Gophers receiver Brandon Green (right) is 0-for-2 passing on trick plays this season, but he's hoping for another chance soon.
Marlin Levison, Star Tribune file
Gophers receiver Green still looking for first completion
- Article by: PHIL MILLER
- Star Tribune
- November 17, 2011 - 6:39 AM
Brandon Green has 54 career catches, three touchdowns and more than 700 yards, not bad for a 22-year-old receiver in his third season. But he's 0-for-2 in a category he never much thought about before: passing.
"I hadn't thrown in a long time, but three weeks ago, I came into the meeting room, and I see my name on the board for a trick play," Green said. "That surprised me."
Well, surprise is the whole point of faking a reverse to Green, then letting him pull up and launch the ball 20 or 30 yards downfield. At Michigan State, Green's pass to Da'Jon McKnight was decent, but cornerback Trenton Robinson arrived in time to break it up.
Though it was now on film for Wisconsin's defense to study, the Gophers kept the play in their playbook last week, too. Green estimates the pass was complete "six or seven times" out of the eight times he rehearsed it.
"Coach [Jerry] Kill told me we were probably going to use it on the first play of the game," Green said. "But I didn't believe him."
Sure enough, though, that's what the coaches had in mind.
"We felt like, first play, the defense was going to be amped up. They were going to want to step up and key on MarQueis," offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said. "So we took MarQueis to the left and flipped it back [to Green]. We thought we were going to get [the defense] all overflowing. And for the most part we did, but they're so well-coached, their cornerback kept his eyes where they needed to be and did a nice job of staying home."
Green's pass against Wisconsin drifted out of tight end Eric Lair's reach, too. "I kind of hung it up there and the wind took it to the right a little bit, so that threw him off," Green said of Lair's diving attempt at a catch. "I could have put a better ball up there."
Next time, right? "If they have me throw another," Green said, "I'll complete it."
So when will he get that chance? The Gophers play Saturday about 20 miles from Robeson High in Chicago, where Green was the backup quarterback, ironically, to Johnny Johnson, now a Gophers defensive back. But surely they won't try the same trick three weeks in a row.
"Hey, we're trying to get him one, absolutely," Limegrover said with a smile. "You can let the coaches at Northwestern know we want to get his throwing percentage up, so we have about six plays with him throwing the football this week."Kill hopes for redshirt year for Stoudermire
A broken arm would be a lousy way to end Troy Stoudermire's college football career. So Kill believes it isn't over.
The Gophers cornerback technically may not qualify for an automatic do-over to his senior year, but "I'm optimistic, cautiously optimistic, that he'll get an opportunity to play again," Kill said Wednesday.
Stoudermire suffered the injury against Miami (Ohio), the Gophers' third game of the season, then tried to play with a cast protecting the fractured bone in his forearm against North Dakota State a week later. He was removed after only one series, though, because tackling was too difficult, and he hasn't played since.
Medical hardship rules allow a player to recover a season of eligibility if he appears in less than 30 percent of his team's games, all in the first half of a season. Stoudermire's appearance in the NDSU game seems to disqualify him, but Kill said the school will apply for an exception. The fact that Stoudermire never has taken a redshirt season for medical or competitive reasons makes him likely to be granted another year, the coach believes.
"It's up to the powers" at the NCAA, Kill said. "You never know, you can't control that, but I'd be surprised if he doesn't" play again next season.
© 2013 Star Tribune