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Minnesota 48, Troy State 7

9/7/2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota coach Glen Mason said he was
nervous during the week about the Gophers' game against Troy State.

"I saw how Troy State played last week against Kansas State. I
saw how Troy State played rough," he said.

About the only thing rough for Minnesota in the Gophers' 48-7
romp over the Trojans on Saturday night was the defense's failure
to get a shutout for the second straight week.

Asad Abdul-Khaliq set a school record with his 41st career
touchdown pass and also ran for a score to lead the Gophers.
Minnesota's senior captain went 10-for-16 for 171 yards with an
interception as the heavily-favored Gophers recovered from a sloppy
start.

"I was pleased with the win tonight," Mason said. "I thought
we dominated."

Abdul-Khaliq set the record on a 55-yard touchdown pass to Aaron
Hosack in the third quarter to give the Gophers (2-0) a 34-0 lead.
Hosack, who caught three balls for 105 yards, fought off defensive
back Jermaine Miller while running down the right sideline to make
the catch.

Heading into the game, Abdul-Khaliq said the record wasn't a
concern of his. But afterward, he admitted that he preferred to set
the record with an impressive throw like the one he made to Hosack.

"It was nice to get it done on a deep pass," Abdul-Khaliq
said.

"You'd hate to do it on a dump pass in the end zone," he said
with a laugh.

Facing an overmatched opponent for the second straight week, the
Gophers again showed their rushing strength and outgained the
Trojans 292-125 on the ground. Marion Barber III led Minnesota with
60 rushing yards and a touchdown.

"I think we took a step in the right direction today, but we
can always improve," Barber said.

Freshman running back Laurence Maroney, who had 48 yards
rushing, had an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the
fourth quarter to make it 48-7. Maroney also scored his first
rushing touchdown with a 10-yard run in the fourth that put the
Gophers up 41-0.

"He's a freshman, but he doesn't run like it," Abdul-Khaliq
said.

The Gophers have outscored their opponents 97-17 in their first
two games.

"Whenever you're giving up, I think 400-some total yards on
defense, that's not good," Trojans defensive end Demarcus Ware
said. "That's an area where they were good. They have hard
runners."

A week after falling 41-5 to Kansas State, the Trojans (0-2) put
together one nice drive in the first quarter, but killed it with a
fumble on the Minnesota 42.

Trojans coach Larry Blakeney played three quarterbacks -- starter
Hansell Bearden and backups Aaron Leak and Franco Johnson -- but
none of them had success.

"The Minnesota defense, our own miscues, the mismatches that
existed, the missed assignments. It was all a culmination of things
that really caused the game to get out of hand," Blakeney said.

Bearden's numbers, 5-for-14 for 35 yards, were the best of the
three. Troy State's only points came on Leak's 1-yard run on fourth
down with 6:41 left.

"You always hate to lose a shutout in the end," safety Eli
Ward said.

The Gophers' offense surprisingly didn't score a touchdown until
the end of the first quarter on Barber's 8-yard TD run. After
falling flat on their first two drives, Abdul-Khaliq found Hosack
for a 38-yard gain down the left side to the Trojans' 8.

That set up Barber's fourth touchdown of the season to put
Minnesota up 10-0.

Rhys Lloyd, who barely became eligible for last week's game
against Tulsa, kicked a 26-yard field goal, his second of the game,
to give the Gophers a 13-0 lead with 10:01 remaining. Lloyd also
had a 52-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Minnesota tacked on another score late in the first half when
Abdul-Khaliq scored on an 8-yard touchdown run. Displaying his
agility, Abdul-Khaliq rolled right before reversing his field and
dodging defenders into the end zone.

The Gophers opened the second half with a 65-yard scoring drive
that was capped off by Thomas Tapeh's 15-yard run to make it 27-0.

Minnesota started off sloppy on offense, drawing false start
penalties on the first two plays of its opening series.

The Gophers then showcased their running abilities by marching
from their own 19 to the Trojans' 21. But Abdul-Khaliq was
intercepted by Derrick Ansley, who had two picks on the night, in
the end zone.