BY PHIL MILLER
In two games, 10 different Gophers have caught passes, only one fewer receiver than all of last season. Yet one starting wideout, the lone senior among the receiving corps and the only wide receiver who had ever scored a touchdown entering this season, is not among them.
Brandon Green's lack of receptions has nothing to do with his status on the team, coach Jerry Kill said. In fact, the 23-year-old Chicago native remains atop the depth chart as one of the Gophers' starting receiver.
Green is still battling soreness in his knees, Kill said, a problem that has plagued Green for the past three seasons.
"He's fought through them. He's a great kid, love his work ethic, but he's been slowed down by it, no question about it," Kill said. "We've been careful about what we're doing (to get him the ball). We were careful during camp and we'll see how things go."
The Gophers are using mostly underclassmen as pass-catchers, it's true; seven of the 10 players with a catch are freshmen or sophomores. But experience still matters: The Gophers' two leading receivers thus far are both upperclassmen -- junior receiver A.J. Barker, with five catches, 130 yards and a touchdown, and senior tight end John Rabe, with five catches, 73 yards, and three scores.