Gopher loss means Michigan keeps the Little Brown Jug
By Kate Butler
The Michigan Wolverines traveled to TCF Stadium for the first time today in another battle for the Little Brown Jug. Minnesota came into the game behind in the all-time series against Michigan, with a record of 24-71-3. Unfortunately, the Little Brown Jug and the W went to the Wolverines, as the Gophers came up short in the end with a final score of 13-35.
The scoreless first quarter was an indication of how strong both teams came out defensively. Five seconds into the second quarter it was all about Minnesota, as a beautifully designed play from Philip Nelson to John Rabe resulted in the first touchdown of the game. This was answered midway through the quarter by a 45-yard touchdown pass from Wolverine’s Devin Gardner to a wide-open Drew Dileo.
The Gophers momentum seemed to be slowing after they lost the first lead they have had on Michigan since 2007. After an argued interference call on Minnesota, with less than a minute before the end of the half, Thomas Rawles put Michigan ahead 14-7.
Needing to get some points on the board, the Gophers set up for a 37-yard fieldgoal attempt, but in a bizarre change of events Max Shortell faked to Nelson. In regards to this choice, Kill said, “We weren’t going to beat them kicking field goals.” To close the quarter at 21-7, Michigan scored another touchdown.
A 26-yard field goal by Jordan Wettstein closed the gap in scoring a bit, putting the Gophers behind 10-21. This was answered shortly by a two-yard touchdown from Devon Gardner. While the Gophers struggled with incomplete passes in the end zone, Wettstein put up another three points with just over five minutes left to play.
Michigan completely ran with their lead, with 41-yard touchdown run from Fitzgerald Toussaint after he slipped a tackle by Stoudemire. Things quickly spiraled downhill for Minnesota, and the game ended 13-35.
In the end, this really was just a game of missed opportunities. “Physically, I thought we played hard…We didn’t make the plays we needed to make,” Coach Jerry Kill said in a post-game interview. The Gophers will take on Illinois next week in another Big Ten battle, stand tuned for details on kickoff time.