Minnesota Football's Top 10 Plays of 2014

By brookshooley

Minnesota Football's Top 10 Plays of 2014

Minnesota Golden Gophers Football
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Jerry Kill’s rebuilding process of Minnesota football is still a work in progress, but the Gophers have a lot of talent returning this season. The Gophers went 8-5 last season but lost to Missouri in the Citrus Bowl. Here is a list of plays that highlight Minnesota’s 2014 campaign.

10. David Cobb's Long Touchdown Run vs. Middle Tennessee State

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10. David Cobb's Long Touchdown Run vs. Middle Tennessee State

David Cobb minnesota golden gophers
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota had no trouble dispatching Middle Tennessee State in the second game of the season. The Gophers raced to a 28-0 halftime lead and never looked back. Late in the third quarter, running back David Cobb burst through the middle of the Blue Raider defense on a 48-yard jaunt to the end zone to punctuate the emphatic non-conference win. Minnesota won 35-24.

9. Briean Boddy-Calhoun's Interception vs. Ohio State

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9. Briean Boddy-Calhoun's Interception vs. Ohio State

Briean Boddy-Calhoun minnesota golden gophers
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The Gophers fell behind early to the No. 8-ranked Buckeyes 14-0 on a frigid day in Minneapolis. Late in the first quarter, Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett lofted a pass deep for receiver Corey Smith, but it was intercepted by Gopher defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun. Boddy-Calhoun returned the interception 56 yards to set up a Cobb touchdown run to put Minnesota back in it. The Buckeyes eventually escaped the Minnesota tundra, 31-24.

8. David Cobb's Long Touchdown Run vs. Wisconsin

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8. David Cobb's Long Touchdown Run vs. Wisconsin

David Cobb minnesota golden gophers
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This game would decide who would represent the Big Ten West in the conference title game. Minnesota led 7-3 late in the first quarter when Cobb broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run to put the Gophers up 14-3. Unfortunately, the lead would fade down the stretch as Wisconsin clinched the division in a 34-24 victory in Camp Randall Stadium.

7. David Cobb's Third-Down Touchdown Run vs. Ohio State

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7. David Cobb's Third-Down Touchdown Run vs. Ohio State

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After Cobb’s touchdown run that pulled the Gophers within a touchdown, Minnesota faced a third-and-15 from the Ohio State 30 yard line. Cobb took the hand-off and was gone. The score was tied at 14, but Gophers would not score again until late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.

6. De'Vondre Campbell's Pick-Six vs. Michigan

De'Vondre Campbell minnesota golden gophers
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6. De'Vondre Campbell's Pick-Six vs. Michigan

De'Vondre Campbell minnesota golden gophers
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Minnesota had gone eight years without hoisting the Little Brown Jug, but that streak came to a halt in 2014. Midway through the third quarter, the Gophers were clinging to a 13-7 lead. Michigan faced second-and-10 from their own 25 when Wolverine quarterback Shane Morris’ pass was tipped into the hands of Minnesota linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, who tiptoed 30 yards down the sideline for the score. Minnesota left Ann Arbor with a 30-14 victory.

5. Maxx Williams' Long Touchdown Reception vs. Missouri

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5. Maxx Williams' Long Touchdown Reception vs. Missouri

Maxx Williams minnesota golden gophers
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Minnesota was down 13-7 to Missouri in the third quarter of the Citrus Bowl and in need of a big play to spark the offense. Quarterback Mitch Leidner found tight end Maxx Williams cutting across the field and hit him in stride for a beautiful 54-yard catch and run touchdown, punctuated by Williams hurdling a defender on his way to the end zone. But Missouri outscored the Gophers 20-3 from that point and won 33-17.

4. K.J. Maye's Touchdown Reception vs. Purdue

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4. K.J. Maye's Touchdown Reception vs. Purdue

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Minnesota and Purdue were in an uncharacteristic mid-season Big Ten shootout. Trailing 38-29 late in the third quarter, Leidner hit wide receiver K.J. Maye in stride for a 37-yard touchdown that brought the Gophers within two points heading into the final quarter.

3. Mitch Leidner's Game-Winning Touchdown Run vs. Nebraska

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3. Mitch Leidner's Game-Winning Touchdown Run vs. Nebraska

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Minnesota fell behind Nebraska 21-7 in the first half in Lincoln. Coach Jerry Kill must have given the Gophers quite a halftime speech, because the second half was much different. The Gophers held the Huskers to only three second-half points, but still trailed 24-21 late in the fourth quarter. With just over three minutes to play, Leidner kept an option read and barreled into the end zone for the deciding touchdown.

2. Ryan Santoso's Game-Winning Field Goal vs. Purdue

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2. Ryan Santoso's Game-Winning Field Goal vs. Purdue

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The floodgates of offense were shut in the fourth quarter of the Boilermaker-Gopher shootout. Trailing 38-36, Minnesota needed at least a field goal to take the lead over Purdue. With just under five minutes to play, kicker Ryan Santoso nailed a 52-yard field goal to clinch the game for Minnesota in a wild conference matchup.

1. Jalen Myrick's Game-Winning Kick Return vs. Northwestern

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1. Jalen Myrick's Kick Return vs. Northwestern

Jalen Myrick minnesota golden gophers
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern was giving Minnesota all they could handle. Midway through the fourth quarter, Wildcat quarterback Trevor Siemian scored from two yards out to tie the score at 17. But Northwestern made the mistake of kicking to Gopher defensive back Jalen Myrick, who returned the ensuing kickoff 103 yards for the game-winning touchdown, whipping TCF Bank Stadium into a frenzy.

Brooks Hooley is a Junior Big Ten Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @brookshooley.

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