Penalties killing Gophers offense

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

MINNEAPOLIS -- When you script an offensive game plan all week, the worst thing that can happen is a penalty on the first play from scrimmage.

Minnesota not only drew a flag on its first offensive play, but guard Matt Carufel was whistled for a 15-yard chop block foul on the first play of the Gophers' second possession. So the Gophers started their first two drives with first-and-15 and first-and-25.

Those miscues just can't happen against a team as good as Cal. Minnesota entered the game averaging just 5.4 yards per play, and there hasn't been a ton of explosiveness in this offense. Penalties have been a problem, as the Gophers drew 18 flags in their first two games. They need to end that trend immediately.