The Gophers upped their record to 2-0 with a dominating 44-21 win over New Mexico State Saturday night in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Minnesota dominated the ground game in the victory 342-103 despite the absence of starting running back Donnel Kirkwood. Roddrick Williams rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Philp Nelson added 122 yards rushing in the win.
"They practiced well, and they got rewarded for practicing," said head coach Jerry Kill. "You earn things when you work hard. So I thought they did, I thought Philip played a good game."
The story of the early season for the Gophers has been the defense and special teams. For the second week in a row, Minnesota picked up a punt return and a defensive fumble return. The Gophers opened the game up in the second quarter when Williams and Marcus Jones scored a little more than a minute a part. Jones, returning from two ACL injuries in his freshman and sophomore seasons has put the Minnesota return game on the map. In the opener against UNLV, he took the second half kickoff back for a touchdown. He proved he could work the same magic in the punt return game as he again changed the game with a 65-yard return for a score.
The Gophers avenged their home loss to New Mexico State two seasons ago and will now turn their attention to Western Illinois who makes a trip to TCF Bank next Saturday morning for an 11:00 a.m. kickoff.