Nelson to Gray? Or Gray instead of Nelson?

Nelson to Gray? Or Gray instead of Nelson?

An interesting Gophers bowl game storyline emerged yesterday, on the eve of the game, with MarQueis Gray and offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover dropping strong hints that Gray, the senior, could see extensive action against Texas Tech at QB -- even more, perhaps, than freshman Philip Nelson.

It brings us to a quick but interesting question: Would that be the right move?

When the Gophers lifted the redshirt off of Nelson midway through the year, partly because of injuries to Gray and Max Shortell, partly because of their up-and-down play and partly because they thought Nelson was ready and healthy himself, we thought Nelson should take every snap along the way -- including a potential bowl game -- to make it worthwhile.

We still think that, but we can also see the logic of this: Gray is a senior. Not only has he stuck with the program thought a lot of bad times -- team-wise and individually -- but he also might give the team the best chance to win a game against a prolific offense but shaky defense. Winning is always the bottom-line objective. But would it be better for the program to try to win -- and finish 7-6, a winning record, vs. 6-7, a losing record -- in order to go into the offseason with a better sense of accomplishment, or would it be better to play Nelson and continue his development?

It's a conundrum. Your thoughts in the comments -- including this twist: Does Gray, presumably somewhat rusty even though he has had bowl practices, even give the Gophers the best chance to win if he is at QB?

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