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News, Notes and Tid-Bits From Gophers 17-10 Win Over Syracuse

09/22/2012, 11:00pm CDT
By U of M Athletic Communications

The Gophers improve to 4-0 with the win over Syracuse.

SERIES NOTES

  • Minnesota was playing Syracuse for the fourth time this evening, with the Gophers improving to 3-1 in the series.
  • Minnesota has now won three straight games in the series versus Syracuse and is 2-0 in games played in Minneapolis.
  • The Gophers improved to 13-4 in games against current members of the Big East Conference.

TEAM NOTES

  • Minnesota won its fifth straight game dating back to the final game of last season. It’s the Gophers’ first five-game winning streak since winning the final game of 2004 and the first four games of 2005.
  • The Gophers improved to 4-0 for the first time since also starting 4-0 during 2008.
  • Tonight’s attendance of 50,805 was Minnesota’s first sellout since the final game of the 2010 season versus Iowa (Nov. 27, 2010). It was Minnesota’s first sellout of a non-conference game since drawing 50,805 for South Dakota State on Nov. 14, 2009.
  • The Gophers improved to 11-13 in games played at TCF Bank Stadium, and are 10-7 since the start of the 2010 season.
  • Six of head coach Jerry Kill’s seven wins at Minnesota have come at home.
  • Kill’s career record in home games improved to 81-29 (.736).
  • Minnesota intercepted a pass for the fourth straight game. It’s the longest such streak for the Gophers since they picked off a pass in five straight games between Oct. 16 and Nov. 13, 2010.
  • The Gophers finished with 337 total yards on offense (106 rushing, 231 passing). It’s the least yards gained by Minnesota’s offense this season. Minnesota’s previous low had been 397 total yards versus Western Michigan.
  • Minnesota’s defense allowed just one touchdown in a game for the second time this season. The Gophers held UNH to seven points on Sept. 8.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES (OFFENSE)

  • Max Shortell completed 16-of-30 passes for 231 yards, which established new career-bests in all three categories.
  • Donnell Kirkwood rushed for two touchdowns, giving him three this season and six for his career. It was his second career game with multiple TDs, as he also scored twice versus North Dakota State on Sept. 24, 2011.
  • Kirkwood finished with a career-high 28 rushing attempts for 99 yards and the two touchdowns, just missing back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. He had a career-best 110 net yards in last week’s win versus Western Michigan.
  • Devin Crawford-Tufts had a season-long reception of 40 yards. His career-best was a 61-yard catch and run versus Iowa on Oct. 29, 2011. Crawford-Tufts finished with three catches for 67 yards in the game.
  • A.J. Barker led the Gophers with four catches, totaling 52 yards. Barker leads Minnesota with 14 catches for 283 yards and four touchdowns this season.
  • K.J. Maye had career-highs of six rushing attempts for 17 yards. He entered tonight’s game with four rushes for 11 net yards.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES (DEFENSE)

  • Cedric Thompson intercepted his first career pass on Syracuse’s first play from scrimmage.
  • D.L. Wilhite has recorded a sack in each of Minnesota’s four games this year. He leads the Gophers with 4.5 sacks for 29 yards in losses.
  • Ra’Shede Hageman forced a fumble in the second quarter. It was the second forced fumble of his career.
  • Michael Amaefula recovered his second fumble of the season, matching his total from 2011.
  • Aaron Hill intercepted his first career pass inside the Gophers’ five yard line in the third quarter to stop a Syracuse scoring threat after the Orange had reached the one yard line. Hill was wearing No. 51 for tonight’s game to honor former teammate Gary Tinsley.
  • Hill finished the game with a team-high and career-best 10 tackles (four solo) to go along with his interception and a pass break-up. Hill’s previous best had been eight tackles versus Illinois on Nov. 26, 2011.
  • Keanon Cooper forced his first fumble of the season and the fourth of his career.
  • Scott Ekpe recovered his first career fumble.
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