Minnesota had no trouble with Middle Tennessee on Saturday, as the Gophers rolled 34-3 to improve to 3-0.
Stay here for live updates, scores and analysis.
Minnesota-Middle Tennessee live updates, score
FINAL: Minnesota 34, Middle Tennessee 3: The Gophers looked good again, with both Kobe McCrary and Rodney Smith rushing for more than 100 yards each. Quarterback Conor Rhoda was also solid, going 11 for 18 for 122 yards and no interceptions.
Minnesota 27, Middle Tennessee 3 (1:17 3Q): The Gophers aren’t slowing down. McCrary scores his second touchdown of the game, as the McCrary-Smith combination is proving difficult to stop. Smith is up to 107 yards on 16 carries, while McCrary is at 76 yards on 17 attempts.
Minnesota 20, Middle Tennessee 3 (HALF): Minnesota is rolling after Jacob Huff returns an interception 67 yards for a touchdown. Minnesota is looking for for a 3-0 start to the season.
Minnesota 13, Middle Tennessee 3 (6:02 2Q): The Gophers get their touchdown as McCrary scores on a 14-yard run. Smith is also over 100 yards on only 15 attempts.
Minnesota 6, Middle Tennessee 3 (9:20 2Q): This continues to be a battle of field goals, as Emmit Carpenter gives the Gophers the lead on a 47-yard kick. Smith is rolling on the ground with 13 carries for 81 yards.
Minnesota 3, Middle Tennessee 3 (10:53 2Q): The Blue Raiders have tied the game on a pass-heavy drive. QB John Urzua is now 7 for 13 for 62 yards.
Minnesota 3, Middle Tennessee 0 (End 1Q): Minnesota is outgaining the Blue Raiders 78 to 46 after the first quarter. Smith is off to a strong start with 48 rushing yards on 10 attempts. Middle Tennessee’s Urzua started for the injured Brent Stockstill. Though he’s 5-for-6 passing, he has only 19 yards.
Class move from Minnesota on Saturday as the Gophers have a special helmet sticker for people dealing with the hurricane tragedies.
— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) September 16, 2017
Minnesota 3, MTSU 0 (8:29 1Q): The Gophers get on the board first, looking for a 3-0 start.
Pregame: Middle Tennessee star QB Brent Stockstill will not play Saturday because of an injury during the Syracuse game.
QB Brent Stockstill (@bstockstill12) will not play vs. Minnesota today due to an injury suffered vs. Syracuse. John Urzua will start at QB
— Middle Tennessee FB (@MT_FB) September 16, 2017
Some mobile users click here.
Minnesota-Middle Tennessee game time, information
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Sept. 16
TV channel: Big Ten Network
Location: TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.
Weather: Temperature in the low-80s with party cloudy skies
The line: Minnesota -10.5
Minnesota-Middle Tennessee preview
The Gophers and first-year coach P.J. Fleck are 2-0 after beating Buffalo, 17-7, and winning at Oregon State, 48-14, the first two weeks. Minnesota’s 48 points against the Beavers were the most points scored on the road since putting up 49 against Northwestern in 1980. Now Minnesota is only one win away from sweeping their three nonconference games for the second year in a row.
Rhoda has passed for 334 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception this season. The rushing attack is led by the 1-2 tandem of Rodney Smith (168 yards, 1 TD) and Shannon Brooks (160 yards, 4 TDs). Smith is four yards away from 2,000 yards in his career, which would make him only the 14th Minnesota player to reach the milestone. Stopping the running back duo could be the biggest challenge for the Blue Raiders.
Through two games, Minnesota is averaging 32.5 points per game while allowing only 10.5 points per game. The Gophers have been stingy on the ground, giving up only 65.5 yards per contest, though teams have only 48 attempts.
Minnesota to wear special helmet against Middle Tennessee on Saturday
— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) September 13, 2017
Middle Tennessee is 1-1 after losing to Vanderbilt (28-6) and beating Syracuse (30-23).
The Blue Raiders depend on the passing attack, as QB Brent Stockstill has 435 passing yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions through two games. His favorite target is WR Richie James, who has 18 catches for 208 yards and 2 scores.
Saturday’s game is the third meeting between the Gophers and the Blue Raiders. In the first meeting in 2010, Minnesota won 24-7 on the road. In the next meeting, the Gophers won 35-24 in 2014 at home.
This will be Middle Tennessee’s third consecutive game against a Power 5 team to start the season after meeting Vanderbilt (SEC) and Syracuse (ACC). The Blue Raiders’ win at Syracuse is the second against a Power 5 school the past two years. In 2016, Middle Tennessee won at Missouri, 51-45.
Middle Tennessee is led by Rick Stockstill, father of the team’s starting quarterback. In his 12th season as the Blue Raiders coach, Stockstill is 73-67.
Though Fleck is in his first year with the Gophers, he’s on one of the best runs in the country. Fleck is 22-3 in his last 25 games, with only Nick Saban at Alabama and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney having better records.
Before taking over as the Gophers’ coach, Fleck was at Western Michigan for four seasons. In 2016, Fleck and the Broncos went 13-1, won the MAC title and reached the Cotton Bowl. They finished ranked No. 15 in the country.