Gophers lose by one in Insight.com bowl 14-13Minnesota Sports
- Iowa State took advantage of a key late fumble by Minneosta to win the Insight.com Bowl 14-13.
From Minnesota Daily.com
TEMPE, Ariz. — In a tale of two fumbles, one apparently wasn’t; another clearly was. Both hurt the Gophers; combined they decided the game.
The first: midway through the fourth quarter, at the end of a 26-yard catch by Iowa State running back Alexander Robinson, Gophers safety Kim Royston made his 13th of an Insight Bowl record 15 tackles; the ball popped loose and Minnesota recovered, but after review, Robinson was ruled down.
The second: The Cyclones didn’t score after the fumble was overturned; instead, they downed a punt at the Gophers’ 1-yard line. With an entire field to go, Minnesota drove to Iowa State’s 17 in just over three minutes. Well within field goal range, freshman backup quarterback MarQueis Gray ran a keeper and lost the ball as he tried to bounce outside. Cyclones cornerback Ter’ran Benton, playing his first game since suffering a broken leg Oct. 24 against Nebraska, pounced on the ball.
With just over four minutes remaining in the game, three first downs did the trick, and the Cyclones ran out the clock for a 14-13 Insight Bowl triumph Thursday night at Sun Devil Stadium.
Those fumbles; a missed field goal by junior kicker Eric Ellestad; a costly slip in coverage by safety Kyle Theret that put a blemish on the junior’s otherwise outstanding game; they were all pieces that, put together, made an all too familiar picture in Tempe. The Gophers lost their fourth straight bowl game, third straight Insight Bowl and second straight under third-year head coach Tim Brewster.
Apart from a second quarter lapse, Minnesota’s defense, if not dominant, was certainly opportunistic, forcing four turnovers and making a critical fourth-and-1 stop to end Iowa State’s opening drive. But the pair of touchdowns they allowed within five minutes of halftime proved to be the difference, as the offense again struggled to finish drives.
In five trips to the red zone, Minnesota failed to find the end zone. Its lone touchdown was a well-crafted, 23-yard crossing route from junior quarterback Adam Weber to senior tight end Nick Tow-Arnett that snapped a 10-plus quarter touchdown drought by the offense.