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Minnesota emerges from turmoil to upset WSU in Holiday Bowl

SAN DIEGO (AP) After a few days of turmoil and perhaps more to come, the Minnesota Golden Gophers played lights-out in shutting down Luke Falk and the Washington State Cougars to win the Holiday Bowl.

Shannon Brooks caught a tipped pass from Mitch Leidner for a 13-yard, go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter and Minnesota, mired in controversy after 10 players were suspended after a sexual assault investigation, won 17-12 on Tuesday night.

The Golden Gophers (9-4) were looking to regroup after backing down from a threat to skip this game if their teammates suspended after the investigation weren't reinstated. Their boycott lasted less than 36 hours, with university leadership never blinking. The players backed down amid pressure from many who read details of the allegations.

''I don't think it's a matter of anybody not wanting to be here. It's just a matter of wishing our brothers could be here with us as well,'' Leidner said. ''I love this team, these coaches. You couldn't ask for a better way to go out. I'm just really proud of these guys.''

Brooks' TD catch was one of the few exciting plays in an otherwise pedestrian edition of what traditionally has been one of the country's most exciting bowl games.

WSU cornerback Marcellus Pippins reached up with his right hand and deflected Leidner's pass in the end zone but it went right to Brooks for the TD and a 10-6 lead. That capped an 84-yard, 10-play drive on Minnesota's first possession of the second half.

The Gophers had to face Falk and WSU's normally high-powered Air Raid offense without starting defensive backs KiAnte Hardin and Antoine Winfield Jr., and key backup Antonio Shenault, who were among the suspended players.

Their replacements stepped up.

''You've got to go off practice, and those kids practiced awfully well,'' coach Tracy Claeys said. ''They did a tremendous job. All of them played their tails off. When you get in those situations and you're missing people, it all goes back to that the next person's got to step up and you ask them to do things, they're going to do it. Nobody's going to be successful if you ask them to do things you're not very good at.''

WSU (8-5) ended on a three-game losing streak and was held to its lowest point total of the season. The Cougars had scored more than 50 points four times this season, a school record.

The Golden Gophers frustrated Falk most of the game, holding him to 264 yards - 86 below his average - on 30-of-51 passing. Falk didn't crack 200 yards until the final minutes, when he led a drive capped by an 8-yard TD pass to Kyle Sweet. After three tries due to Minnesota penalties, the conversion attempt failed. Minnesota then recovered an onside kick.

Falk came in having completed 71 percent of his passes in throwing for 4,204 yards and 37 touchdowns. The Cougars were ranked second in the nation in passing.

Falk was intercepted by Adekunle Ayinde on fourth down with 3:05 left. That set up Rodney Smith's 9-yard TD run with 2:06 left for a 17-6 lead.

''I don't think we played well offensively at all,'' coach Mike Leach said. ''We never got any rhythm. We were frantic. You can say we were rusty and had some time off, whatever it is. We tried to make things happen and then when it didn't happen, we got frantic. We unraveled. We were pouting on the sidelines.''

WSU lead 6-3 after a lackluster first half that included just three field goals.

The Cougars crossed the 50 just twice, getting field goals of 26 and 41 yards by Erik Powell.

Powell's second field goal was set up when Nnamdi Oguayo hit Leidner and forced a fumble that Isaac Dotson recovered at the Golden Gophers' 38.

Minnesota got a 43-yard field goal by Emmit Carpenter in the second quarter.

TAKEAWAY

Minnesota: The Golden Gophers had only 110 yards of total offense in the first half before finally coming alive in the second half. Smith gained 74 yards on 17 carries. He came in averaging 90 yards.

Washington State: The Air Raid offense was a no-show. After Powell kicked a field goal to cap WSU's first drive, the Cougars went three-and-out on their next four possessions. The Cougars had to settle for Powell's 41-yard field goal at the end of the first half after Falk's pass to Tavares Martin Jr. to the 1 was overturned after review.

UP NEXT

Minnesota: Tensions remain between the school administration and the team after the threat to skip this game.

Washington State: Leach said Monday that Falk would return for his senior season rather than declaring for the NFL draft. However, asked about it after the game, Falk said: ''I'm not focused on that at all. All my focus has been on the team, and that's irrelevant at this point.'' Asked if he was still contemplating his decision, Falk said: ''Next question.''

---

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Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Touchdown 0:19
4-L.Falk complete to 17-K.Sweet. 17-K.Sweet runs 8 yards for a touchdown.
12
plays
94
yds
01:42
pos
17
12
Point After TD 2:06
38-E.Carpenter extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
17
6
Touchdown 2:06
1-R.Smith runs 9 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
31
yds
00:59
pos
16
6
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 3:23
38-E.Carpenter extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
6
Touchdown 3:23
7-M.Leidner complete to 23-S.Brooks. 23-S.Brooks runs 13 yards for a touchdown.
11
plays
89
yds
05:22
pos
9
6
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 0:38
46-E.Powell 41 yards Field Goal is Good.
7
plays
-27
yds
01:51
pos
3
6
Field Goal 7:31
38-E.Carpenter 43 yards Field Goal is Good.
8
plays
-15
yds
02:48
pos
3
3
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 6:28
46-E.Powell 26 yards Field Goal is Good.
17
plays
40
yds
06:28
pos
0
3
Team Stats
1st Downs 17 17
Rushing 8 4
Passing 8 12
Penalty 1 1
3rd Down Conv 3-12 7-19
4th Down Conv 0-0 1-2
Total Net Yards 294 331
Total Plays 61 74
Avg Gain 4.8 4.5
Net Yards Rushing 150 39
Rush Attempts 41 23
Avg Rush Yards 3.7 1.7
Net Yards Passing 144 292
Comp. - Att. 11-20 30-51
Yards Per Pass 7.2 5.7
Sacked - Yards Lost 3-15 3-28
Penalties - Yards 10-64 7-56
Touchdowns 1 1
Rushing TDs 1 0
Passing TDs 1 1
Other -1 0
Turnovers 1 0
Fumbles - Lost 1-1 0-0
Int. Thrown 0 0
Punts - Avg 7-43.9 8-40.5
Return Yards 49 52
Punts - Returns 2-3 2-4
Kickoffs - Returns 4-77 3-48
Int. - Returns 0--31 0-0
Kicking 3/3 2/2
Extra Points 2/2 0/0
Field Goals 1/1 2/2
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Minnesota 9-4 037717
Washington St. 8-5 330612
144 PASS YDS 292
150 RUSH YDS 39
294 TOTAL YDS 331
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
Mi. Leidner 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55% 129 1 0 125.7
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
56.3% 2298 9 12 117.0
Mi. Leidner 11/20 129 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
R. Smith 1 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
17 74 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
240 1158 16
R. Smith 17 74 1 10
S. Brooks 23 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
13 51 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
138 650 5
S. Brooks 13 51 0 16
Mi. Leidner 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
10 26 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
121 392 10
Mi. Leidner 10 26 0 11
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Wolitarsky 82 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 73 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
66 860 5
D. Wolitarsky 5 73 0 20
R. Still 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 38 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
18 349 0
R. Still 2 38 0 19
S. Brooks 23 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 10 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 76 2
S. Brooks 2 10 1 13
N. Wozniak 80 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
13 135 0
N. Wozniak 1 7 0 7
R. Smith 1 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
23 188 0
R. Smith 1 1 0 1
E. Carter 9 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 125 0
E. Carter 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
D. McGhee 8 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 1 0.0
D. McGhee 7-1 0.0 0
B. Cashman 36 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 1.0
B. Cashman 7-2 1.0 0
J. Lynn 50 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
J. Lynn 4-0 0.0 0
C. Durr 16 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
C. Durr 4-0 0.0 0
D. Travis 7 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-3 2 0.0
D. Travis 4-3 0.0 0
J. Myrick 5 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
J. Myrick 3-0 0.0 0
N. Rallis 56 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 1.0
N. Rallis 3-1 1.0 0
A. Ayinde 4 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
A. Ayinde 3-0 0.0 0
C. Coughlin 45 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 1.0
C. Coughlin 2-1 1.0 0
K. Martin 49 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 1 0.0
K. Martin 2-1 0.0 0
Ja. Huff 17 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
Ja. Huff 1-0 0.0 0
S. Ekpe 97 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
S. Ekpe 1-0 0.0 0
G. Elmore 87 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
G. Elmore 1-0 0.0 0
Z. Craighton 14 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
Z. Craighton 1-0 0.0 0
S. Richardson 96 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
S. Richardson 1-0 0.0 0
Ju. Huff 20 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
Ju. Huff 1-0 0.0 0
H. Ekpe 95 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
H. Ekpe 1-0 0.0 0
Y. Timms 52 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
Y. Timms 1-0 0.0 0
J. Celestin 13 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Celestin 1-0 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
E. Carpenter 38 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 2/2
SEASON FG XP
23/25 45/46
E. Carpenter 1/1 43 2/2 5
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
R. Santoso 18 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
7 43.9 4
SEASON NO AVG IN20
77 40.9 4
R. Santoso 7 43.9 4 52
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
R. Smith 1 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 28.5 38 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
8 32.9 38 1
R. Smith 2 28.5 38 0
S. Brooks 23 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 20.0 20 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 14.7 20 0
S. Brooks 1 20.0 20 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. Myrick 5 DB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 1.5 3 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
9 4.9 3 0
J. Myrick 2 1.5 3 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
L. Falk 4 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
60% 264 1 0 111.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
69.3% 4732 39 11 143.1
L. Falk 30/50 264 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
G. Wicks 23 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 26 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
93 501 11
G. Wicks 5 26 0 9
J. Morrow 25 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 13 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
95 588 5
J. Morrow 5 13 0 6
J. Williams 32 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 12 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
102 585 6
J. Williams 4 12 0 5
L. Falk 4 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 -12 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
75 -80 0
L. Falk 9 -12 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
R. Lewis 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 86 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
39 480 3
R. Lewis 6 86 0 25
C. Dimry 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 33 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
15 174 0
C. Dimry 3 33 0 22
K. Sweet 17 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 33 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
27 357 3
K. Sweet 4 33 1 12
J. Williams 32 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 29 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
48 342 1
J. Williams 1 29 0 29
G. Marks 9 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 27 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
93 921 13
G. Marks 4 27 0 9
J. Morrow 25 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 20 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
52 508 5
J. Morrow 4 20 0 9
T. Martin Jr. 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 20 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
67 748 7
T. Martin Jr. 3 20 0 8
Jo. Thompson 85 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 10 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
25 205 1
Jo. Thompson 2 10 0 7
G. Wicks 23 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 4 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
30 188 1
G. Wicks 1 4 0 4
I. Johnson-Mack 5 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 2 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
37 248 1
I. Johnson-Mack 2 2 0 5
Defense T-A SACK INT
Ja. Thompson 34 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
Ja. Thompson 7-0 0.0 0
S. Luani 18 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-2 3 0.0
S. Luani 7-2 0.0 0
R. Taylor 2 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.0
R. Taylor 6-2 0.0 0
I. Dotson 31 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-2 2 0.0
I. Dotson 5-2 0.0 0
F. Luvu 51 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
F. Luvu 4-0 0.0 0
D. Molton 3 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
D. Molton 3-1 0.0 0
N. Oguayo 30 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 1.0
N. Oguayo 2-1 1.0 0
R. Barber 92 NT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
R. Barber 2-1 0.0 0
P. Pelluer 47 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
P. Pelluer 2-0 0.0 0
H. Mata'afa 50 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
H. Mata'afa 2-0 1.0 0
M. Pippins 27 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 2 0.0
M. Pippins 2-0 0.0 0
K. Fernandez 52 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Fernandez 1-0 0.0 0
D. Moore 55 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Moore 1-0 0.0 0
N. Tapa 95 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.5
N. Tapa 1-1 0.5 0
G. McBroom 99 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
G. McBroom 1-0 0.0 0
D. Hanser 33 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
D. Hanser 0-1 0.5 0
T. Broughton 16 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 1 0.0
T. Broughton 0-1 0.0 0
D. Ekuale 90 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
D. Ekuale 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
E. Powell 46 K
IN-GAME FG XP
2/2 0/0
SEASON FG XP
11/17 63/65
E. Powell 2/2 41 0/0 6
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
E. Powell 46 K
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 45.5 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
13 47.2 1
E. Powell 6 45.5 1 58
K. Sweet 17 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
1 25.0 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
32 38.3 0
K. Sweet 1 25.0 0 25
Z. Charme 95 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
1 26.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
9 35.9 1
Z. Charme 1 26.0 1 26
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
R. Taylor 2 DB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 16.0 20 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
23 20.9 20 1
R. Taylor 3 16.0 20 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Fossum 83 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 2.0 3 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
19 8.4 3 1
K. Fossum 2 2.0 3 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:52 MINN 39 1:50 3 -1 Punt
6:18 MINN 21 1:24 5 27 Punt
2:16 MINN 11 1:50 4 26
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 MINN 37 3:05 6 2 Punt
10:19 WASHST 40 2:48 8 19 FG
5:59 MINN 30 0:47 3 1 Punt
4:36 MINN 46 2:00 6 31 FUMBLE
0:25 MINN 30 0:07 2 14
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
8:45 MINN 16 5:22 11 84 TD
1:15 MINN 23 1:05 4 6
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:25 MINN 41 3:04 6 20 Punt
8:40 MINN 20 3:49 7 34 Punt
3:05 WASHST 31 0:59 4 31 TD
0:18 MINN 41 0:00 1 -1
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:56 WASHST 15 6:28 17 76 FG
4:46 WASHST 20 2:20 4 18 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:47 WASHST 6 1:19 3 9 Punt
7:26 WASHST 25 1:15 3 7 Punt
5:03 WASHST 26 0:16 3 0 Punt
2:29 MINN 38 1:51 7 14 FG
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:55 WASHST 15 6:01 12 55 Punt
3:18 WASHST 22 1:54 4 0 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:50 WASHST 24 0:14 3 0 Punt
11:08 WASHST 2 2:18 6 20 Punt
4:40 WASHST 18 1:21 5 37
2:01 WASHST 21 1:42 12 79 TD