All Gray, All Day

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"I feel like everyone was more calm," tight end John Rabe said in comparing the Golden Gophers' 44-7 win today with the season opener against UNLV.

That certainly appeared to be true for quarterback MarQueis Gray. He struggled at times in Las Vegas, but came back with an impressive performance against New Hampshire today. Gray accounted for four of Minnesota's six touchdowns, including a 75-yard run, and surpassed 100 yards both passing and throwing. And he did so without making any major mistakes.
Go Gophers!
Gray scored a career-high four touchdowns.
Go Gophers!

"He showed on tape last year and this year that he is a good football player," New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell said. "He made some plays. The 75-yard run after you score a touchdown, it cuts you at your knees. We were okay on him, but he is a good football player that makes their offense go."

The bulk of Minnesota's offense today came on the ground. But when Gray did take to the air, he completed six of eight attempts for 100 yards and two touchdowns. His 17 rushes tied Donnell Kirkwood for the most in the game, and he gained a game-high 109 yards with two more touchdowns.

"It doesn't matter if I'm running the ball or throwing the ball as long as we can find that rhythm that really helps out any quarterback," Gray said.

The Gophers put their first touchdown on the board when Gray found an open Isaac Fruechte for a 27-yard touchdown. With less than a minute remaining in the first quarter, Gray rattled off a 75-yard to the end zone at the open end of the stadium.

In the second quarter, Gray added a second passing touchdown, connecting with tight end John Rabe for the third straight game. Minutes later, after Minnesota recovered a fumble, Gray ran it in for another six points.

Today was the third time Gray passed for multiple touchdowns in one game and the second time he rushed for multiple touchdowns. His 75-yard score was the longest rush of his career and the first 50-yard-plus play for Minnesota since Duane Bennett's 61-yard rush against Northern Illinois in 2008.

"I feel like last week if I would have made those throws we wouldn't have gone into overtime," Gray said. "We won the game. That's all that matters, but I knew that I was able to make those throws and the defense did a really great job for us getting the ball back. I was down, but I picked myself up this week and continued to play throughout this game."

During his junior season in 2011, Gray had to grow into the role of signal caller after playing primarily at receiver the year before. He improved as the season went on and retained that spot through spring and fall camp in 2012. Performances like today's show why Jerry Kill continues to express confidence in Gray as his starting quarterback.

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