Carter: "All I saw was daylight."

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Even on a day when Minnesota's true freshman quarterback made an impressive home debut, senior Michael Carter still garnered a lot of attention. The Golden Gopher cornerback tied a school record with six pass breakups and returned an interception for a touchdown in the Gophers' 44-28 win over Purdue.

Carter looked good early in the game, but the bulk of his highlights came during a single series in the third quarter. During Purdue's first drive of the half, Carter broke up a Caleb TerBush pass intended for Gary Bush on second down. After the Boilermakers ran for first down on the next play, Carter again disrupted a passing play to Bush. On the very next play, he ran in from the side to swat down yet another one.
Go Gophers! Michael Carter
Go Gophers!
Carter starred for the Gophers on defense.
Go Gophers!

As if he was tired of simply knocking down the ball, Carter intercepted the next pass and ran it 43 yards down the left side for a touchdown in front of a cheering student section. It was the first "pick-six" for Minnesota since Traye Simmons had one against Northwestern in 2008. It was also Carter's first career touchdown.

"I saw the fans," Carter said. "I just ran that way. All I saw was daylight and the fans cheering."

His total of six pass breakups tied Michael Lehan's single-game record, set against Michigan State in 2001. Carter nearly doubled his season total, which sits at 13 after today.

Head coach Jerry Kill has lauded Carter for the improvements he has made over the past year. The influence of Carter's cousin, former Gopher All-American and Jim Thorpe Award recipient Tyrone Carter, has played a role in his development. Tyrone has spent a lot of time around the Gopher program, particularly his cousin Michael, this season.

"I am more mature," Michael Carter said of the difference between last year and this year. "I am not just thinking about football. I am thinking more about school and football. This year I am just more focused."

Carter's improvement has been noticeable throughout his senior season, no more so than today.

"I have coached 30 years and I don't know if I have ever seen a corner have things go like that," Kill said. "They kept throwing over there and the third time he jumped it and made a big play. I was happy for Michael. He has been through a lot and I am happy for his success."

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