Gophers safety Jordan Howden redeems himself with diving interception – InForum

MINNEAPOLIS — Jordan Howden got his redemption in the second half Saturday.

After giving up a 36-yard pass completion in the first half, the Gophers safety made a diving interception on another deep ball in the second half of the 62-10 blowout of Western Illinois at Huntington Bank Stadium.

“You are going to have good and bad plays,” Howden said. “The bad ones you try to shake off because you still have … more time to the game, so you have to forget it.”

Howden made a tackle for loss on fourth-and-3 on Western Illinois’ first drive, which started in Minnesota territory after a U fumble.

The Gophers were even on turnover margin Saturday after being plus-one in the 38-0 win over New Mexico State last week.

Howden had two previous career interceptions, but Saturday’s was his first since the 2019 season.

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents on Thursday approved the purchase and installation of a $5.7 million scoreboard for Huntington Bank Stadium before the 2023 football season.

The regents’ finance and operations committee had eight votes in favor, no votes against, two absences and one abstention. Regent Darrin Rosha abstained seeking more clarity on the financial component.

The Gophers athletics department must repay a $21.5 million loan from the university to bridge a budget hole from the COVID-19 pandemic, plus an estimated $40 million in remaining debt on the Athletes Village project.

The Gophers are expecting a huge influx of media revenue annually with the Big Ten Conference expanding to 14 teams with the high-profile additions of Southern Cal and UCLA in 2024.

Receiver Chris Autman-Bell was cheering loudly when Presten Jelen scored on a 30-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. After Jelen tore his ACL last August, he and Autman-Bell worked out together in the offseason.

“That one hit the heart,” Autman-Bell said. “… Seeing a guy like Presten Jelen working his butt off all year, since this winter and finally getting his change… I was happy.”

Second-year quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis completed all three of his passes for 67 yards and scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard run in the third quarter. Gophers defenders were not surprised.

“Athan is the future of the program,” former U cornerback Coney Durr tweeted Saturday of the team’s backup QB. “I will never forget the day he torched the (starting) defense last year as the scout team QB.”

Howden backed it up. “I forgot what practice it was, but he was dropping them in like every rep we had,” he said. “You can tell that he is getting very mature; that is something that you need to do, especially at the quarterback position.”

After allowing only 33 plays to New Mexico State last week, Minnesota’s defense gave up 51 against Western Illinois. Gophers head coach PJ Fleck said it felt like fewer. … The 10 points allowed through two games are the fewest in the first two games since 1999. … After having 10 pass catchers in the opener, Minnesota spread it around to eight, with 10 targeted. … Fleck gave a shoutout to women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen for her induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend. … Saturday was the Gophers’ Mental Health Awareness Game.

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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