Gophers coach PJ Fleck explained his decision not to qualify when Minnesota had firsts and 10s on Maryland’s 33-yard line with one minute left in the first half.
Minnesota had two timeouts and was in an excellent position to extend the 17-10 lead at Huntington Bank Stadium.
Fleck said the plan was to launch the ball, drain time (or maybe thwart a big win) to set a shorter field goal that could potentially make a two-score game at 20-10. Deep down, Fleck wondered how Minnesota would get the start of the second half.
On the first down, Kai Thomas scored seven yards and Fleck called for a time-out. He said that after the match, the plan “right then” was to score a field goal.
“Something can happen, you get the bag, all these things are going through your head,” Fleck said. “It’s risk versus reward. You get the ball in the second half. That’s all I thought about: we get the ball. ”
The Gophers started the ball four more times, announced their third and final time-out after the third transfer, and then Tanner Morgan put in a spike to stop the clock with four seconds left.
Matthew Trickett’s 37-yard kicker was blocked by Tarhib Still from the right edge, and Maryland returned to Minnesota’s 32-yard attempt when time ran out.
Huntington Bank fans booed as the Gophers entered the dressing room.
After the game, Fleck was asked if his opinion would change if his team were not going to score the ball at the beginning of the third quarter. “Probably,” he said. “I would probably be a little more aggressive.”
Fleck also noted that his approach on Saturday was the result of Minnesota’s failure in a similar situation at the end of the Colorado win.
Minnesota finished 1st and 10th at Buffaloes 32 on September 18th. Tanner Morgan had a flaw and Sam Schlater was flagged as an unfit midfield host. The five-yard penalty meant a 54-yard shot from the field, and Trickett has already 50 in his entire career.
As the clock in Boulder, Colorado kept ticking, which was a separate issue, Minnesota passed the ball at the last moment of the inning and time ran out.
For six years, striker Conner Olson limped slightly to the podium after breaking a new Minnesota record by starting his 52nd career on Saturday.
The Monticello, Minnesota native surpassed the bar set by long-tailed bass, Payton Jordal, at 51 in the 2015–18 season. Former quarterback Adam Weber had 50 in 2007-10.
“It’s nice to have a record,” said Olson. “Hopefully I’ll break this record again next week.
In the fight against ankle injury, Olson has consistently started since 2017 and is the fifth longest streak in the country.
On Olson’s landmark day, the Gophers threw 56 times for 326 yards (5.8 per snatch) and four touchdowns. Minnesota have finished the game 23 times in a row.
“I always prefer to run rather than pass by,” Olson said. “No offense to Tanner.”
“None,” Morgan replied. “It suits me”.
Recipient Daniel Jackson missed his second game in a row with an undisclosed injury. … Defensive tackle Rashad Cheney is back after not playing the last four games for personal reasons. … Terps did not have two of their best receivers and two of their best midfielders, and both sets of vacancies proved to be effective. … Tanner Morgan threw 125 yards, 7,000 yards ahead of him, behind only Mitch Leidner, Brian Kupito and holder Adam Weber with 10917 … The Gophers were not forced to run until there were five minutes to the fourth quarter.