Minnesota spoiled Baylor's home opener today in Waco, Texas with a 34-9 victory. Thomas Tapeh who ran for 183 yards and his first career touchdown led the Golden Gophers in the first meeting between the two schools.
Baylor opened the scoring on a 25-yard field goal by Daniel Andino early in the first quarter, but it was all the Bears would see for scoring until late in the fourth quarter, as the Golden Gopher defense allowed just 179 yards on the day and only 56 yards on the ground. It is the fewest number of yards a Minnesota defense has given up since the UL Monroe game on September 11, 1999 when the Golden Gophers gave up just 122 net yards.
The Baylor defense made a show of their own when they capitalized on a blocked punt and recovered the ball deep in Minnesota territory. The Golden Gophers stopped the Bears and recovered on their next drive going 72 yards on nine plays capped by a 22-yard Asad Abdul-Khaliq touchdown pass to Tellis Redmon. The touchdown reception was the first of Redmon's career.
Baylor quarterback Greg Cicero left the game early in the first quarter with a fractured left collar bone and did not return. He was replaced by junior Michael Odum.
Minnesota kicker Dan Nystrom (above) notched a 22-yard field goal, just seconds into the second quarter, to give the Golden Gophers a 10-3 edge, and closed the first half with a 44-yard field goal to take a 13-3 lead.
Minnesota opened the second half with an 80-yard drive that was capped off by Tapeh's 27-yard touchdown reception. It was Tapeh's first touchdown as a Golden Gopher.
Clorenzo Griffin nabbed his first career interception early in the fourth quarter and returned it 31 yards into Baylor territory. A few plays later, junior wide receiver Antoine Burns caught his first career reception to help set up Tapeh's 1-yard touchdown rush, his second career touchdown - first on the ground.
Two possessions later, Baylor would find the end zone, but fail to convert the two-point conversion. Minnesota answered with a quick three play, 47-yard drive that gave sophomore running back Renato Fitzpatrick the opportunity to run in his first career touchdown.
The Golden Gophers (2-1) travel to West Lafayette, Indiana next Saturday to face the Purdue Boilermakes (2-1) in the Big Ten season opener.