Cooper Rush (CMU): 15-for-29, 145 yards (season low), 1 INT
Mitch Leidner (MINN): 24-of-30, 223 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Romello Ross (CMU): 19 carries, 100 yards, 1 TD
Rodney Smith (MINN): 15 carries, 74 yards
Shannon Brown (MINN): 15 carries, 65 yards
Corey Willis (CMU): 4 catches, 51 yards
KJ Maye (MINN): 8 catches, 67 yards, 1 TD
Brian Eavey (CMU): 2-of-2 extra points
Ryan Santoso (MINN): 2-of-2 extra points, 2-of-2 field goals (22, 41)
Minnesota hangs on for 21-14 win over CMU
Minnesota, in a game with only two lead changes, hung on for the 21-14 win over Central Michigan. The Gophers are now 2-0 all-time against the Chippewas, with the last win coming in September, 1987, 30-10 at the Metrodome.
Leidner, Minnesota respond, take 21-14 lead
Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner ran a read option 13 yards for a touchdown to give the Gophers back the lead late in the fourth quarter. He connected with receiver TJ Maye on the two-point conversion attempt, and with 4:26 to go, Minnesota leads 21-14.
The scoring drive went 74 yards in 13 plays and took 6:42.
Ross scores, CMU takes 14-13 lead
Central Michigan running back Romello Ross, with four defenders on his back, scored on a 13-yard run midway through the fourth quarter. The extra point from kicker Brian Eavey gave the Chippewas their second lead of the game and their first since the second quarter. With 11:08 left in regulation, CMU leads 14-13.
After 3 quarters, Minnesota leads 13-7
At the end of the third quarter, Minnesota has a 13-7 lead. Both defenses have stood firm in their last two drives, forcing punts. Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush is 10-of-22 for 69 yards. According to CM-Life, Rush's season low is 182 yards, while his career low is 92 yards.
Santoso makes 2nd FG, Gophers lead 13-7
Minnesota kicker Ryan Santoso made a 41-yard field goal, his second of the day, to increase the Gophers' lead.
After a 55-yard pooch punt from Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush pinned Minnesota inside its own 15-yard-line, the Gophers seemed to have unfavorable field position to start its first drive of the third quarter. Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner connected with tight end Drew Wolitarsky for a 40-yard gain, and running back Shannon Brown added a 15-yard carry to put the Gophers into CMU territory. With 8:30 left in the third quarter, Minnesota leads 13-7.
Halftime: Minnesota 10, Central Michigan 7
Cooper Rush (CMU): 5-of-14, 55 yards
Mitch Leidner (MINN): 12-of-16, 110 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Romello Ross (CMU): 10 carries, 60 yards
Rodney Smith (MINN): 10 carries, 59 yards
Romello Ross (CMU): 2 catches, 25 yards
KJ Maye (MINN): 4 catches, 40 yards, 1 TD
Brian Eavey (CMU): 1-for-1 extra points
Ryan Santoso (MINN): 1-for-1 field goals (22), 2-for-2 extra points
CMU can't capitalize on INT, trails 10-7
Central Michigan cornerback Josh Cox's interception proved to be fruitless, as the Chippewas went three-and-out on the ensuing drive. Quarterback Cooper Rush was also flagged for intentional grounding on his third down incompletion. With 5:14 left in the first half, CMU trails 10-7.
Gophers answer quickly, go up 10-7
Minnesota needed only six plays to retake the lead. After running back Shannon Brooks ran for 30 yards to the CMU 11-yard-line, quarterback Mitch Leidner found receiver KJ Maye for the touchdown. With 12:43 left until halftime, the Gophers lead 10-7.
Chippewas respond, take 7-3 lead
After trading punts, Central Michigan seemed to find a rhythm on offense. On play 15 of an 82-yard drive -- a third-and-goal from inside the Minnesota 1-yard-line -- Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush scored on a quarterback keeper. The Minnesota goal-line defense stopped two previous carries up the middle. With 14:55 left in the second quarter, the Chippewas are up 7-3.
Minnesota takes early 3-0 lead
Minnesota kicker Ryan Santoso made a 22-yard field goal, giving the Gophers a 3-0 lead with 10:11 to go in the first quarter. After starting at their own 25-yard-line, the Gophers needed only one play to get into CMU territory -- thanks to a 37-yard run by freshman running back Rodney Smith. The Chippewas' defense clamped down after the Gophers made it into the red zone, forcing the field goal attempt.
Early notes: CMU punter leaves school, Kill named honorary captain
We're about 15 minutes from kickoff between Central Michigan and Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field.
Some quick hits before kickoff:
... According to CM-Life and multiple reports, Central Michigan junior punter Ron Coluzzi did not travel with the team to Detroit, and has left the program. He reportedly intends to transfer.
... Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that former Minnesota coach Jerry Kill, who stepped down in October amid health concerns, will be an honorary captain for the Gophers.