The Nebraska football team struggled to get anything going in Minneapolis, as No. 25 Minnesota improved to 6-0 with a 34-7 win over the Huskers on Saturday night at TCF Bank Stadium.
Nebraska slipped to 4-3 on the season and 2-2 in the Big Ten with the setback. The Huskers put together a 14-play, 80-yard drive early in the fourth quarter to get on the board after Minnesota built a 34-0 lead at the end of three quarters.
The Huskers went to the locker room trailing 14-0 at halftime, in sophomore quarterback Noah Vedral’sfirst career start. For the game, Vedral completed 14-of-23 passes for 135 yards, while also rushing for a team-high 49 yards. Vedral, who started in place of sophomore Adrian Martinez, came out of the game after leading Nebraska on its fourth-quarter scoring drive.
Minnesota controlled the first half, out-gaining Nebraska 257-159. Despite trailing 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Huskers accounted for 124 first-quarter yards on 22 plays. Minnesota had 90 yards on just 11 first-quarter plays. In the second quarter, the Huskers managed just 35 total yards on 12 plays, while the Gophers rolled up 167 yards on 19 plays in the quarter. Minnesota needed just one completion for eight yards in the second quarter.
The Golden Gophers put the game out of reach with a trio of third-quarter touchdowns. After pounding the ball on the ground for 220 rushing yards in the first half, the Gophers opened the second-half with a play-action pass from Tanner Morgan to Tyler Johnson for a 45-yard completion to the NU 18. Four plays later, the Gophers were in the end zone on the second of three Mohamed Ibrahim touchdown runs to go up 21-0 just 2:19 into the second half.
Morgan completed 8-of-13 passes for 128 yards with one touchdown for the game. Johnson hauled in five receptions for 109 to lead the Gophers.
Later in the quarter, Minnesota took advantage of a short field to go 45 yards on nine plays in 5:16 capped by a Rodney Smith one-yard touchdown run to go up 28-0 with 3:16 left in the third.
But the Gophers were not done yet. After forcing a quick three-and-out by the Husker offense, Minnesota started at the NU 46, and Morgan completed his second 45-yard pass to Johnson of the quarter on the first play of the Gophers’ two-play scoring drive, which was capped by Ibrahim’s final touchdown from one-yard out with 1:41 left in the period.
Minnesota finished with 450 yards of total offense, including 322 rushing yards on 49 carries. Smith led the Gophers with 139 yards on 18 carries, while Shannon Brooks added 99 yards on 13 totes. Ibrahim finished with 84 yards on 15 attempts. Nebraska managed 299 yards of total offense, including 151 rushing yards.
The Huskers, who played turnover-free football for the second straight game, were led defensively by senior linebacker Mohamed Barry’s 11 tackles, who became the 12th Husker in history with 10 or more games with double-figure tackles in his career. Collin Miller and Marquel Dismuke both added career highs with 10 stops.
Junior wide receiver JD Spielman hauled in three receptions for 59 yards on the night. Freshman wide receiver/running back Wan’Dale Robinson added a pair of receptions. Kade Warner added three receptions for 38 yards, while tight end Jack Stoll pitched in four catches for 18 yards.
Brody Belt stepped up for the Huskers in the backfield late in the game with four carries for 29 yards, whileDedrick Mills managed 28 yards on nine carries, including a two-yard touchdown run to account for Nebraska’s only score of the night.
Nebraska will enjoy a bye next week before returning to Big Ten home action against Indiana at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Saturday, Oct. 26.
#25 Minnesota 34, Nebraska 7
TCF Bank Stadium (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019
First Quarter (MINN 7-0)
7:31 – MINN – Chris Autman-Bell 15 pass from Tanner Morgan (Michael Lantz kick) – 5 plays, 71 yards, 2:43 – MINN 7-0
Second Quarter (MINN 14-0)
10:15 – MINN – Mohamed Ibrahim 15 run (Lantz kick) – 6 plays, 80 yards, 3:16 – MINN 14-0
Third Quarter (MINN 34-0)
12:41 – MINN – Mohamed Ibrahim 5 run (Lantz kick) – 5 plays, 63 yards, 2:19 – MINN 21-0
3:16 – MINN – Rodney Smith 1 run (Lantz kick) – 9 plays, 45 yards, 5:16 – MINN 28-0
1:41 – MINN – Mohamed Ibrahim 1 run (Lantz kick failed) – 2 plays, 46 yards, 0:18 – MINN 34-0