Gophers let Golden opportunity slip in 38-35 loss

It looked like the Gophers were going to finally get a taste from the Little Brown Jug as they led Michigan 28-7 in the fourth quarter. However, the Wolverines rallied to score 31 points in the final stanza as they made the biggest comeback in school history to defeated Minnesota 38-35. The loss was the first for the Gophers.

Minnesota drove 80 yards on 12 plays as Marion Barber III scored from 20 yards out. It was his 14th touchdown of the season, setting a school record previously held by Darrell Thompson (1987) and Jim Perkins (1976).

 

The Gophers continued their strong rushing attack as freshman Laurence Maroney scored on an 8-yard run to make it 14-0. It capped off a 10-play, 89-yard drive. Minnesota went to the half up 14-0.

 

Michigan got on the board four minutes into the third quarter as John Navarre threw a 36- yard pass to Steve Breaston. The score capped off a seven play, 83-yard drive.

 

The Gophers bounced on the next drive as they went 80 yards in seven plays. Maroney scored his second touchdown on a 38-yard run.

 

Thomas Tapeh scored on a 2-yard run to make it 28-7 with 58 seconds left in the third quarter.

 

Navarre threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Chris Perry with 14:24 left in the fourth quarter to make it 28-14. The Wolverines narrowed the lead when Jacob Stewart intercepted an Asad Abdul-Khaliq pass and returned it 34 yards. Abdul-Khaliq was under pressure and forced the pass rather than take the sack or throw the ball away.

 

The play looked like it would change the game in the Wolverines favor, but Asad Abdul-Khaliq ran untouched 52 yards on a quarterback draw on a third-and-1. The score made the game 35-21 with 11:11 to go.

 

However, Michigan scored just 53 seconds later as Braylon Edwards caught a 52-yard pass from Navarre. The Wolverines tied the score with 5:48 left as Perry reached the end zone from 10 yards out.

 

The Gophers went three-and-out on their next possession and Michigan got the ball back at their own 42. Navarre converted on fourth down and inches with a 1-yard plunge to the Gophers 48. He hit Perry for a 10-yard gain on third down to the Minnesota 22. Navarre took a knee on third down after Tim Massaquoi recovered a fumble by Perry at the 14.

 

Michigan drove 42 yards in 12 plays and Garrett Rivas kicked a 33-yard field goal.

 

The Gophers had one last chance, but Abdul-Khaliq had an 18-yard run to midfield negated by a penalty. Unfortunately, Markus Curry intercepted Abdul-Khaliq at the Michigan 14 to seal the game two plays later.

 

Barber rushed for 197 yards on 21 carries with one score. Abdul-Khaliq had nine carries for 106 yards and one touchdown. Freshman Maroney gained 81 yards on nine attempts with two touchdowns. The Gophers rushed for 425 yards.

 

Abdul-Khaliq completed eight of 18 passes for just 71 yards. He had two interceptions.

 

Perry was held by the Gophers to 85 yards on 20 carries. However, he caught 11 passes for 122 yards. Navarre shook off a slow start to complete 33 of 47 passes for 353 yards.

 

The loss prevented head coach Glen Mason from getting his 100th victory. It was also the 100th anniversary of the Little Brown Jug. The Gophers have not won at home since 1977.


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