Minnesota's Tim Brewster earned his first victory as a college head coach, but he had to endure some anxious moments before being able to celebrate a 41-35 triple-overtime win against Miami (Ohio).
Leading by 16 points midway through the fourth quarter, the Gophers squandered it all and were forced to go to overtime for the second-consecutive week. Senior cornerback Jamal Harris intercepted a pass in the end zone in the third overtime, and Amir Pinnix scored on a 2-yard touchdown to help Minnesota bounce back from a season-opening loss to Bowling Green.
The teams combined for 1,154 yards (577 for each side) and 181 plays in a game that lasted four hours and 23 minutes.
The Gophers seemed to have the game in control after freshman quarterback Adam Weber found Ernie Wheelwright for a 5-yard touchdown pass, giving Minnesota a 28-12 lead with 8:35 remaining.
But Miami switched quarterbacks, and sophomore Daniel Raudabaugh gave the RedHawks a spark. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Miami scored 16 points in a span of 6:20, forcing overtime on Trevor Cook's 36-yard field goal with 11 seconds left.
It looked as though Miami might complete the comeback after Minnesota's Jason Giannini missed a 26-yard field goal in the second overtime. But Cook followed with a miss from 33 yards, giving the Gophers new life.
Weber played well in his second game as the starter. He completed 26 of 40 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 97 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries.
The Gophers gave up 418 yards passing, missed three field goals and had a punt blocked. But they still got the victory.
"Every baby is a beautiful, and this one is no different," Brewster said.
GAME BALL GOES TO: QB Adam Weber — The redshirt freshman completed 26 of 40 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 97 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries.
KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Eric Decker — The sophomore had his best game in a Gophers uniform with seven catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns, including a 59-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think some guys were starting to feel down because they thought the game was over. I was trying to tell guys, ‘You never know what's going to happen.' There are so many things happening in that game that could go either way. You can never give up." — Gophers QB Adam Weber on his mindset after his team blew a 16-point, fourth-quarter lead.
LOOKING GOOD: The Gophers' switch to the spread offense is starting to pay off. Freshman QB Adam Weber looked sharp in the passing game, and the Gophers rushed for 306 yards on 53 carries.
RB Amir Pinnix had another strong performance, with 126 yards rushing and one touchdown on 28 carries.
WR Eric Decker had a career-high 128 receiving yards and two touchdowns on seven catches.
STILL NEEDS WORK: The Gophers gave up 418 passing yards one week after allowing 412 passing yards to Bowling Green. The secondary is young and lacks speed. Minnesota allowed 316 passing yards in the second half alone.
K Jason Giannini missed three field goals, including a 26-yarder in the second overtime, and could lose his job to Joel Monroe, starting this week. Monroe already handles kickoff duties.
ROSTER REPORT: TE Jack Simmons did not play because of a toe injury.
LB Mike Sherels left the game with a chest contusion late in the first half and did not return. He is expected to return this week.
Brewster's First Win Produces Anxious Moments
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