Whoever said special teams wasn’t important?

That aspect of the game has been critically important for Minnesota in its season opener against New Mexico State. First, it was a 75-yard punt return by Antoine Winfield Jr. Later, it was a blocked punt.

Junior defensive lineman Sam Renner broke through the offensive line and blocked a New Mexico State punt, giving the Gophers tremendous field position.

After a relatively rocky start in Minneapolis, the Gophers have been rolling in the Thursday night contest.