Minnesota started with possession after Wisconsin elected to defer to the second half. The Gophers promptly marched down 72 yards on six plays to take a 7-0 lead. The Gophers had two explosive plays off of easy simple passing concepts that put Jordan Nubin and Daniel Jackson in space with lots of room to eat up YAC.
Wisconsin’s opening possession was stopped inside their own half. Minnesota almost picked off Mordecai’s third down pass after Kyler Baugh got his mitts on the ball and tipped it in the air at the line.
The Gophers began their second drive with several nice chunk plays before an untimely sack on a second down max protect play action pass attempt derailed the chance for a two possession lead.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the first quarter was that the Gophers are allowed to return punts. Quentin Redding had a 22 yard return to start Minnesota’s third offensive possession. Unfortunately, the Gophers could make nothing out of it and Fleck elected to punt on 4th down to switch field possession.