The Latest – November 28, 2011 28 Nov 11

Vikings Comeback Falls Short At Atlanta
(Atlanta, GA) — The Minnesota Vikings rallied in the second half before falling to the Falcons 24-14 Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Toby Gerhart rushed for a one-yard score and Percy Harvin caught a 39-yard touchdown to make it 17-14 following an Atlanta turnover. Late in the fourth quarter, Minnesota had the ball inside the five yardline following a 104-yard kickoff return by Percy Harvin but could not punch it in. Quarterback Christian Ponder finished the game 17-for-25 for 186 yards and one touchdown, Gerhart had 17 carries for 44 yards and a T-D, and Harvin had eight catches for 95 yards a score. Ponder says they need to do a better job playing all four quarters. The Vikings fall to two-and-nine while the Falcons improve to seven-and-four.

Second-String Longsnapper
(Atlanta, GA) — Vikings defensive end Jared Allen played a second position in the second half of Sunday’s game in Atlanta. Allen took over the long-snapping duties after starter Cullen Loeffler [[ LEFF'-lur ]] exited with an injury. He did not botch a snap on several punts and a pair of point-after-touchdown attempts. Allen even made the tackle on his first play as longsnapper on a Chris Kluwe punt. It wasn’t the first time Allen has filled in as an NFL longsnapper. He did it in the second half of the 2004 season with Kansas City.

Wild Loses Second Straight At Home
(St.Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Wild are on a two-game losing streak following a 5-2 setback to the Flames Sunday at the X. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom was pulled from the game after Calgary scored three times in the first period. Cal Clutterbuck and Nick Johnson scored the Wild’s two goals in the first nine minutes of the game to trim the deficit to one. Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla lit the lamp in the third to seal the Flames’ victory. Mikka Kiprusoff stopped 19 Minnesota shots for the win. The Wild host the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight.

Gophers Lose Old Spice Classic Championship To Dayton
(Orlando, FL) — The Gopher men’s basketball team fell to Dayton 86-70 in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic last night in Orlando, Florida. Minnesota lost its first game of the season – and star forward Trevor Mbakwe [[ em-BAHK'-way ]] of St.Paul to a knee injury in the second half. Mbakwe left the arena on crutches and is scheduled to undergo an MRI in Minneapolis today. Austin Hollins led the Gophers with 14 points and Julian Welch finished with 12. Coach Tubby Smith says turning the ball over 21 times is a formula to get beat. Minnesota plays Virginia Tech Tuesday at Williams Arena in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Illinois Fires Zook
(Champagne, IL) — The University of Illinois fired head football coach Ron Zook after his team’s 27-7 season-ending loss at Minnesota. The Fighting Illini started the season six-and-oh and then lost six straight to end the year. Athletic director Mike Thomas says they’re looking for someone who can provide new leadership and compete for championships on a mroe consistent basis. Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will take over as interim head coach as the search begins for Zook’s successor.

Gopher Women’s Hockey Sweeps Harvard
(Cambridge, MA) — The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team completed a two-game sweep at number-nine Harvard with a 7-3 victory on Sunday. Kelly Terry had her first career hat trick for the second-ranked Golden Gophers and Emily West added a goal and three assists. Minnesota is now five-and-one against teams ranked in the top ten this season. The Gophers travel to North Dakota this weekend.