Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Minnesota's running game too strong for Louisiana

Field Level Media
01 Oct 2023, 05:19 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports)

Athan Kaliakmanis passed for two touchdowns and ran for another score as Minnesota defeated Louisiana 35-24 in a non-conference game Saturday in Minneapolis.

Kaliakmanis completed 12 of 14 for just 146 yards and rushed for just 17 yards, but he threw touchdown passes of 10 and 37 yards to Daniel Jackson, and Zach Evans and Bryce Williams each added a touchdown run for the Golden Gophers (3-2).

Minnesota played without freshman running back Darius Taylor, who averaged 176 rushing yards in the past three games but suffered an undisclosed injury late in a 37-34 overtime loss to Northwestern last week.

Redshirt freshman Zeon Chriss, making his second career start in place of injured Ben Wooldridge, passed for 172 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions for the Ragin' Cajuns (3-2).

Chriss was Louisiana's leading rusher, finishing with 74 yards on 10 attempts.

Minnesota drove 80 yards on the first possession of the third quarter and Evans, who finished with a game-high 85 rushing yards, completed the drive with an 18-yard touchdown run that gave the Gophers a 21-17 lead.

Tyler Nabin intercepted Chriss at the Louisiana 42 late in the third quarter, and on the third play of the fourth quarter, Williams ran 2 yards for a touchdown and a 28-17 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Jack Henderson intercepted Chriss at the Minnesota 44, and on fourth and 2, Kaliakmanis and Jackson teamed for their 37-yard score.

Jacob Kibodi ran 52 yards for a touchdown to trim the lead to 35-24 with 3:01 remaining.

On the first possession of the game Chriss threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Peter LeBlanc.

Kaliakmanis threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jackson that tied the score at the end of the first quarter.

On the third play of the second quarter, Kenneth Almendares kicked a 28-yard field goal to give the Cajuns a 10-7 lead.

Kaliakmanis answered with a 2-yard touchdown run that gave the Gophers a 14-10 lead midway through the second quarter.

Chriss' 6-yard touchdown pass to Robert Williams gave Louisiana a 17-14 halftime lead.

--Field Level Media

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