Bryan Cupito, who won the first ever Golden Sports Net/Outback Steakhouse Gopher Offensive Player of the Week, showed plenty of poise as he used a play-action fake to find Jared Ellerson down the middle for a 47-yard gain on the first drive.
Cupito and Ellerson were key again for the Gophers in their second drive as they connected on a 41-yard gain.
Cupito hit Ernie Wheelwright on a 42-yard touchdown, giving both players their first touchdown as Gophers. The score gave the Gophers a 21-7 lead after one quarter. Cupito was seven of eight for 207 yards in the first quarter.
Cupito hit Jarod Posthumus for a 53-yard pass down the middle to key their fourth drive.
Cupito picked up where he left off in the first half as he hit Ellerson for a 33-yard pass play on the first drive of the second half.
With the Gophers dominating, backup quarterback Adam Ernst and true freshman Tony Mortensen also got time behind the center.
The Gophers were loaded with offensive standouts. Laurence Maroney led Minnesota's rushing attack with 108 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. Amir Pinnix had 88 yards on 17 carries and Gary Russell had 79 yards on 14 carries. Marion Barber added 78 yards on 14 carries and two scores. Ellerson led the receiving corps with 140 yards on four receptions.
There are nine Outback Steakhouse locations in Minnesota: Bloomington, Burnsville, Coon Rapids, Eden Prairie, Inver Grove Heights, Maplewood, Rochester, Roseville and St. Cloud.
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