2011 Minnesota Golden Gophers Football
Minnesota vs New Mexico State Football Recap
New Mexico State 28, Minnesota 21
The Minnesota Golden Gophers suffered a loss on Saturday that, in football terms, was significant and alarming. However, when your coach collapses on the sideline and requires attention from medics for dozens of minutes, it’s hard to get too worked up about the outcome of a game.
On a day that struck fear and panic into the hearts of far too many young men, it is simply a blessing that the afternoon wasn’t worse. Losing a game is fine, but losing a coach – a man, a leader, a mentor – creates a true and lasting sadness. Fortunately, the Minnesota football family did not have to experience that sickening and unspeakable event. In a game overshadowed by the seizure suffered by Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill, the New Mexico State Aggies pulled off one of the biggest upsets in their program’s history, while Minnesota heaved a sigh of relief as Kill’s condition stabilized in the hours after this contest ended.
Andrew Manley threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns for the Aggies. He completed his first 12 passes, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Taveon Rogers that gave New Mexico State a 7-0 lead with 12:01 left in the first quarter. Manley’s third touchdown pass of the game gave New Mexico State a 21-7 lead with 6:53 left in the second quarter.
MarQueis Gray struggled in his second start at quarterback for the Gophers. He completed 16 of 32 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns, and was intercepted twice. For the second straight week, he missed part of the game due to cramps, forcing freshman Max Shortell to take over briefly. Gray was excellent on the ground, though, carrying 17 times for 110 yards. Minnesota’s offense didn't parlay that excellence into anything meaningful, however - the Gophers converted just two of 12 third down chances.
Robert Clay carried 20 times for 97 yards and a touchdown for the Aggies. His TD was a two-yard run in the third quarter that gave New Mexico State a 28-14 lead. Gray hit Da’Jon McKnight for a four-yard touchdown early in the fourth to bring Minnesota within seven points, setting up the bizarre and jarring finish in which a man's very health became the only concern of everyone inside TCF Bank Stadium. Kill’s seizure occurred as the Gophers were driving to try to tie the score.
Kill’s condition is not considered life-threatening, and he is expected to return quickly. A cancer survivor, Kill has had similar episodes earlier in his career.
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