Alabama vs.Minnesota

  Date: 12/31/2004  
  Score: 16-20  
  Alabama vs. Minnesota

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Minnesota’s tailback tandem of Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney rushed for a combined 292 yards in a 20-16 win over the Tide at the 2004 Music City Bowl at The Coliseum in Nashville.

Bama managed just 21 yards rushing but quarterback Spencer Pennington hit 22 of 36 passes for 243 yards and one TD.

The Tide struck first when Pennington, after a Freddie Roach fumble recovery, hit Le’Ron McClain with a two-yard TD pass to give the Crimson Tide a 7-0 lead just 48 seconds into the game.

The Tide then intercepted the Gophers on their next possession but gave the ball right back on a turnover of their own. Minnesota’s Keith Lipka picked up a fumble at Bama’s 2-yard line and stepped over the goal line for the touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. On their next possession, UM’s Barber scored on a five-yard run to give the Gophers a 14-7 lead with 14:57 left in the first half. UM’s Rhys Lloyd tacked on a field goal with 8:07 to play in the first half to go up 17-7 but Bama answered when McClain capped a 10-play, 73-yard drive with a one-yard run to make it 17-14 at the half.

Lloyd drilled his second field goal of the game to put UM up 20-14 with 10:16 left to play in the third. His 24-yarder capped an 11-play, 68-yard drive to open the second half. Following an Alabama punt, Minnesota, pinned deep in its own territory, opted

for a safety with 3:11 left in the game to make the score 20-16.

Alabama had one last chance from their own 48-yard line. After two first downs moved the chains to the UM 19-yard line, Bama faced third down. Pennington missed an open Tyrone Prothro in the end zone that would have given Bama the lead.

Pennington’s fourth down pass to DJ Hall was also incomplete and Minnesota ran out the clock.