Success under the Sun!

Rhys Lloyd's 42-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining in the game gave the Gophers a thrilling 31-30 victory over Oregon in the Sun Bowl Wednesday afternoon.

Lloyd's game-winner came after the Gophers drove 55 yards in 3:53 and converted a key fourth-and-1 play at the Oregon 35 when Laurence Maroney scampered for two yards. Lloyd's kick was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but still had enough juice behind it to clear the crossbar, setting off a wild celebration on the Gopher sideline.

Justin Isom sealed the victory when he intercepted a Kellen Clemens pass as Oregon tried to scramble into field goal position.

Thomas Tapeh scored three touchdowns for Minnesota, while Maroney rushed for 115 yards and a score on 13 carries, and Marion Barber III added 67 yards for the Gophers, who rushed for 260 yards as a team against Oregon's top-five rushing defense.

Clemens almost was too much for the Gophers to handle. The sophomore quarterback threw for a season-high 363 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Samie Parker, who had 16 catches for 200 yards on the day.

Trailing 17-14 at the half, the Gophers drove for the go-ahead score on Tapeh's third touchdown, a 6-yard run with 8:28 to play in the third quarter. But Clemens and the Ducks answered with a 40-yard scoring strike to Parker, and Oregon regained the lead 24-21.

Maroney's 22-yard TD run late in the third quarter gave Minnesota the lead back in this see-saw affair, but Oregon rallied with a pair of field goals by Jared Siegel. His 47-yarder put the Ducks on top 30-28 with 4:16 left in the game, setting up Minnesota's winning drive.

Senior quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq, playing his final game for the Gophers, completed 12 of 22 passes for 179 yards and had nine carries for 34 yards. He was playing without two of his favorite targets, wide receiver Jared Ellerson and tight end Ben Utecht, who missed the game due to injuries. Senior wide receiver Aaron Hosack stepped up with six catches for 106 yards.

Minnesota finished the season at 10-3, their best record in the modern era, while Oregon fell to 8-5. The victory was a bit of revenge for the Gophers, who lost to Oregon 24-20 in the 1999 Sun Bowl.

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