Minnesota-USC Game Notes

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Sept. 3, 2011

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SERIES NOTES

• Minnesota opened its 128th season of college football with today game at Southern California.
• Today’s game was the Gophers’ eighth vs. USC. Minnesota is now 1-6-1 against the Trojans with today’s loss. Minnesota’s last win over USC was a 25-19 victory in Minneapolis during the 1955 season.
• The Gophers slipped to 25-28 against current members of the Pac-12 Conference with today’s setback, with four straight losses.
• Minnesota’s last win over a current member of the Pac-12 came in the 2003 Sun Bowl over Oregon, 31-30.
• The Gophers are now 2-9-1 when playing in the state of California. Minnesota’s last win in the Golden State was a 26-20 victory over Cal in 1964
• Today’s game concluded a two-game, home-and-home series with the Trojans. USC won the initial meeting last September in Minneapolis, 32-21.

TEAM NOTES

• Minnesota is 89-33-6 all-time in season openers after falling to USC today. It was the Gophers’ first loss in a season opener since 2007.
• The Gophers’ record when opening the season on the road fell to 13-17-2 with today’s loss, which ended a 4-game winning streak in season road openers (2010 at Middle Tennessee, 2009 at Syracuse, 2006 at Kent State, 2005 at Tulsa).
• Jerry Kill’s all-time record in season openers now stands at 10-8.
• Minnesota opened its season on the road for the third year in a row and the fifth time in the last seven years. The Gophers are currently in the midst of a four-year stretch of starting on the road. The Maroon and gold won’t open a season at home until 2013 vs. UNLV.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES
• Quarterback MarQuies Gray hit single-game career highs in rushing attempts (16), passing attempts (12), completions (7) and yards (98).
• True freshman quarterback Max Shortell came off the bench in fourth quarter to pass for 97 yards, completing 7 of 13 attempts in his first collegiate action.
• Shortell connected with Brandon Green from 12 yards out with 8:03 to play in the fourth quarter for his first career TD pass.
• The TD was Green’s first catch and touchdown since the 2009 season. Green now has 3 career TD receptions.
• Running back Duane Bennett scored the Gophers’ first touchdown of the season on a 9-yard run with 9:37 to play in the 3rd quarter. It capped a 3-play, 59-second drive that started at the USC 30.
• Bennett’s touchdown was the 15th of his career on the ground and his 20th overall.
• Bennett finished the game with 56 yards on 15 carries.
Malcolm Moulton and Da’Jon McKnight each lead the Gophers in receptions with four. Moulton, in his first Division I game, totaled a team-high 51 yards, while McKnight had 48. Freshman Marcus also totaled 51 yards in his first collegiate action on three catches.
Brock Vereen (12), Troy Stoudermire (11) and Kim Roysten (11) all hit double figures in tackles. Vereen’s number, which included nine solo stops, was a career- and game-high total.
• With 72 yards in kickoff returns today, Stoudermire needs just 24 more to tie David Gilreath of Wisconsin for the all-time Big Ten record in that category with 3,025.
• Place-kicker Chris Hawthorne connected on his first field goal as a Gopher with 4:07 to play in the first half from 21 yards out. It was his second career field. Hawthorne’s first came in 2010 while playing at NC State.
• Hawthorne finished the game 1 of 3 on field goal attempts, missing from 51 and 42 yards.
• Four Gophers made their first career starts: right tackle Jimmy Gjere, tight end Collin McGarry and wide receiver Malcolm Moulton on offense, with defensive end Ben Perry making his first start on defense. Other notable starts included quarterback Marqueis Gray making his first start at QB and Shady Salamon making his first start at safety. For Salamon it was his first start since opening the 2008 Iowa game at running back as a freshman