Minnesota Falls to North Dakota State, 37-24
Sept. 24, 2011
Marcus Williams had two defensive touchdowns for North Dakota State on Saturday to help the Bison pull off the upset of Minnesota, 37-24.
Williams, a sophomore cornerback who played at Hopkins High School in the Twin Cities - one of the dozens of Minnesotans on NDSU's roster - returned an interception of Max Shortell's late heave 40 yards for a touchdown to seal the game.
On the final play of the first half, teammate Colten Heagle picked off MarQueis Gray's risky pass and tossed the ball back to Williams as he was taken down. Williams raced 52 more yards to put the Bison (3-0) ahead 28-14 at the break.
The Gophers gave the Bison three first downs via penalties on their first two possessions, both of which ended in touchdowns. Minnesota rushed for 168 yards in the contest - including a 10-play, 95-yard march, all on the ground, to tie the game at 14-14.
The Gophers rotated Gray and Shortell at quarterback. Shortell found tight end Eric Lair for a 20-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-7 to bring the Gophers within seven, 31-24, with 9:05 left.
McNorton, who was held out of the previous game with a sprained ankle and had an extra week to recover because the Bison didn't play last Saturday, looked plenty agile cutting and planting in the first half before the Gophers began to bottle up the Bison ground game.