MINNEAPOLIS — Quarterback Matt McDonald ran for a pair of scores, and two late interceptions by the Bowling Inexperienced protection sealed the win because the Falcons shocked heavily-favored Minnesota 14-10 on homecoming Saturday.
The loss snapped Minnesota’s streak of 21 straight non-conference wins, the longest streak within the nation coming into Saturday’s recreation. The Gophers’ final non-conference loss was Sept. 3, 2015 towards TCU.
It additionally marked Minnesota’s first loss to a non-Energy 5 convention opponent since shedding to North Dakota State on Sept. 24, 2011.
Minnesota was favored by 30.5 factors.
“Give Bowling Inexperienced plenty of credit score,” Gophers coach P.J. Fleck mentioned. “I understand how excited they’re, and so they deserve it and so they earned it. We didn’t should win that soccer recreation in any respect.”
Bowling Inexperienced used a powerful defensive effort to decelerate the Golden Gophers. Minnesota’s followers booed their staff at quite a few factors within the recreation, whereas Falcons gamers jumped on the sphere in celebration after the upset was full.
“I could not be extra comfortable for a gaggle of youngsters which have actually been by means of so much,” Bowling Inexperienced coach Scott Loeffler mentioned. “We have got the 24-hour rule. We will rejoice for twenty-four hours, after which we’ll get again to the workplace.”
The Gophers had the ball with an opportunity to take the lead late within the fourth quarter after Bowling Inexperienced didn’t fall on a muffed punt by Minnesota’s Trey Potts. However one play after recovering the fumble, quarterback Tanner Morgan lofted a deep interception into the palms of Devin Taylor with 2:13 remaining. Morgan threw one other decide with 17 seconds remaining.
The Gophers’ passing recreation struggled all day towards the Falcons. Morgan was simply 5-of-13 for 59 yards.
“I’ve to play method higher,” mentioned Morgan, who was additionally sacked 4 instances Saturday.
McDonald scored on runs of 1 and three yards. He was 19-of-35 for 170 yards by means of the air.
Minnesota’s lone landing got here on a 19-yard scramble by backup quarterback Cole Kramer.
Saturday was Minnesota’s first loss to a MAC faculty since shedding to Northern Illinois in 2010.
“P.J. Fleck and this Minnesota staff is an effective soccer staff,” Loeffler mentioned. “They will bounce again.”
NO GROUND GAME, NO PROBLEM
Bowling Inexperienced entered Saturday averaging a mere 53 speeding yards per recreation, second fewest within the nation. The Falcons managed simply 22 complete speeding yards on 25 carries towards Minnesota, with McDonald’s 18-yard run the one carry that went for greater than seven yards. That run got here at a key time, because it helped the Falcons convert on 4th-and-1 to increase their drive.
After Morgan’s struggles Saturday, Fleck was requested if there was any likelihood Minnesota would make a change at quarterback.
“That hadn’t even crossed my thoughts in any respect,” Fleck mentioned.
Bowling Inexperienced: This was an enormous enhance for a Bowling Inexperienced staff that had misplaced two of its first three video games. Few individuals gave the Falcons an opportunity on this one, particularly after a formidable 30-0 win for Minnesota final weekend towards Colorado. However the Falcons by no means trailed by greater than three and took benefit of the Gophers’ errors. The bottom recreation stays a problem, however the protection held its personal towards Minnesota.
Minnesota: There have been miscues galore for the Gophers in Saturday’s loss. Minnesota was stuffed on a 4th-and-1 try that led to a Bowling Inexperienced landing. Morgan misplaced a fumble after an 18-yard run. A roughing the kicker penalty on a Bowling Inexperienced punt within the fourth quarter gave the Falcons new life. These varieties of errors cannot occur in a recreation the place Minnesota was favored by greater than 30 factors.
Bowling Inexperienced: The Falcons tackle Kent State on the street on Oct. 2.
Minnesota: The Gophers head on the street to face Purdue on Oct. 2.