University of Minnesota
Created: May 01, 2021 04:09 PM
The University of Minnesota football team played their annual spring game on a balmy Saturday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium. The Maroon team prevailed against the Gold team, 24-17, to win the coveted Goldy's Cup.
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The Maroon Team was led by guest coach women's basketball coach Lindsay Whalen, while the Gold team was guided by men's basketball coach Ben Johnson. Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. also coached Maroon, while defensive coordinator Joe Rossi paced the sideline for the Gold. Head Coach P.J. Fleck oversaw the action as a neutral party from the field.
Tanner Morgan was under center for the Maroon offense most of the day. He had a good showing against the Gold defense, as he completed 9 of 17 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown, a 28-yard pass to Chris Autman-Bell. Minnesota's most tenured receiver finished the game with four catches for 100 yards. Morgan also got in on the receiving action, as he caught a short touchdown pass from Michael Brown-Stephens to open the scoring.
Zack Annexstad played quarterback for Gold, and threw for 232 yards as he completed 14-of-23 passes.
The Maroon team used multiple running backs during the exhibition. Cam Wiley ran nine times for 28 yards, and Preston Jelen added six carries for 21 yards. Wiley had Maroon's lone rushing touchdown, a two-yard score with 3:11 left in the game that broke a 17-17 tie.
On the ground, Gold was led by Bryce Williams. The Florida native ran the ball eight times for 32 yards. Treyson Potts also had ten carries for 31 yards. Annexstad escaped the pocked four times and had a long run of 20 yards.
Each offense also utilized trick plays on the goal line. In addition to Morgan's touchdown reception for Maroon, offensive lineman Danielle Faalele threw a touchdown pass to Gold tight end Ko Kieft for the team's first touchdown. Faalele ran for a touchdown in the 2019 spring game, but this time executed a jump pass to stun the surprising Maroon secondary. Gold also scored a rushing touchdown with offensive lineman Sam Schlueter toting the ball.
Both defenses had good performances in front of the capacity crowd of 10,000 fans. The Maroon defense tallied two interceptions, as Derik LeCaptain and Terell Smith both picked off Annexstad. Smith's interception came in the end zone with less than a minute left and sealed the win for the Whalen-led Maroon team. Maroon had four tackles for loss, while gold had one. Maroon also made a big stop early in the game on fourth and one, and the turnover on downs led to a score on the ensuing Maroon drive.
Chris Autman-Bell, Jah Joyner, Derik LeCaptain, and Terell Smith received the Sid Hartman Spring Game MVP award.
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