Ayinde closes just in time
Minnesota dodged a bullet early in the second half from Oregon State quarterback Garretson floated one just an extra second too long that allowed Ayinde to close for the big pass break up. Gophers ended up getting a punt from the Beavers on this drive.
Pass Interference isn't mandatory for Pac-12 refs
Rashad Still isn't able to explode up to high point the ball here as the Oregon State defender is draped all over his back and he's essentially giving him a friendly ole' bear hug, but there's no yellow piece of laundry on the field for his actions.
Up and over
A great punt by Oregon State put Minnesota inside the 10, and on 2nd an 8, a high and hard snap by Moore sends out of the back of the end zone for a safety. A case of the first game jitters will be to blame for now, but the snaps must get back under control like they were for Moore last season. The Beavers are within one point now.
Drops give the Beavers great field position
My first question about this muffed punt is about why KiAnte Hardin didn't call for it. You can see above that the ball was a lot closer to ball when the punt coverage team was still getting down the field, and it ended up about four feet behind Hardin initially. He had a much better angle on it, but regardless, Wolitarsky calls for it and the ball dies on him unexpectedly and it's muffed for a turnover. Oregon State got great field position and scored to go up 23-17.
What could have been
I know this probably looks like a meaningless incompletion here in the third quarter, but if Leidner would have connected here, this would have been a 70 yard touchdown without breaking a sweat for Drew Wolitarsky.
There's almost nine players in the box with man coverage on the outside. Brian Smith runs a post while Wolitarsky is able to lose coverage behind him and has nothing but green grass ahead of him for the score. The ball comes out a little wobbly out of Leidner's hand and doesn't stay in the air long enough and it's an just an incompletion, but had the potential for so much more.
Leidner goes Joey King on the bit
Joey King is blushing on this pump fake from Mitch Leidner that last an Oregon State defender kicking for air as Leidner gets a key first down on a third and long. Leidner's savvy play breathes new life into a drive that ends up leading to a touchdown here soon.
Rodney Smith laughs at first contact
Looking at this play initially here, Smith should have been destroyed by two defenders as the Beaver edge rushers come off untouched, but starts his spin into the defender and because of that, is able to slip away and walk in for his second score of the night.
That'd be what the kids call in hitting the circle button the PlayStation controller.
Turning nothing into something
Again, Smith hits Oregon State defenders with the circle button / spin move and turns a four yard loss into a 27 yard gain. The sophomore running back is able to get north and south quickly and credit to Tyler Johnson and Tyler Moore for holding their blocks long enough in the second level to spring Smith.
Another Gopher ejected
Minnesota's third targeting penalty and ejection of the game comes via freshman defensive end Tai'yon Devers. It's clearly helmet to helmet contact as Devers comes in high and leads with his helmet, and he's going to have to learn lower his target. Luckily for Minnesota however, this drive did not end in points for Oregon State because of...
Waters makes the play on fourth
I'm not so sure that when Garretson picked this fall off the ground that his knee wasn't down, but however freshman Jaylen Waters meets the running back in the hole on fourth down to force the turnover on downs. Waters has a bright future ahead of him for the Gophers.
Gophers convert a key third down
Minnesota runs Nate Wozniak and Tyler Johnson from right to left across the formation giving Drew Wolitarsky free run beneath them clearing out the formation. Great play design from Jay Johnson here for Minnesota to keep the drive going.
Leidner scores for the record books
Gophers go to the inverted wishbone zone read and Colton Beebe leads the way for Minnesota to go up seven here late in the fourth. Leidner passed Rickey Foggie for most all-time among Minnesota quarterbacks on this play.
Gophers go for two
Whether you agreed with Claeys' call to go for two or not, the play call should have worked. Yes, the Oregon State defender should have had a pick six, but he missed it, and it hit Johnson right in the hands. He catches it and walks into the end zone and the game is over.