Recent content from Megan Ryan
P.J. Fleck gave the players this past week off to digest the season while the staff recruited before returning to practice Sunday.
In a season of ups (Gophers, Indiana) and downs (Michigan State, Northwestern), Ohio State and Wisconsin stayed on course.
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?
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 .
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.
He's made key plays in limited offensive snaps.
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.
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.
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.
Minnesota climbed to No. 8 last week but dropped after taking its first loss of the season.
The Gophers redshirt sophomore quarterback left Saturday's Iowa loss during the final series with a possible concussion.
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.
"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."
The Gophers never could claw all the way back after falling behind 20-3 in the first half.
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.
Without their usual right guard, the Gophers gave up six sacks.
Tanner Morgan's choreographed passing mechanics can be laughable, but the results are laudable
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?
The sideline glances Gophers players give during games can be decoys, but one resulted in a changed call and huge play against Penn State.
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.
Antoine Winfield Jr. has weathered allegations and injuries to become one of this season's big-time playmakers for the 9-0 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.
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.
Gophers senior linebacker Kamal Martin wasn't able to play in the team's biggest game in decades Saturday
P.J. Fleck and James Franklin, linked by friendship and coaching philosophy, face the biggest matchup in the coaches' tenures.
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.
The former Polar could play a major role for the Golden Gophers on Saturday.
The excitement ahead of the Penn State game signals a significant transformation: The Gophers are relevant again in Minnesota.
"When I was growing up, I'm pretty sure I had Nittany Lion pajamas," Gophers' offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca said.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
A detailed look back at Saturday's victory.
Saturday's home victory, 52-10 over Maryland, included a career milestone for running back Rodney Smith.
Mariano Sori-Marin made a team-high eight tackles, including a shared one for a loss.
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.
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.
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.
"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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That unit endured some problems last Saturday against Nebraska, when Jake Paulson and Ko Kieft left early because of injuries.
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 are 6-0 and ranked 20th, their first AP ranking since 2014, and that makes the coach's question an easy one.
Mohamed Ibrahim ran for three touchdowns, part of Minnesota's 322 rushing yards against the injury-riddled Cornhuskers.
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.
Québécois cornerback Benjamin St-Juste found his way to the Gophers via Big Ten rival Wolverines
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.
"We love it when it's cold," quarterback Tanner Morgan said.
Last week the Gophers held Illinois to just 91 rushing yards and 248 total yards of offense.
Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez is questionable for Saturday's game at TCF Bank Stadium.
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.
For the third consecutive game, Gophers sophomore running back Mohamed Ibrahim warmed up in full pads, only to not play.