Maroney Runs for 203 Yards in 41-10 win over Tulsa

Junior Laurence Maroney rushed 21 times for a career-high 203 yards, including a pair of first-quarter touchdowns, as the Golden Gopher football team defeated Tulsa, 41-10, on Thursday night in Tulsa, Okla. Maroney kicked off his Heisman Trophy campagin by scoring on 67- and 73-yard touchdown runs on the first play from scrimmage in two first-quarter drives for the Gophers. Minnesota had 529 yards of total offense as it won its 17th-straight non-conference game.

Maroney broke through the line and up the left sideline as he raced 67 yards for the touchdown on the first play of the season for the Gophers. The scoring drive took 16 seconds on just one play.

The Golden Gophers stopped Tulsa and drove 70 yards on their second possession and took a 10-0 lead on Jason Giannini's 28-yard field goal. It was the first career field goal attempt for the redshirt freshman from Canton GlenOak.

Maroney broke free along the right sideline and cut to the middle of the field as he went 73 yards for his second score of the night. He had 159 yards on ten carries in the first quarter.

The Gophers built the lead to 24-3 at halftime as Bryan Cupito found Ernie Wheelwright in the end zone with 10 seconds left in the half.

The Golden Gophers went to a 27-3 lead midway through the third quarter following an eight-play, 62-yard drive as Giannini connected on a 23-yard field goal.

Tulsa countered with a 17-play, 85-yard drive. David Johnson's pass went through Brandon Owens' arms and into the hands of a sliding Ryan Bugg in the end zone to make the score 27-10 with 11:44 to play in the game.

The Golden Gophers' rushing game went back to work as Minnesota went 64 yards on seven plays and Gary Russell powered it in from 2 yards out for his first career score. The touchdown put the Golden Gophers back up by 24 at 34-10.

Minnesota drove 85 yards on just six plays as Russell completed the scoring with a 25-yard run to make the score 41-10. Russell had a 35-yard run in the drive and showed that he is capable of taking over for Maroney, if the Hesiman hopeful is injured or turns pro after his junior season as expected.

Maroney's 203 yards are the most by a Golden Gopher since Terry Jackson II had 238 at Michigan State in 2002. He finished the first half with 188 yards, which topped his previous career-high of 178 set in 2003 at Illinois.

The Golden Gophers rushed for 301 yards. In addition to Maroney's 203 yards, Russell finished with 67 yards on six carries, while Amir Pinnix totaled 46 on 11 carries.

The Golden Gopher defense forced four Tulsa turnovers, including three fumbles. True freshman Alex Daniels forced his first career fumble in the final minute of the game.

Minnesota also excelled in the kicking game behind a trio of freshman. Giannini converted on both of his field goal attempts, as well as four extra points. Fellow freshman Joel Monroe tacked on the team's final extra point. Punter Justin Kucek launched a 55-yard kick on his first attempt, which was downed at the 5-yard line in the first quarter.

The Golden Gophers will look to add to their non-conference winning streak next Saturday when they host Colorado State at the Metrodome.

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