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Megan Ryan

Reporter | College sports
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Megan Ryan is a sports reporter at the Star Tribune covering colleges.

Ryan covered the Minnesota United FC during its first two years of existence. She previously spent two years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covering Penn State football, Robert Morris basketball and high school sports. A Minnesota native and Minneapolis resident, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a major in journalism and minors in management and global studies. She has lived in Pennsylvania, Texas (covering the real Friday Night Lights for the Dallas Morning News) and New York (as a sports copy editor for a summer through the Dow Jones News Fund).
Recent content from Megan Ryan
Gophers defensive lineman Winston DeLattiboudere spoke about the team heading to the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida on New Year's Day.

After losing Axe, Gophers 'ready to move on' to Outback Bowl prep

P.J. Fleck gave the players this past week off to digest the season while the staff recruited before returning to practice Sunday.
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young pressures Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan on Oct. 26, a game the Buckeyes dominated. The teams meet again Saturda

After all that drama, it's back to Buckeyes vs. Badgers for Big Ten title

In a season of ups (Gophers, Indiana) and downs (Michigan State, Northwestern), Ohio State and Wisconsin stayed on course.
Gophers defensive back Jordan Howden intercepted a pass intended for Penn State receiver KJ Hamler, securing a Minnesota victory.

Building on success: Gophers evaluating roster with eyes on 2020

More expectation will fall on the Gophers next season as they return nine of 11 starters on offense. But graduation will sap the defense of six impact players. How are things shaping up?
Gophers wide receivers Rashod Bateman (13) and Tyler Johnson (6) celebrated after a touchdown by Bateman on the opening drive vs. Fresno State earlier

Bateman named Big Ten Receiver of the Year; Johnson also first-team

Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson were honored Wednesday as first-team picks, along with Tanner Morgan and Rodney Smith as All-Big Ten Second Team picks.
For leading his team to a 10-2 regular season, P.J. Fleck became the third Gophers coach to be selected as Big Ten Coach of the Year, joining Jerry Ki

Coaches pick Fleck as coach of the year; media chooses Buckeyes coach

The split decision didn't sound like it bothered Gophers coach P.J. Fleck, who said: "When it comes from your peers, it means a heck of a lot more."
Dejected Gophers players walked off the field after Minnesota's 38-17 loss to Wisconsin in the Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe at TCF Bank Stadium on Sat

For Gophers and fans, it's grief and then a bowl game

Gophers players and fans have a month to rinse the sour taste out of their mouths from Saturday's loss to Wisconsin. But there's still a payoff ahead for the 10-2 season.

Faalele's exit hurts Gophers' offensive line plan

P.J. Fleck said the team planned to use its heavy package that features all six O-linemen on the field at the same time, but that fizzled when 6-9, 400-pound Daniel Faalele left injured and did not return.
Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. was among the players who stayed on despite many questions.

Lights of loyalty: Turmoil-tested Gophers take a bow before showdown with Badgers

Many who stayed through coaching changes and uncertainty will play their final game at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, capping an unprecedented regular season with a chance at the Big Ten Championship Game.
Kalamazoo native Gregg Jennings, left, and Lee Corso selected P.J. Fleck’s Western Michigan team to beat Buffalo in 2016.

'College GameDay' nod another sign that Gophers football has arrived

Minnesota will also be the fourth school this year making its debut on the popular TV show, which started in 1993.
Gophers running back Shannon Brooks.

'Near impossible to quit': Gophers' Brooks runs through hits — on and off the field

Gophers running back Shannon Brooks endured two major injuries, an arrest and his mother's death. The events nearly took him out of football but he is is ending his Gophers career with the best season in decades.
The Gophers’ Kirk Ciarrocca is one of 15 semifinalists for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Gophers players, coaches prepare for a chilly Saturday against Badgers

Weather forecasts predict another couple inches of snow to accumulate in the Twin Cities throughout Friday and Saturday with highs in the 30s for the game.
The Gophers huddled and hollered after reclaiming Paul Bunyan's Axe a year ago in Madison. A repeat on their home turf this season would give Minnesot

First they reclaimed The Axe. Now Gophers want bigger prize by beating Badgers

Beating the Badgers for the first time in 14 years last season was a sea-change moment, but nothing like what will could place at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday if Minnesota wins.
Gophers holder Casey O’Brien (14) waved alongside coach P.J. Fleck to patients at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital on Nov. 16.

Gophers' O'Brien, a four-time cancer survivor, facing more surgery

Casey O'Brien, who made his college debut as a holder last month, announced that he has a spot in one of his lungs
In Tyler Johnson (left) and Rashod Bateman, the Gophers have two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season for the first time.

Two-of-a-kind receivers having one-of-a-kind season for Gophers

In Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman, the Gophers have two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season. And they're catching passes from a record-setting quarterback.
FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2014, file photo, ESPN College GameDay hosts Lee Corso, left, and Kirk Herbstreit

Overlooked no more: ESPN's 'College GameDay' coming to Minnesota

The Gophers and Badgers are 60-60-8 in their storied football rivalry for Paul Bunyan's Axe and next week they play for the Big Ten West title. There's added motivation, too: ESPN's 'College GameDay' is coming .
Gophers running back Shannon Brooks ran the ball for a touchdown in the first quarter against Northwestern

Quiet atmospehere at Northwestern a rarity for Gophers

Northwestern's Ryan Field, the smallest stadium in the Big Ten conference with a 47,000 capacity, managed an announced attendance of only 30,246 on Saturday.
Gophers receiver Demetrius Douglas has caught just 12 passes for 121 yards this season, but they have mostly come at key moments.

Gophers WR Douglas making his opportunities count

He's made key plays in limited offensive snaps.
Oct. 22, 2016: In its last win over Ohio State, Penn State outscored the Buckeyes 17-0 in the fourth quarter to win in Happy Valley 24-21. Both teams

Penn State still huge factor in final weeks of Big Ten football

Gophers fans anticipating a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game might want to pay some attention to Saturday's Penn State-Ohio State game.
Cole Kramer, left, and Jacob Clark each possess skill sets that could benefit the Gophers if either are called upon.

What if? One of these freshmen QBs will start if Tanner Morgan can't

One was a starter at Eden Prairie, the other made his prep debut in front of 10,000 fans in Texas. Either Cole Kramer and Jacob Clark will start at Northwestern if Tanner Morgan can't play.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck and quarterback Tanner Morgan walked off the field after Morgan was injured on the final drive of last Saturday’s loss at I

Hit near end of Iowa game makes U's Morgan uncertain for Northwestern

Quarterback Tanner Morgan's availability on Saturday will depend on how quickly he proceeds through the steps in the concussion protocol the Gophers athletics department uses.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck led the team onto the field before Saturday’s game at Iowa.

Gophers fall to No. 10 in College Football Playoff rankings after Iowa loss

Minnesota climbed to No. 8 last week but dropped after taking its first loss of the season.
Football coach P.J. Fleck and Gophers trainers attended to quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) after a hard sack in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 23-19 l

Morgan's availability for Northwestern game still uncertain

The Gophers redshirt sophomore quarterback left Saturday's Iowa loss during the final series with a possible concussion.
Gophers freshman running back Cam Wiley (3) played against Georgia Southern earlier this season and Iowa last Saturday. He can only play in two more g

Gophers' Fleck picks Wiley's spots carefully

Freshman running back Cam Wiley played his second game at Iowa as a kick returner and running back, and he might get only two more this season as coach P.J. Fleck tries to preserve a redshirt year for him.
Iowa defensive back Riley Moss broke up a pass intended for Gophers receiver Chris Autman-Bell in the second quarter Saturday in Iowa City.

Gophers will decide direction of season in next two weeks

"This season could go two ways," linebacker Thomas Barber said about Saturday's loss at Iowa. "We can end up losing the next two. Or having this be a wake-up call for us."
Iowa wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette found room to get a first down in the first quarter Saturday.

Gophers replay: Iowa 23, Gophers 19

The Gophers never could claw all the way back after falling behind 20-3 in the first half.
Iowa defensive back Riley Moss celebrated after he broke up a pass intended for Gophers wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell.

Iowa retains Floyd of Rosedale, ends Gophers' bid at perfection with 23-19 victory

The Hawkeyes scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, and the Gophers were unable to recover in losing to Iowa for the fifth year in a row.
Gophers kicker Brock Walker had a rough day against the Hawkeyes, missing on a 50-yard field-goal attempt, banking a 20-yarder through off the upright

With Curtis Dunlap Jr. out, Gophers offensive line depth gets tested vs. Iowa

Without their usual right guard, the Gophers gave up six sacks.
If a meme-worthy hip-flexing warm-up routine is a staple for the pros, the Gophers’ Tanner Morgan sees no problem with using it to perfect his form.

Success, with a twist: All about the hip mechanics for Gophers QB Morgan

Tanner Morgan's choreographed passing mechanics can be laughable, but the results are laudable
Fifty-nine years ago, this button helped get Gophers fans excited for what would be the first of the school’s two Rose Bowls.

Bigger dream for Gophers fans: Rose Bowl or College Football Playoff?

It's a debate no one saw coming: As alluring as Pasadena is, it is not on the road to a national title. So what's a Gophers football fan to root for?
Gophers wide receiver Rashod Bateman caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter as Penn State safety Garrett Taylor missed the tackle.

Always seeking the next big play: That's the Gophers offense

The sideline glances Gophers players give during games can be decoys, but one resulted in a changed call and huge play against Penn State.
Gophers receiver Rashod Bateman celebrated his first quarter touchdown against Penn State.

Gophers at No. 8 after making biggest jump ever in playoff rankings

Beating Penn State helped the Gophers made the largest jump into the Top 10 of the College Football Playoff rankings in the six-year history of the poll.
Gophers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. nearly left the program in 2016, but a dorm-room meeting with his closest friends on the team convinced him to sta

After nearly leaving Gophers, Winfield reaping this season's rewards

Antoine Winfield Jr. has weathered allegations and injuries to become one of this season's big-time playmakers for the 9-0 Gophers.
Iowa players hoisted the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy after the Hawkeyes defeated the Gophers 17-10 at Kinnick Stadium in 2017.

Playing at Iowa always a challenge, and not just for the Gophers

As a player, as a new head coach and as Gophers coach, P.J. Fleck has lost at Iowa. Sometimes by just a touchdown. Sometimes by eight.
Minnesota Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck high fived young fan Scott McCauley, dressed as Fleck, and Scott's older brother Daniel, dressed as quarterbac

Fleck says his style isn't for everyone, but the results are unbeaten

Coach P.J. Fleck has his team on track for a Big Ten West title. His Gophers are 9-0, ranked seventh in the nation and have a two game lead going into the final three weeks of the regular season.

Sitting out Penn State game tough for Gophers' Martin to take

Gophers senior linebacker Kamal Martin wasn't able to play in the team's biggest game in decades Saturday
An oar to share: Fleck, Penn State's Franklin rivals on the field but friends otherwise

An oar to share: Fleck, Penn State's Franklin rivals on the field but friends otherwise

P.J. Fleck and James Franklin, linked by friendship and coaching philosophy, face the biggest matchup in the coaches' tenures.
Undefeated Gopher Gridders Look To Silence Lions' Roar

Undefeated Gopher Gridders Look To Silence Lions' Roar

This story and others appear on a special "Peach" page in the sports section of Friday's Star Tribune. Pick up any edition of Friday's paper to check it out.

Will U Air It Out To Former Minneapolis North Gridder Tyler Johnson To Nip Nits?

The former Polar could play a major role for the Golden Gophers on Saturday.
The Gophers student section cheered for the team before their game against Illinois in early October.

Gophers fans show their colors with 8-0 start and big game Saturday

The excitement ahead of the Penn State game signals a significant transformation: The Gophers are relevant again in Minnesota.
Gophers coordinators first football loves were Nittany Lions, Steelers

Gophers coordinators first football loves were Nittany Lions, Steelers

"When I was growing up, I'm pretty sure I had Nittany Lion pajamas," Gophers' offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca said.
Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck spoke to the media minutes after signing a seven-year contract extension Tuesday afternoon.

Fleck gets $33.25 million payday; Gophers get protection with huge first year buyout

If Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck leaves next year, he must repay the university $10 million. The contract is the largest financial commitment ever made to a coach by the University of Minnesota.
P.J. Fleck, who sources say is close to signing a contract extension as Gophers football coach, has taken the team to 8-0 with a No. 13 ranking this y

Gophers, Fleck nearing a contract extension

P.J. Fleck's current $3.6 million salary is 11th among the 14 coaches in the Big Ten, and he will be a hot commodity as jobs open up around the country.
Special teams could play a big role for coach P.J. Fleck and the Gophers when they take on Penn State on Saturday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium.

Gophers special teams are still a work in progress

While the Gophers offense and defense have quickly rounded into form, special teams still struggle with the same inconsistencies and gaffes the main units seemed to have shaken after the nonconference season.
Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck took a ride on offensive lineman Daniel Faalele (78) after a fourth quarter touchdown against Maryland.

Fleck: Penn State battle 'one of the biggest games in Minnesota history'

Coach P.J. Fleck said he is trying not to overhype the game to his players, but a victory would give a strong start to a closing stretch featuring ranked opponents.
Fans gather for ESPN's College Gameday at the University of Florida on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 in Gainesville, Fla.

'College GameDay' shuns Gophers-Penn State matchup at U

The Saturday morning TV show announced that it would instead feature No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama in a week, spurning the No. 13 Gophers vs. No. 5 Penn State.
Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck races onto the field with his team before a game against Georgia Southern in September. The schedule gets increasingly

Gophers' goal to contend in November looms as tough assignment

August through October featured a softer schedule for Gophers football and opponents with key injuries. That all changes, starting this week. Penn State is just the first in a torrent of trials.
With his Gophers 8-0 and his coaching profile rising again, football coach P.J. Fleck might be in line for a raise.

Gophers football success will make Fleck hot option on coaching market

Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle acknowledged Thursday he has been discussing coach P.J. Fleck's future. But would a reworked contract be enough to keep him at Minnesota?
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck and his wife, Heather, greeted Gophers fans on Saturday, and Fleck involved Heather again Sunday, asking her to state the U�

'Let's do this.' Fleck campaigning hard to bring ESPN's 'GameDay' here

Even if ESPN spurns the Gophers for the Penn State game in two weeks, there's a chance the Gophers could host "GameDay" when Wisconsin comes to town to battle for The Axe.
Gophers wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell (7) and wide receiver Rashod Bateman (13) celebrated Bateman's first-quarter touchdown against Maryland on Sat

Replay: Gophers 52, Maryland 10

A detailed look back at Saturday's victory.
Gophers receiver Rashod Bateman celebrated his first quarter touchdown against Maryland.

Big numbers accompany big Gophers win over Maryland to stay undefeated

Saturday's home victory, 52-10 over Maryland, included a career milestone for running back Rodney Smith.
Martin's replacement at linebacker plays well for Gophers

Martin's replacement at linebacker plays well for Gophers

Mariano Sori-Marin made a team-high eight tackles, including a shared one for a loss.
Gophers safety Antoine Winfield Jr., who scored on an interception last week vs. Rutgers, has had a two season-ending injuries in a row while playing

Gophers hope Antoine shakes injury history against Maryland

Gophers sophomore safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has endured season-ending injuries against Maryland the past two seasons, including a torn foot ligament last year on the Terrapins' first drive.
Gophers trying reach rarified air of 8-0 vs. Maryland

Gophers trying reach rarified air of 8-0 vs. Maryland

The Gophers are on the verge of their first 8-0 record since the early 1940s with a relaxing bye week to prepare for a November of ranked opponents.
It’s not inconceivable ESPN “College GameDay” hosts Lee Corso, left, and Kirk Herbstreit will be broadcasting from Northrop Mall or some other T

A 'GameDay' visit to Minneapolis next month? Not out of the question

ESPN's weekly "College GameDay" has never made an on-campus visit to Minnesota. Possible dates are Nov. 9 for Penn State or Nov. 30 for Wisconsin.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan has completed 101 of 152 passes this year with three interceptions but still says there's room to improve.

Gophers QB Morgan says knowing his flaws makes him better

"If you don't know your limitations, you're going to think you can do things you can't. And that's where you're going to get in trouble," quarterback Tanner Morgan said.
With Mohamed Ibrahim (24) and Rodney Smith (pictured), along with Shannon Brooks, the Gophers have a trio of running backs P.J. Fleck can use effectiv

Fleck plays it by ear with trio of running backs

With three starting-caliber running backs in Rodney Smith, Mohamed Ibrahim and Shannon Brooks, Gophers coach P.J. Fleck aims to help his players establish a rhythm without overworking them.
Gophers linebacker Kamal Martin was helped off Saturday, but the team says the senior might be able to play vs. Maryland.

Leading tackler Martin game-time decision; will Gophers be cautious?

While Kamal Martin's knee injury isn't as serious as first feared, coach P.J. Fleck will need to weight a number of factors about the linebacker's status for Saturday's game vs. Maryland.
Gophers linebacker Kamal Martin (21) was helped to the sideline and later carted off the field Saturday.

Leading tackler Martin game-time decision when U plays Maryland

Linebacker Kamal Martin's knee injury against Rutgers doesn't seem as serious as initially feared. "He's still got a few more tests," coach P.J. Fleck of the former Burnsville star.
Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. celebrated his fourth quarter touchdown on a pick-6 against Rutgers.

Two cheers: O'Brien makes emotional debut as Gophers roll Rutgers 42-7

Four-time cancer survivor Casey O'Brien made his first on-field appearance for the Gophers, who had little trouble Saturday moving to 7-0 and into first place in the Big Ten West.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck checked on Kamal Martin after the standout linebacker suffered what the team called a lower leg injury in the third quarter S

Martin suffers lower leg injury in Gophers win, will have more tests

Kamal Martin buckled just before contact on a third-quarter play and needed help limping off the field in the Gophers' 42-7 victory at Rutgers on Saturday.
Gophers-Rutgers gameday preview

Gophers-Rutgers gameday preview

The Gophers are 28-point favorites in this game. They haven't had that big of an advantage since playing South Dakota State in 2010.
Gophers tight end Jake Paulson ran the ball against the defense of Fresno State defensive back Wylan Free

Beyond the stars: 6-0 Gophers getting big help throughout roster

Unheralded blockers and special teams performers might not get much credit from the average fan, but coaches and their teammates know and appreciate their efforts.
The Gophers' Sam Renner tackled Nebraska quarterback Noah Vedral during Saturday night's game. Renner, a senior defensive tackle and former walk-on fr

Undersized Renner is 'unsung hero' of Gophers defensive line

Sam Renner has risen from wait-listed walk-on to a starter on the defensive line who can handle a variety of tasks as needed by the Gophers.
Gophers tight ends Jake Paulson (80) and Ko Kieft are banged up from injuries suffered against Nebraska last Saturday.

Gophers tight ends are dinged up

That unit endured some problems last Saturday against Nebraska, when Jake Paulson and Ko Kieft left early because of injuries.
Right guard Curtis Dunlap Jr. (51) cleared a path for Gophers running back Rodney Smith, taking a handoff from quarterback Tanner Morgan against Nebra

Position of strength: Fleck has nice problem on Gophers offensive line

The offensive line, which struggled early in the season, is coming off its two strongest games in which the Gophers scored 40 points against Purdue and 34 more vs. Nebraska.
The Gophers, led by head coach P.J. Fleck, took the field before Saturday night's game against Nebraska.

Is it worth it? No. 20-ranked Gophers answer Fleck with 6-0 start

The Gophers are 6-0 and ranked 20th, their first AP ranking since 2014, and that makes the coach's question an easy one.
Gophers wide receiver Rashod Bateman (13) and quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) rushed to join a celebration with running back Mohamed Ibrahim after he sc

Gophers trample Nebraska 34-7 to remain undefeated at 6-0

Mohamed Ibrahim ran for three touchdowns, part of Minnesota's 322 rushing yards against the injury-riddled Cornhuskers.
Gophers defensive back Chris Williamson tackled Cornhuskers quarterback Noah Vedral for a loss of yards in the first half. Vedral was starting for the

Gophers face another backup quarterback

The Gophers have yet to face an established quarterback for an entire game. Against the Cornhuskers, they matched up with Noah Vedral, who started in place of injured Adrian Martinez.
Gophers sophomore cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, a transfer from Michigan who hails from Quebec, has become a difference maker in the secondary.

Gophers land hidden Canadian gem in Michigan transfer St-Juste

Québécois cornerback Benjamin St-Juste found his way to the Gophers via Big Ten rival Wolverines
Shannon Brooks, left, and Rodney Smith are both redshirt seniors for the Gophers this season.

Still running: Gophers' Smith, Brooks show the kids how it's done

The best may be yet to come for Gophers redshirt seniors Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith, who have been with each other on the college journey.
Coach P.J. Fleck had done everything short of renting a snow machine and giant fans to prepare the Gophers for a potentially chilly football game Satu

Gophers prepare for chilly, wet game against Cornhuskers on Saturday

"We love it when it's cold," quarterback Tanner Morgan said.
Gophers senior linebacker Kamal Martin has shown NFL potential even without playing in two games this year because of suspension and injury.

Gophers defense goes into Nebraska game with budding confidence

Last week the Gophers held Illinois to just 91 rushing yards and 248 total yards of offense.
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez might not be available to play against the Gophers on Saturday after suffering a lower leg injury that forced him

Nebraska joins list of Gophers opponents with QB injury situations

Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez is questionable for Saturday's game at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Gophers’ outlook on the future is far less restrained than the emotion Shannon Brooks displayed after picking up a first down against Illinois.

Gophers are 5-0 but not projecting too far ahead on the schedule

It's the first time since 2004 the Gophers have started a season with five wins. And that streak could grow with a favorable schedule ahead.
Gophers defensive back Benjamin St-Juste used a reach advantage to break up a pass intended for Illinois’ Ricky Smalling.

Ibrahim sits out again in Gophers' victory over Illini

For the third consecutive game, Gophers sophomore running back Mohamed Ibrahim warmed up in full pads, only to not play.