It wasn't pretty, but it was certainly stunning as the Gophers rallied to beat Fresno State 38-35 in double overtime Saturday night.
The game didn't end until after 1 a.m. in Minnesota (after 11 p.m. in California), but the wait was worth it as Minnesota stunned the Bulldogs with a game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter and then stunned them again with a game-ending interception by Antoine Winfield Jr. in the second overtime.
For Winfield Jr. it's the second year in a row he's handed Fresno a heartbreaker with a game-ending interception. This time, he did it by sprinting in front of what would've been a game-winning touchdown pass, and instead turned into a clinching interception for Minnesota.
Here's a reminder of the play Winfield Jr. made a year ago to beat the Bulldogs.
The first stunner of the game came with the Gophers trailing 28-21 with under a minute to go in the fourth quarter. Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan, on 4th-and-13, lobbed a perfect pass to the corner of the end zone to Chris Autman-Bell for a 20-yard touchdown.
Autman-Bell grabbed the ball over perfect coverage and found a way to get one foot down for the tying touchdown with just 46 seconds to go.
In overtime, the Gophers and Bulldogs traded touchdowns before Michael Lantz hit a 37-yard field goal – the first field goal of his college career – to set the stage for Winfield Jr.'s game-saving interception.
Morgan finished 16-of-23 for 234 yards and two touchdowns. His go-to target was once again sophomore Rashod Bateman, who led the Gophers with seven receptions for 105 yards. Tyler Johnson added six catches and 71 yards.
Mohamed Ibrahim and Rodney Smith each had a rushing touchdown for Minnesota, which racked up 146 yards on the ground while limiting Fresno State to just 57 rushing yards.
Up next: Gophers (2-0) vs. Georgia Southern, next Saturday at 2:30 p.m.