touchdown

This one stings as Leidner misses TE Brandon Lingen on a crossing route wide open. Gophers ended up settling for a field goal, so Leidner's got to convert on situations like these going forward. 

Peppers starts his reign of terror

Minnesota ended up kicking a field goal and unfortunately this meant Jabrill Peppers got to touch the ball. He ended up returning Ryan Santoso's kick to the 42 giving Michigan great field position as his burst and acceleration are among the best in the nation. The Gophers didn't limit his touches until it was too late. 

Roughing the passer?

The way things were explained the press box, the flag was thrown because Johnson hit Rudock out of bounds. Looks plenty in bounds to me, but the Wolverines ended up scoring here on the next play.

First touchdown for the Wolverines

Following the penalty, the Wolverines get on the board with the fullback dive.

2nd quarter

Peppers strikes again

I understand Peter Mortell is dealing with some knee issues, but you can't kick a low liner in the middle of the field to one of the best play-makers in the Big Ten in Jabrill Peppers. Mortell punts it 41 and Peppers returns it 41. Not good. 

Rudock to Chesson for the TD

Lack of pressure on the quarterback has been an issue all season for the Gophers and Rudock was able was able to find WR Chesson for the touchdown as Minnesota at back in zone. Safety Duke McGhee is late getting over to Chesson and Michigan goes up 14-3.

No pass interference for Brooks

So Shannon Brooks gets pushed out of bounds trying to make the play on the ball with his head turned and doesn't get the call. The Michigan DB just pushes him out of the play and doesn't turn his head. Alright Big Ten. Explain that one. 

Shannon Brooks won't go down

Minnesota ended up settling for another field goal on this drive, but true freshman Shannon Brooks makes something out of picking up the first down. Peppers thought he had the tackle and Brooks hit him on the spin move. 

Smith splits the seam

Not to out done, fellow freshman Rodney Smith gets some yards on the first down run. LG Bjorklund pulls across and Thomas kicks out the defender, but Smith's burst is too quick and he gets to the second level. Runs through a tackle and gains 24 on the play. 

Rashad Still's first career touchdown

No idea if Leidner planned to put it on the inside shoulder of WR Rashad Still, but he placed it perfectly where Still could adjust and make a play up field. Still then sets up the Michigan DB and turns on the jets for his first career score. 

Poock pass interference


Even though Cody Poock turned back to find the ball, Jabrill Peppers happens to flop and Poock gets called for the PI. Tough to get that call. 

Murray off the edge for the sack

On a key fourth down situation in the fourth quarter, Gophers DC Jay Sawvel dials up the blitz and Murray comes untouched off the edge forcing the turnover on downs. De'Vondre Campbell also made sure Rudock wasn't going anywhere. 

Lingen gets another lucky bounce

Minnesota was given a gift here as Michigan DB Dymonte Thomas has a case of the butter fingers and Brandon Lingen keeps his concentration for the great catch. Putting Minnesota in the red zone. 

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