2007 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team
|2007 Minnesota Golden Gophers football|
|Conference||Big Ten Conference|
|2007 record||1–11 (0–8 Big Ten)|
|Head coach||Tim Brewster|
|Offensive coordinator||Mike Dunbar|
|Defensive coordinator||Everett Withers|
|Home stadium||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
|2007 Big Ten football standings|
|#5/4 Ohio State †||7||–||1||11||–||2|
|#20/18 Illinois ‡||6||–||2||9||–||4|
|#NR/25 Penn State||0*||–||4||0*||–||4|
|† – BCS representative as champion
‡ – BCS at-large representative
The 2007 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team was the first for new head coach Tim Brewster. They began play on September 1, 2007 at home against Bowling Green and finished the season with a record of 1 win and 11 losses.
- 1 Preseason
- 2 Schedule
- 3 Roster
- 4 Game notes
- 5 Awards and honors
- 6 References
On January 15, 2007 it was reported on ESPN.com that Tim Brewster was the choice of University of Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi to replace Glen Mason as the Gophers head coach. The following day, January 16, Minnesota associate athletic director Tom Wistrcill confirmed that Brewster was indeed the University's choice, with the contract signed in the early morning. Brewster was officially presented as the new head coach on Wednesday, January 17 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus. At his first press conference, Brewster stated that his immediate goals for the program were to "win the Big Ten championship" and "take the Gopher Nation to Pasadena.". Shortly thereafter, while addressing Gopher fans during a basketball game at Williams Arena, Brewster reiterated these goals, along with a vow to "Recruit, recruit, recruit."
On April 6, 2007, Gopher players Alex Daniels, Keith Massey, and E.J. Jones were arrested on suspicion of rape of an 18-year-old Minneapolis woman at the University Village apartment complex. On April 9, 2007 they were released without being charged pending further investigation. On July 16, 2007, Dominic Jones was arrested and charged in Hennepin County District Court with criminal sexual conduct after video of the incident was discovered. All four players involved were kicked off the team.
|September 1||7:00 PM||Bowling Green*||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome • Minneapolis, MN||BTN||L 32–31 OT||49,253|
|September 8||11:00 AM||Miami (Ohio)*||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome • Minneapolis, MN||BTN||W 41–35 3OT||45,383|
|September 15||12:00 PM||at Florida Atlantic*||Dolphin Stadium • Miami Gardens, FL||ESPN360||L 42–39||10,759|
|September 22||8:00 PM||Purdue||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome • Minneapolis, MN||ESPN2||L 45–31||47,483|
|September 29||7:00 PM||#8 Ohio State||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome • Minneapolis, MN||ESPN2||L 30–7||51,611|
|October 6||11:00 AM||at Indiana||Memorial Stadium • Bloomington, IN||BTN||L 40–20||32,009|
|October 13||11:00 AM||at Northwestern||Ryan Field • Evanston, IL||BTN||L 49–48 2OT||23,314|
|October 20||11:00 AM||North Dakota State*||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome • Minneapolis, MN||BTN||L 27–21||63,088|
|October 27||2:30 PM||at #20 Michigan||Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI (Little Brown Jug)||ESPN Classic/ABC||L 34–10||109,432|
|November 3||7:00 PM||Illinois||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome • Minneapolis, MN||BTN||L 44–17||46,604|
|November 10||11:00 AM||at Iowa||Kinnick Stadium • Iowa City, IA (Floyd of Rosedale)||BTN||L 21–16||70,585|
|November 17||2:30 PM||Wisconsin||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome • Minneapolis, MN (Paul Bunyan's Axe)||BTN||L 41–34||59,116|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Central Time.|
|(as of December 2, 2006)|
In Tim Brewster's first game as Gopher head coach, Bowling Green flew out to a 21–0 first half lead. The Gophers finally got in gear midway through the third quarter, and proceeded to score four straight times, the final score being a 33 yard Jason Giannini field goal to give Minnesota a 24–21 lead with 2:12 remaining. Bowling Green then drove down the field and kicked a 35-yard field goal with 0:03 left in the game to tie the score at 24–24 and send the game to overtime. In the overtime session, the Gophers took the ball first and scored a touchdown, scoring on a 22 yard Amir Pinnix run, and converting the extra point to go up 31–24. Bowling Green followed that up with a touchdown of their own, but instead of trying to tie the game with an extra point, the Falcons went for two. They converted it on a Marques Parks reception to win the game, 32–31.
Tim Brewster got his first win as a college head coach in a 41–35, three overtime victory. After the Gophers pulled out to a 28–12 lead mid-way through the 4th quarter, Miami started a furious comeback, tying the game on a 36 yard Trevor Cook field goal with 11 seconds left in regulation. In the first overtime both teams traded touchdowns. In the second overtime both teams missed potentially game winning field goals. In the third overtime, Gopher cornerback Jamal Harris intercepted a Daniel Raudabaugh pass in the endzone. The Gophers then took the ball and scored the game winning touchdown on an Amir Pinnix 2-yard touchdown run. Going back to Insight Bowl last season, it was the third consecutive overtime game for the Gophers.
The Golden Gophers took their first regular season trip to Florida. Their only previous game in Florida was in the 2000 MicronPC.com Bowl. A back and forth first quarter left the score tied at 14. FAU then scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, giving a 35–21 margin at the half. A field goal and touchdown from the Gophers in the third quarter brought the Gophers eleven points away from tying the score. The Owls scored the deciding touchdown with under 12 minutes left in the game. Minnesota scored two more touchdowns, but the lead eventually proved insurmountable. The Gophers turned over the ball seven times (four interceptions and three fumbles).
Purdue scored early and often against the Golden Gophers. On the first play of the game, Purdue scored a special teams touchdown when Dorien Bryant returned the opening kickoff the distance. Later in the first quarter Purdue scored an offensive touchdown on a Curtis Painter pass, and on the first play of the second quarter the Boilermakers scored a defensive touchdown on an interception return off an Adam Weber pass. Four first half turnovers made the Gophers comeback attempts difficult.Right before the half, Gophers cornerback Jamal Harris returned a blocked field goal and dropped the ball at about the 15 yard-line. Minnesota finally got in gear in the second half, scoring 28 points, but the Gopher defense could not stop Purdue, as the Boilermakers tacked on three more touchdowns to win the game 45–31.
The Golden Gophers entered their second Big 10 game of the season against the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes with nothing to lose. In an attempt to gain an element of surprise, the Gophers warmed up on the field in their standard maroon home jerseys, but switched to new gold jerseys before taking the field for the game (alternatively described by the media as "mustard" or "garish"). Although Minnesota played better than it had previously in the season, the outmanned team fell victim to numerous mistakes that cost the Gophers several opportunities. With the construction of the new TCF Bank Stadium scheduled to be finished by the 2009 season, the Buckeyes are assured of never losing in the Metrodome, finishing with an 11–0 record since the Gophers moved to the Dome in 1982.
Minnesota entered their first Big Ten road game of the season looking for their first conference victory. The Gophers gathered 392 yards of offense in a losing effort. Gophers quarterback Adam Weber passed for 280 yards, but also had two interceptions. Indiana connected on four field goal tries, ranging from 25 to 47 yards in length. Two of Minnesota's drives into Indiana territory were turned over on downs. Six of Minnesota's 12 drives started at or behind their own 20-yard line.
The Gophers continued Big 10 play by visiting the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Before a crowd of 23,314, the Gophers took a 21-point lead in the 2nd half, ahead 35–14 with 6 minutes, 18 seconds left in the third quarter. However, the Wildcats were able to tie the game by taking advantage of two interceptions and making the tying score with a 4-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal with 8 seconds remaining. Going into the second overtime, Tim Brewster, who turned 47 that day, elected to for a two-point conversion and the win, but the conversion failed and Northwestern pulled out the victory. The decision to gamble and go for two-points and the win instead of one-point and the next overtime period drew criticism for Brewster; as Northwestern defense appeared unable to stop the Minnesota offense.
The Gophers finished with 580 total yards while Northwestern had 589; they combined for 169 plays. Gopher quarterback Adam Weber finished with 25 of 38 passes for 341 yards and five touchdowns, with two interceptions, while also rushing for 89 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries; his total yards and 5 TD passes were the second most in school history. Receiver Ernie Wheelwright had a career best seven catches for 116 yards and three touchdowns. Jay Thomas rushed for 100 yards on 22 carries.
North Dakota State
The North Dakota State Bison of the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), led by head coach Craig Bohl, visited the Gophers for the second year in a row after nearly upseting them in a 10–9 decision the previous season. NDSU entered the game ranked No. 1 in I-AA (but ineligible for the playoffs due to the its transition period from Division II) and undefeated at 5–0, including a 44–14 win over FBS (D-IA) Central Michigan. The Bison were previously 0-6 all-time against the Gophers. Coach Tim Brewster stated in the week before the game that he did not see the recruiting value in the Gophers playing the match-up, and referred to the Bison as "the little guys in green."
The Bison defeated the Gophers 27–21 in front of 63,088, the most people to attend a Gopher game to that point in the season. The Gophers were dominated in every facet of the game, by a team with 22 fewer scholarship players and none with scholarship offers by Minnesota. The game was considered a low point for the program as a whole. NDSU rushed for 394 yards and totaled 585 yards with an edge in time of possession of nearly 14 minutes. Bison running back Tyler Roehl had a school-record 263 yards on 22 carries with one touchdown. The defeat put the Gophers at 1–7 and official out of contention for a bowl game bid. The victory extended NDSU's winning streak to 11-games, then the longest in all of Division I football.
In the battle for the Little Brown Jug, the Gophers held Michigan scoreless in the first quarter while building a 10–0 lead twelve seconds into the second quarter after a 46-yard fumble return for a touchdown by senior safety Dominique Barber. That would be the last time the Gophers would score however, and Michigan responded by reeling off 34 unanswered points to win the game 34–10. Ryan Mallett had 233 yards passing for Michigan. 162 of those yards went to Mario Manningham, who also hauled in a touchdown pass. The Wolverine running back duo of Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor combined for 289 yards on the ground. Duane Bennett had 106 yards rushing for the Gophers while Adam Weber was limited to just 99 yards through the air. Minnesota was just 2 of 13 in converting third down opportunities.
Illinois found success on offense early and often in defeating Minnesota in their homecoming game, 44–10. The Illini led 14–0 after the first quarter, and expanded their lead to 34–10 at halftime. The Illini rolled up 655 yards of total offense, which included a season high 448 yards rushing. Rashard Mendenhall led the Illini attack with 201 yards on the ground, with quarterback Juice Williams adding 133 yards. Ernie Wheelwright led the Gopher attack with 9 catches for 133 yards and one touchdown.
The Hawkeyes won a defensive battle, claiming the Floyd of Rosedale and dropping Minnesota to 0–7 in the Big Ten. Albert Young rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Hawkeyes, while Jake Christensen threw a TD pass to Brandon Myers for the other score. Eric Decker caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Adam Weber with 1:38 left in the fourth quarter to make the game close, but the two-point conversion failed and Iowa ran out the clock for the victory.
The Wisconsin Badgers won the battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe in a game featuring a lot of offense. Minnesota led the game 13–10 at halftime, but after the break Wisconsin outscored Minnesota 31–21 to win the game by 7. Freshman David Gilreath had two punt returns for 106 yards to spark Wisconsin. Running back Zach Brown led the Badger attack on the ground, rushing for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Led by Adam Weber's 352 yards passing and 87 yards rushing, Minnesota rolled up 501 ones yards in total offense in defeat. The loss completed Minnesota's first winless Big Ten campaign since 1983.
Awards and honors
- Dominique Barber – 2nd Team All-Big Ten (Coaches & Media)
- Justin Kucek – 2nd Team All-Big Ten (Media)
- Dominique Barber
Bruce Smith Award (Outstanding Offensive Player)
Carl Eller Award (Outstanding Defensive Player)
- Dominique Barber
Bobby Bell Award (Outstanding Special Teams Player)
- Justin Kucek
- Nathan Triplett
Butch Nash Award (Competitive on the field and in the classroom)
- John Shevlin (Defense)
- Steve Shidell (Offense)
Paul Giel Award (Unselfishness and most concern about the U of M)
- Todd Meisel (Defense)
- Tony Brinkhaus (Offense)
Neil Fredenburg Award (Courage and Love of the Game)
- Mike Sherels (Defense)
- Justin Valentine (Offense)
Outstanding First Year Player
- Kyle Theret (Defense)
- Adam Weber (Offense)
Outstanding Scout Team Players
- Kyle Moore (Offense)
- Andre Tate’ (Defense)
Coaches Award for Career Achievement
- Ernie Wheelwright
Tony Dungy Character and Community Service Award
- Amir Pinnix, Sr.
- Gophers' guy: Brewster to replace Mason at Minnesota, ESPN.com, January 16, 2007
- Scoggins, Chip (January 16, 2007). "It's Official: Brewster is New U Football Coach". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved January 16, 2007.
- Shelman, Jeff (January 17, 2007). "New U Coach: Rose Bowl is the Goal". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved January 17, 2007.
- Forliti, Amy (April 6, 2007). "3 Gopher football players accused of sexual assault, suspended". Associated Press. Retrieved April 9, 2007.
- Gurnon, Emily (April 9, 2007). "Gophers Players Released Pending Further Investigation in Rape Case". Associated Press. Retrieved April 9, 2007.
- "Bowling Green 32, Minnesota 31 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. September 1, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Minnesota 41, Miami 35 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. September 8, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Florida Atlantic 42, Minnesota 39 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. September 15, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Purdue 45, Minnesota 31 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. September 22, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Ohio State 30, Minnesota 7 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. September 29, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Indiana 40, Minnesota 20 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. October 6, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Northwestern 49, Minnesota 48 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. October 13, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "North Dakota State 27, Minnesota 21 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. October 20, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Michigan 34, Minnesota 10 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. October 27, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Illinois 44, Minnesota 17 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. November 3, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Iowa 21, Minnesota 16 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. November 10, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Wisconsin 41, Minnesota 34 – GOPHERSPORTS.COM – The Official Athletic Site of the Minnesota Gophers". Gophersports.com. November 17, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Campbell, Dave (September 29, 2007) (8) Ohio St. 30, Minnesota 7, Associated Press.
- Scoggins, Chip (October 14, 2007). "Big Risk, but No Reward". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved October 14, 2007.
- Reusse, Patrick (October 14, 2007). "Gophers Deserved Better from Coach in This One". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved October 14, 2007.
- Brackin, Dennis (October 15, 2007). "Brewster Looks to Past to Prepare for Future". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved October 15, 2007.
- FCS Coaches Poll (I-AA): Week 7, Yahoo! Sports.
- Blount, Rachel (October 20, 2007). "Brewster's Insults Were All the Spur Bison Needed". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved October 20, 2007.
- Medcalf, Myron P. (October 20, 2007). "Record-Setting Roehl Gets 63,008 'Wows'". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved October 20, 2007.
- Scoggins, Chip (October 20, 2007). "Gophers Are Bullied by the Bison". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved October 20, 2007.
- Scoggins, Chip (October 24, 2007). "Amid Failure, Gophers Pull in a Top Recruit". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved October 24, 2007.
- Krawczynski, Jon (October 20, 2007). "North Dakota St. 27, Minnesota 21". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. Retrieved October 20, 2007.
- "2007 All-Big Ten football team". Bigten.cstv.com. November 19, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Barber Named Team MVP at Football Awards Banquet". Gopher Sports. Retrieved March 22, 2012.