Huskers defense smothers Gopher offense in second half win

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LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Pregame festivities in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)

Minnesota scored on the opening drive of the game when running back Rodney Smith trotted, untouched, into the end zone after a 14 play drive that went 75 yards, taking 7:27 minutes.  Minnesota’s drive was extended twice on Nebraska penalties.  The first was an illegal formation penalty on 4th and one that gave Minnesota a fresh set of downs, three plays later Drew Wolitarsky drew a pass interference call that gave the Gophers 10 yards and changed a 3rd and seven into an 1st and ten at the Nebraska 30.

Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner scored with 4:54 left in the first half on a one yard run and kicker Emmit Carpenter added a field goal as time expired in the first half, bring Minnesota to a 17-10 halftime lead, completing Minnesota’s scoring for the game.

The Cornhuskers dominated the rest of the game, gaining 100 more yards than the Gophers in the second half and outscoring Minnesota 14-0.  The Cornhuskers sealed the win when Leidner’s pass was intercepted, with 1:29 left in the game, by Kieron Williams.

The Gophers will play host to the Northwestern Wildcats at TCF Bank Stadium to close their home schedule on Saturday November 19, 2016.

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Pregame festivities in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Pregame festivities in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Pregame festivities in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Pregame festivities in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: The Minnesota Golden Gophers take the field in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: The Minnesota Golden Gophers take the field in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) breaks loose for a big gain in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) breaks loose for a big gain in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El (15) makes a leaping catch in front of Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Jalen Myrick (5) for a first down in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El (15) makes a leaping catch in front of Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Jalen Myrick (5) for a first down in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive tackle Carlos Davis (96) has his leg caught in a scrum as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive tackle Carlos Davis (96) has his leg caught in a scrum as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) tosses the ball to Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks (23) in the first quarter as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) tosses the ball to Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks (23) in the first quarter as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Terrell Newby (34) cuts through a hole in the line, Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Duke McGhee (8) prepares to make the tackle as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Terrell Newby (34) cuts through a hole in the line, Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Duke McGhee (8) prepares to make the tackle as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Carlton Djam (29) takes a handoff as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Carlton Djam (29) takes a handoff as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) salutes the Minnesota Golden Gophers fans after scoring on the Gophers opening drive in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) salutes the Minnesota Golden Gophers fans after scoring on the Gophers opening drive in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers celebrate after running back Rodney Smith (1) walks into the end zone untouched, capping a Minnesota opening drive with a touchdown in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers celebrate after running back Rodney Smith (1) walks into the end zone untouched, capping a Minnesota opening drive with a touchdown in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: The Minnesota Golden Gophers defense analyzes what went wrong after allowing a Nebraska Cornhuskers score in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: The Minnesota Golden Gophers defense analyzes what went wrong after allowing a Nebraska Cornhuskers score in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks (23) breaks loose on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks (23) breaks loose on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) sprints on the quarterback keeper as the stands erupt on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) sprints on the quarterback keeper as the stands erupt on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Balloons, illuminated by the Supermoon, signify the first Nebraska Cornhuskers points of the evening as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Balloons, illuminated by the Supermoon, signify the first Nebraska Cornhuskers points of the evening as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) brings down Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) brings down Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: DUPLICATE***Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) is pressured by Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Jack Lynn (50) as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: DUPLICATE***Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) is pressured by Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Jack Lynn (50) as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) snags Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El (15) by the ankles as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) snags Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El (15) by the ankles as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers kickoff coverage team, led by Antonio Shenault (34) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) smother Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El (15) as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers kickoff coverage team, led by Antonio Shenault (34) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) smother Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El (15) as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: DUPLICATE***Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. sets up one of his 19 completed passes as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: DUPLICATE***Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. sets up one of his 19 completed passes as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) passes the ball as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) passes the ball as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Ryker Fyfe (17) is sacked by Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Blake Cashman (36), the only sack of the game as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Ryker Fyfe (17) is sacked by Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Blake Cashman (36), the only sack of the game as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Fireworks pre-game as the Nebraska Cornhuskers cheerleaders entertain fans as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Fireworks pre-game as the Nebraska Cornhuskers cheerleaders entertain fans as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) scores in the first quarter as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report))
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) scores in the first quarter as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report))
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Tyler Johnson (6) cannot come down with the ball, defended by Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Chris Jones (8) as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report))
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 12: Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Tyler Johnson (6) cannot come down with the ball, defended by Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Chris Jones (8) as the Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report))