Golden Gophers Shut Out at Michigan in Big Ten Opener
Oct. 1, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - "They are bigger, stronger and faster than we are right now," Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said. "It's just that simple."
MarQueis Gray, the Gophers' starting quarterback, simply couldn't play because of an injured toe on his left foot.
"We did everything we could to get MarQueis ready to play, but he just wasn't ready," Kill said. "You can't play on one leg."
Shortell was 11 of 22 for 104 yards and led a unit that went 0 for 11 on third-down conversions.
"Our defense was on the field almost all of the first half," Shortell said. "So we couldn't run a lot of plays because we didn't have the ball."
Kill was on the sideline just days after leaving the team seeking more treatment for seizures he's had the past three weeks and dismissed the thought that his health was a distraction.
"I only missed one practice," Kill said. "I've never missed a game in my life. You can't use that as an excuse."
Kill credited Michigan's defense with making Shortell's debut as a starter a rough one.
"They put a lot of pressure on him," Kill said. "When you have a rookie quarterback, you're going to get a lot of guys in his face."
Minnesota (1-4, 1-0 Big Ten) trailed Michigan (5-0, 1-0) by more than five touchdowns in the first half and gave up 20 more points after halftime.
The Wolverines had their most lopsided win since beating Indiana by the same score in 2000.
Denard Robinson threw two touchdown passes and ran for a TD. Vincent Smith scored on a run, pass and catch to help Michigan lead 38-0 at halftime.
The Wolverines kept the Little Brown Jug trophy that the teams have played for since 1909.