Minnesota-UNH Game Notes
Minnesota (2-0) 44, New Hampshire (1-1) 7
Sept. 8, 2012
Minnesota opened its 129th home season of college football today versus New Hampshire.
The contest was the first ever between Minnesota and UNH.
Today also marked Minnesota's first-ever game against a current member of the Colonial Athletic Association.
With the victory, Minnesota snapped a two-game losing streak versus NCAA Division I FCS opponents. The Gophers had dropped games to North Dakota State during 2011 and South Dakota during 2010.
Minnesota owns a mark of 94-28-7 all-time in home openers and has combined to outscore its opposition, 3,417-1,503.
The Gophers improved to 9-13 in games at TCF Bank Stadium, and are 8-7 since the start of 2010.
Four of Head Coach Jerry Kill's five wins at Minnesota have come at home.
The Gophers won a home opener for the first time since 2009 and improved to 14-3 in their past 17 home openers.
Kill's record in home games improved to 79-29 (.731), and his teams have outscored their opening-day opponents at home, 795-220. He is now 14-5 in home openers and has won 10 of his past 11 such games.
The 44 points scored were the most for the Gophers in a regulation game since winning, 63-26, versus Indiana on November 4, 2006. The Gophers scored 48 points during a one-point loss in double overtime at Northwestern on Oct. 13, 2007.
Minnesota's total of 16 first-quarter points was the most for the Gophers in an opening quarter since scoring 21 during the first quarter of the Indiana victory in 2006.
Minnesota's 30 points in the first half was the most it recorded in an opening half since scoring 35 points during the first half of the 44-41 loss to Texas Tech at the Insight Bowl on Dec. 29, 2006.
The Gophers held UNH to 68 rushing yards on 32 attempts, the fewest rushing yards allowed since holding USC to 67 yards on 28 attempts in the 19-17 loss on Sept. 3, 2011.
Minnesota recorded a safety on UNH's first punt attempt. It marked the Gophers' first safety recorded since Sept. 2, 2000 against UL-Monroe.
The Gophers had four sacks in the game, all in the first half, for 32 yards in losses. Minnesota now has six sacks for 45 yards through two games.
Minnesota recorded its fourth interception of the season, already equaling last season's total.
Minnesota finished with 412 total offensive yards, surpassing 400 yards for the second-straight week. The Gophers had 478 total yards at UNLV, the most since compiling 505 vs. Michigan State in 2009.
With 240 yards rushing, the Gophers have now rushed for more than 200 yards in their last three games (UNH, 240/UNLV, 209/Illinois, 248).
Minnesota's defense has now held its last three opponents under 300 yards of total offense. The Gophers' first 11 opponents of 2011 all gained over 300 yards of total offense.
Seven different Gophers had receptions in the game after nine players caught passes in the season-opener at UNLV. INDIVIDUAL NOTES
Isaac Fruechte caught his first career TD pass on just his second career reception, a 27-yard completion from MarQueis Gray, on the first play of Minnesota's second possession. Fruechte finished with two catches for 53 yards.
Gray has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in three straight games dating to last season.
Gray added the longest rush of his career late in the first quarter, going 75 yards for a touchdown. It was Minnesota's first run of 50+ yards since Duane Bennett had a 61-yard rush versus Northern Illinois on August 30, 2008.
Gray ended with 17 rushing attempts for 109 yards and two touchdowns, his fifth career 100-yard rushing game.
Gray's 75-yard scoring run was the longest for the Gophers since Laurence Maroney's 93-yard run during Minnesota's 38-34 loss versus Wisconsin on October 15, 2005.
The game was Gray's third career performance with multiple passing TDs, and was his second game with multiple rushing TDs. He had two passing TDs in the season-opening loss to New Mexico State on Sept. 10, 2011, and threw a career-best three touchdown passes at Michigan State on Nov. 5. He rushed for a pair of scores in last year's 27-7 win versus Illinois.
Max Shortell made his first appearance of the season for the Gophers. He completed 5-of-6 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. The passing TD was the third of Shortell's career.
A.J. Barker caught Shortell's TD pass for the first touchdown of his career and finished the game with two catches for 29 yards.
John Rabe caught a touchdown pass for the third-straight game dating back to last season. His two-yard scoring catch in the second quarter was the fifth of his career. He had two TDs, both during overtime, in Minnesota's win at UNLV.
Rabe had three catches for 38 yards, all in the first half, with both totals establishing new career-bests.
Donnell Kirkwood tied his career-high with 70 rushing yards on a career-best 17 attempts and scored first touchdown of the season (fourth of career).
Logan Hutton recorded his first career reception.
Martez Shabazz recorded his first career interception.
Derrick Wells, this week's B1G Defensive Player of the Week, recorded five tackles in the opening quarter. Wells had eight tackles and two interceptions in the season-opening win at UNLV, and followed with eight tackles, one TFL, and a pass broken up versus UNH.