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Gophers come back to defeat SDSU in season opener

Well that was too close for comfort.

The 2019 Gopher football season almost got off to a shocking start but Minnesota was able to defeat the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 28-21 Thursday night at TCF Bank Stadium.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Gophers found the end zone courtesy of Seth Green out of the Wildcat formation to put Minnesota up 7-0. However, the Jack Rabbits, ranked third in the FCS, were able to tie things up shortly after.

As time was winding down in the first half, Tanner Morgan aired one out to Rashod Bateman who hauled in a spectacular one-handed catch for a touchdown putting the Gophers up 13-7 into halftime.

Bateman hauled in five passes for 132 yards in the win.

Minnesota padded their lead with a pick-six from Chris Williamson on the fifth play of the second half.

But the Jackrabbits rebounded with a pair of touchdowns and took a 21-20 lead into the final quarter, with the U of M having just 20 yards of offense in the third quarter.

The Gophers would finally catch a break when they forced a fumble and took over inside SDSU's 40-yard line with eight minutes to go. After marching into the red zone, Mohamed Ibrahim rushed in for the go-ahead score. A successful two-point conversion put Minnesota ahead 28-21. 

After the defense was able to force a turnover on the downs, the Gophers ran out the clock to secure the victory. SDSU finished the night with 367 yards of total offense compared to just 308 yards for the Gophers. 

The Gophers will return to action on Sept. 7, hitting the road to play Fresno State.

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