Sept. 17, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Laurence Maroney rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns and caught another score to lead Minnesota to a 46-7 romp over Florida Atlantic on Saturday night.
The Gophers (3-0) rolled up 579 yards of offense and led 40-0 at halftime. Their power running game and physical defense were simply too much for a Florida Atlantic team in its second season in Division I-A.
Bryan Cupito was 10-for-17 for 230 yards and two touchdowns, including a 56-yarder to Jared Ellerson in the second quarter.
After playing BCS schools Kansas and Oklahoma State tough the first two weeks of the season, the Owls (0-3) managed just 246 yards of offense and were completely outclassed against the Gophers.
Di Ivory Edgecomb scored the only touchdown for Florida Atlantic, a 1-yard run in the third quarter. He finished with 24 yards on 10 carries.
Maroney needed little time to get going against the overmatched Owls. After his first carry went for no gain, he took the second play off left tackle for 22 yards. Two plays later, Maroney burst off right end, zigged and zagged a few times and cruised, untouched, for a 38-yard touchdown run.
Maroney was back at it on the next series, catching a dump-off pass from Cupito and racing 37 yards for the score, thanks to a fantastic block by receiver Ernie Wheelwright on free safety Greg Joseph at the goal line.
Gary Russell joined in late in the first quarter when he took the hand off, ran over cornerback Willie Hughley, and raced 47 yards for a touchdown and a 20-0 lead.
It was a long night for Hughley, who also got beat by Ellerson on a post for a 56-yard touchdown in the second quarter that made the score 33-0.
Maroney capped the half with a 10-yard run, giving the Gophers points on all seven first-half possessions.
Russell added another touchdown in the third, this one a dazzling 30-yarder in which he broke four tackles and juked another to get to the end zone. He finished with 116 yards on 11 carries.
Danny Embick was 11-of-24 for 131 yards and an interception for the Owls, who have an extremely difficult nonconference schedule that includes a date with Louisville in two weeks.
Coach Howard Schnellenberger has taken a similar approach to building the program that he did to rebuilding Miami in the early 1980s - play anybody, anywhere.
The Hurricanes became national champions in 1983 under Schnellenberger, but the Gophers made it clear that the Owls still have a long way to go.