The signs say Demry Croft. The play from Saturday night says Demry Croft. And conventional wisdom says Demry Croft.
But is Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck ready to publicly commit to Demry Croft being his starting quarterback for Saturday’s homecoming game against Illinois? Not quite yet.
“I’m still thinking [it] through today,” Fleck said Monday. “I won’t announce that. I’m going to keep that in-house.”
In the Gophers’ 30-27 loss to Michigan State on Saturday night, Croft took over for starter Conor Rhoda in the second quarter and passed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns as Minnesota (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten) rallied from a 23-6 deficit to make a game of it.
That performance seems to be a strong indication that Croft will start this week, but Fleck is playing his cards close to his vest, possibly to keep the Illini (2-4, 0-3) guessing.
Croft, a third-year sophomore, completed 11 of 20 passes for 163 yards and the three TDs with one interception and was particularly strong in the fourth quarter, going 8-for-14 for 131 yards. In addition, he gave the Gophers a needed run threat at QB by rushing seven times for 31 yards, including a long of 20.
“He’s shown in the last two weeks that he can mature and can grow up,” Fleck said. “I’m proud of the effort and progress he’s made.”
Iowa at 5:30 p.m.
The Gophers’ Oct. 28 game at Iowa will be a 5:30 p.m. kickoff on Fox Sports 1.