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Rock-Solid Defense, Steady Offense Keep Gophers Unbeaten

17 September 2017

". I think we've played well on offense at times, but we are still just biting ourselves in the foot a little too much that is keeping us from where we want to be". Fleck is the first Minnesota coach to start his Gophers career 3-0 since Murray Warmath opened with four consecutive wins in 1954. "Our defense created a lot of energy".

Behind an efficient Conor Rhoda, hard running from Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith and big plays from Tyler Johnson, the Gophers found another gear in Oregon.

In total, the Gophers combined for 221 rushing yards, with Smith and McCrary totaling 107 yards each.

The Gophers defense played well on Saturday - Minnesota did not surrender a second-half point in its three non-conference games - but judging its performance was far more hard given whom Middle Tennessee was missing.

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Middle Tennessee is playing its third Power Five opponent, after losing to Vanderbilt and beating Syracuse.

Middle Tennessee State quarterback Brent Stockstill has been scratched from Saturday's game against Minnesota with an injured left shoulder.

Defensive back Jacob Huff had a T-D interception return with less than two minutes remaining in the first half.

He finished the year completing 78-131 passes for 816 yards and had eight touchdowns to go along with eight interceptions.

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Blue Raiders star receiver Richie James played sparingly.

The senior had his best production in the game throughout the third quarter, where he rushed for 51 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run. "When he went down that took out a whole part of our game plan for our defense, and the quarterback is very accurate".

"I know who we are. I think they did that so we prepared the same". Now, the Gophers are off next week before starting the nine-game Big Ten schedule against Maryland on September 30.

Three games, three similar results for Minnesota.

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Rock-Solid Defense, Steady Offense Keep Gophers Unbeaten