Minnesota leads Nebraska 17-10 in Lincoln at the end of the first half. Mitch Leidner is 9/14 for 105 yards and a rushing touchdown. Rodney Smith has 55 yards on 13 rushing attempts with a long of 31 and a touchdown.
Minnesota began the game with a beautifully called opening drive. With help from back to back third down penalties from Nebraska, the Gophers used a nice blend of runs and passes to take a 7-0 lead on the opening possession.
Nebraska answered with two straight scoring drives to take a 10-7 lead. The Cornhuskers used a well designed pick play to free up Trey Bryant. The Gophers struggled during the first half to pick up their assignments, particularly in the linebacking corps. Jalen Myrick also dropped a sure pick six on the same drive. Minnesota’s defense improved on subsequent drives, but they cannot afford to keep missing assignments in the second half.
Minnesota scored its second touchdown of the half after key plays from Mitch Leidner, Drew Wolitarsky, and the best running back in the Big Ten Rodney Smith. Smith broke free for a 31 yard scamper to the three yard line. Mitch Leidner converted on a QB sneak four plays later.
Special “I almost feel bad for you” mention to Nebraska’s punter who had a punt of -2 yards.