Gophers defeat Colorado State 34-16

Marion Barber III rushed for 201 yards in win

The Minnesota Gophers defeated Colorado State 34-16 in their first road test of the 2004 season as they continued their strong ground game. Marion Barber III ran for 201 yards on 31 carries with two touchdowns and running mate Laurence Maroney added 132 yards on 17 attempts as the Rams fell to 0-3.

The Gophers bounced back from a lackadaisical effort in a 37-21 win over Division I-AA Illinois State last week. They utilized their size advantage by the offensive line, along with strong running by their two talented backs, to wear down the Rams defense.

Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney went over 100 yards in the same game for the sixth time, second this season.

Barber started the scoring with a 19-yard run on Minnesota's first drive. He later broke two tackles as he scored on a 61-yard run later in the quarter.

Bryan Cupito connected with tight end Matt Spaeth for 10- and 19-yard tocuhdowns as the Gophers scored on four of their first five drives and finished with over 400 yards (504) for the 11th straight game.

The Gophers forced four turnovers, intercepting three passes and recovering one fumble. However, they allowed 424 yards, including 298 in the air. The Gophers played soft on defense when they got the lead, allowing Colorado State receivers plenty of cushion.

Cupito finished 12 of 21 for 144 yards with two scores. However, he suffered a concussion and backup quarterback Adam Ernst finished the game. The Gophers decided to utilize their rushing game and Ernst did not attempt a pass.

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