Minnesota was able to secure their first victory of the season on Thursday night with a victory full of twists and turns. Three ejections via targets, plus a safety made this an interesting way to earn a victory, but it's a victory none the less and Minnesota has their first victory of the season.
Claeys on going for two at the end of the game
Players of the game
1) Rodney Smith
Smith had a heck of a game to start the season with 125 rushing yards to go with a five yard per carry average and two rushing scores. With no Shannon Brooks in the picture, Smith had a large majority of the running back carries taking 25 of the 27 and not looking back.
For Minnesota to be successful they needed a big game on the ground, and Smith helped with that performance.
2) Tai'yon Devers
What a first game for true freshman defensive end Tai'yon Devers.
Two sacks and two forced fumbles in his first collegiate game is definitely something to hang your hat on. Devers has such an explosive first step that he's able to gain an edge to turn the corner, and looks to be have a big role on his plate for this upcoming season.
3) Ryan Santoso
Santoso needs love from the Gophers fans tonight after punting the ball six times (plus the safety) and having a lot of success flipping the field for Minnesota.
Of Santoso's seven punts, two were 50 yards or longer, plus the other five were inside the 20.
Great job in flipping field position tonight, Mr. Santoso.
4) Mitch Leidner
The stat line doesn't indicate what Leidner did tonight for Minnesota through the air, as he went 13 for 26 for 130 yards, but I saw improvement in his decision making, poise in the pocket and his deep ball. 76 yards and two rushing scores as well, and as long as he's healthy, Minnesota will continue to win on the arm, legs, and head of their senior quarterback.
September 10th, 11:00 AM at home vs. Indiana State