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An 18-6 victory for the Gophers over West Virginia in Tuesday night's Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Arizona put a bow on 2021 season as Minnesota finished 9-4 in the fifth year under head coach P.J. Fleck. 

The story of the game was Minnesota's defense, which limited the Mountaineers to 206 total yards and without a touchdown. On offense, the Gophers dominated on the ground to the tune of 249 rushing yards – 144 for Ky Thomas and 129 for Mar'Kiese Irving. 

They also got 2 yards on the ground from 6'9'', 380-pound offensive tackle Daniele Faalele, who lined up at fullback and bulldozed two yards into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. 

"He's 400 pounds," Fleck said. "Once that thing gets moving forward, it's hard to stop that thing."

Fleck successfully went for two points on a fake field goal but it paled in comparison to the big man TD. The touchdown helped give Minnesota an 8-0 lead early in the second quarter and proved to be the game-winning touchdown and conversion. 

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