It hasn’t been a positive couple of weeks for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, whose players nearly boycotted the Holiday Bowl after 10 of their teammates were suspended as a result of a sexual assault investigation. But the team and its fans got a brief respite from the off-the-field mess with a 17-12 win over the Washington State Cougars in the Holiday Bowl on Tuesday.
And one play stood out in what surprisingly turned out to be a low-scoring defensive battle.
Washington State cornerback Marcellus Pippins tried to make a one-handed interception or knock down a pass from Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner – but instead knocked it right into the arms of the Golden Gophers’ Shannon Brooks in the end zone.
That circus catch put the Gophers up 10-6 — their first lead of the game — and they wouldn’t look back. Despite playing shorthanded on defense because of the suspensions, Minnesota shut down the Cougars’ high-powered, Luke Falk-led offense.