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Randy Johnson

Reporter | Gophers football
phone: 612-673-7664
Recent content from Randy Johnson
Badgers RB Taylor among the nation's best

Badgers RB Taylor among the nation's best

Freshman Jonathan Taylor, who operates behind a massive, mobile line, is the engine behind an offense that has fifth-ranked Wisconsin off to an 11-0 start.
Fleck might shuffle U receivers: 'I don't enjoy them dropping the ball'

Fleck might shuffle U receivers: 'I don't enjoy them dropping the ball'

Changes made to the depth chart reflect his frustration with drops.
Gophers' chance of going to bowl with five wins takes big hit

Gophers' chance of going to bowl with five wins takes big hit

Odds are good there will be enough teams finishing with six victories that Minnesota won't be able to sneak into a bowl game the way it did two years ago.
Gophers notes: Missing top threat, passing game self-destructs

Gophers notes: Missing top threat, passing game self-destructs

Sophomore Tyler Johnson missed Minnesota's 39-0 loss at Northwestern on Saturday, reportedly because of a broken left wrist suffered last week against Nebraska.
Not again! Weather forecast for Gophers-Northwestern is shaky

Not again! Weather forecast for Gophers-Northwestern is shaky

Another (!!!) bad weather game for the Gophers football team? Coach P.J. Fleck's first Minnesota season has seen enough of those already.
Fleck, Gophers will see recruits signing, transfers leaving earlier

Fleck, Gophers will see recruits signing, transfers leaving earlier

Come next month, the recruiting world will go through a seismic shift as December 20 becomes the circle-the-calendar date for college football programs.
'Quiet giant' leader: Richardson returns to Chicago as U faces Northwestern

'Quiet giant' leader: Richardson returns to Chicago as U faces Northwestern

Steven Richardson, a soft-spoken 6-0, 292-pound defensive tackle, expects a good turnout of family, friends and "even past teachers all the way from elementary school" for the Gophers-Northwestern game.
Signs point to medical redshirt for Gophers star safety Winfield

Signs point to medical redshirt for Gophers star safety Winfield

Winfield, who originally hurt the hamstring Aug. 8 in training camp, hasn't played since the first quarter of the fourth game of the season.
Gophers' Fleck, Northwestern's Fitzgerald go way back in coaching

Gophers' Fleck, Northwestern's Fitzgerald go way back in coaching

The two met for lunch in Evanston, Ill., in 2007, when Fleck was a first-year wide receivers coach at Northern Illinois and wanted to pick Fitzgerald's brain for coaching tips and knowledge.
Demry Croft, Rodney Smith earn Big Ten honors for Gophers

Demry Croft, Rodney Smith earn Big Ten honors for Gophers

When a quarterback rushes for nearly 200 yards and a running back piles up almost 300 all-purpose yards, people take notice.And that's exactly what happened…

Gophers notes: Croft, Smith rack up the yards

Rodney Smith piled up a career-best 279 all-purpose yards vs. Nebraska while quarterback Demry Croft added 183 on the ground.
Minnesota vs. Nebraska: The Gophers will win Saturday if ...

Minnesota vs. Nebraska: The Gophers will win Saturday if ...

The Cornhuskers have ditched high preseason hopes and are just trying to get to six wins to make a bowl game. That won't be easy.
Here's why Fleck wants '125 Blake Cashmans' on Gophers roster

Here's why Fleck wants '125 Blake Cashmans' on Gophers roster

Coach P.J. Fleck sees Cashman as an example of what he wants in every player, which is why he's been earning more playing time with the Gophers.
U lineman Greene faces Fleck's discipline after Michigan ejection

U lineman Greene faces Fleck's discipline after Michigan ejection

Left tackle Donnell Greene is facing discipline from coach P.J. Fleck for an on-field incident last week, and center Jared Weyler left the Michigan game after aggravating a foot injury.
Gophers learn from Michigan what a football 'whupping' feels like

Gophers learn from Michigan what a football 'whupping' feels like

After Michigan ran all over P.J. Fleck's Gophers in a 33-10 victory — the Wolverines rushed for 366 yards on the strength of touchdown gallops of 77, 67 and 60 yards — the coach used the term repeatedly to describe the result.
Gophers secondary gets healthy reinforcements against Michigan

Gophers secondary gets healthy reinforcements against Michigan

Antonio Shenault and Kiondre Thomas returned after missing the Gophers' previous game.
Michigan thrashes Gophers after yet another weather delay

Michigan thrashes Gophers after yet another weather delay

The U had to endure one storm from Mother Nature before getting hit by another from the Wolverines offense.
Meet the Barbers: First family of Gophers football

Meet the Barbers: First family of Gophers football

A look at the Barber family and their influence on Gophers football:
Gophers vs. Michigan: Minnesota will win if ...

Gophers vs. Michigan: Minnesota will win if ...

The Gophers face a Michigan team playing a quarterback making his first college start.
Gophers football in for quite the fight vs. Michigan defense

Gophers football in for quite the fight vs. Michigan defense

When the Gophers travel to Ann Arbor for Saturday's battle for the Little Brown Jug vs. Michigan, coach P.J. Fleck will experience a first. "I've never been to the Big House," Fleck said.
Top Gophers quarterback recruit reopens recruiting process

Top Gophers quarterback recruit reopens recruiting process

Brennan Armstrong, a three-star quarterback from Ohio, who gave the Gophers a verbal commitment in February for 2018, said Monday night that he has reopened his recruiting.
Gophers can't cash in on chances to bring Floyd back

Gophers can't cash in on chances to bring Floyd back

Iowa scored on its opening drive and did enough to hang on to a 17-10 victory over the Gophers, who came tantalizingly close to claiming hold to Floyd of Rosedale.
Gophers assembled a depleted secondary against Iowa

Gophers assembled a depleted secondary against Iowa

The Gophers were without their two starting cornerbacks Saturday night against the Hawkeyes.
Fleck knows beating Iowa, bringing home Floyd will win over Gophers fans

Fleck knows beating Iowa, bringing home Floyd will win over Gophers fans

The Hawkeyes have won seven in row vs. the Gophers at home. P.J. Fleck knows all about the pressure to break that streak. "I can't tell you how many tweets I had, 'Beat Iowa. Beat Wisconsin,'" he said.
Adekunle Ayinde filling every need for Gophers defense

Adekunle Ayinde filling every need for Gophers defense

Senior has become a most valuable player in Minnesota's secondary.
Gophers vs. Iowa: Minnesota will win Saturday if ...

Gophers vs. Iowa: Minnesota will win Saturday if ...

About the opponent After a strong start (stirring OT comeback to beat Iowa State, narrow loss to Penn State), Iowa fell to Michigan State and…
'Big Fella' McCrary gives Fleck new options to attack Iowa

'Big Fella' McCrary gives Fleck new options to attack Iowa

Kobe McCrary's play during two fill-in roles has Gophers coach P.J. Fleck changing a two-running back rotation into a three-back timeshare beginning with Saturday's game at Iowa.
Who hates Iowa? Not the Gophers as P.J. Fleck praises Hawkeyes

Who hates Iowa? Not the Gophers as P.J. Fleck praises Hawkeyes

With the 111th meeting between the Gophers and rival Iowa on tap Saturday at Kinnick Stadium, the lead-up to the battle for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy has been tame.
Next juggling act: Playing time for three Gophers running backs

Next juggling act: Playing time for three Gophers running backs

After making a decision following the first few games not to juggle his quarterbacks, coach P.J. Fleck will now turn attention to moving his top three running backs in and out of the game.
Despite struggles, Gophers sticking with Croft at quarterback

Despite struggles, Gophers sticking with Croft at quarterback

P.J. Fleck hasn't made knee-jerk decisions about his quarterbacks, and he indicated on Sunday that the starting job belongs to Croft.
Gophers beat Illinois, getting Fleck first Big Ten win

Gophers beat Illinois, getting Fleck first Big Ten win

The ground game led by Kobe McCrary and Rodney Smith carried P.J. Fleck to his first Big Ten win.
Gophers linebacker Jonathan Celestin has magical moment

Gophers linebacker Jonathan Celestin has magical moment

The senior linebacker made the game's key play, intercepting a pass by Illinois quarterback Cam Thomas and returning it 31 yards for a touchdown and 24-10 Gophers lead with 4:11 left in the fourth quarter.
The Call: Gophers will beat Illinois if ...

The Call: Gophers will beat Illinois if ...

What worked before is likely to work again when the Gophers take on Illinois.
P.J. Fleck, Gophers get commitment from three-star defensive back

P.J. Fleck, Gophers get commitment from three-star defensive back

C.J. Smith III, a senior, is a 6-1, 175-pounder who rescinded his verbal commitment to Georgia Southern.
After nonconference success, Gophers run defense sinks in Big Ten

After nonconference success, Gophers run defense sinks in Big Ten

In their three Big Ten games the Gophers have allowed an average of 213 rushing yards, which ranks 13th of 14 conference teams.
After six games, Gophers football team identifies six key lessons

After six games, Gophers football team identifies six key lessons

Win or lose, the Gophers at the halfway point have drawn lessons from each game under P.J. Fleck.

P.J. Fleck wants both Gophers QBs – Demry Croft, Conor Rhoda – ready to go

Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck remained noncommittal Tuesday about his quarterback for Saturday's homecoming game, and the depth chart lists Conor Rhoda "or" Demry Croft as the starter.
Fleck: Gophers could seek medical redshirt for injured Winfield

Fleck: Gophers could seek medical redshirt for injured Winfield

Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has missed two games because of a left hamstring injury he aggravated Sept. 30 vs. Maryland.
Signs point to Croft, but Fleck won't reveal Saturday's quarterback

Signs point to Croft, but Fleck won't reveal Saturday's quarterback

Despite Demry Croft's strong performance after replacing Conor Rhoda, coach P.J. Fleck said he was keeping his decision 'in-house' about who'll start against Illinois.
Big comeback falls just short, Gophers lose 30-27 to Michigan State

Big comeback falls just short, Gophers lose 30-27 to Michigan State

Demry Croft replaced Conor Rhoda at quarterback and nearly led the Gophers back thanks to three late TDs but ultimately came up three points shy.
Poor weather forces late start for Gophers and Spartans

Poor weather forces late start for Gophers and Spartans

Saturday's 7 p.m. kickoff against No. 21 Michigan State was delayed 34 minutes because of nearby lightning strikes.
'Year Zero.' Fleck choosing culture over results in first season with Gophers

'Year Zero.' Fleck choosing culture over results in first season with Gophers

That long view is hard for some Gophers fans to see this week after two frustrating losses. Compounding the situation are injuries and suspensions that have hit P.J. Fleck's team.
Failures in final minutes have haunted Gophers in Big Ten play

Failures in final minutes have haunted Gophers in Big Ten play

In two Big Ten games, opponents have put up 32 fourth-quarter points on the Gophers. "We've got to learn from it, we've got to grow from it," defensive coordinator Robb Smith said.
Croft No. 2 on depth chart, but Fleck says backup QB spot isn't set

Croft No. 2 on depth chart, but Fleck says backup QB spot isn't set

The Gophers released their depth chart for Saturday night's game against Michigan State, and among the changes listed was an interesting one at quarterback.
Youngsters will need to step up for injury-depleted Gophers

Youngsters will need to step up for injury-depleted Gophers

Injuries have forced the Gophers to exhaust their depth and play more than a dozen freshmen throughout the lineup.
Gophers size up deficiencies after two Big Ten football defeats

Gophers size up deficiencies after two Big Ten football defeats

The Gophers need improvement in the passing game, players getting healthy, youngsters maturing quickly and even some good fortune to reverse their winless Big Ten start.
Fleck takes blame after Gophers' 'unacceptable' play in loss at Purdue

Fleck takes blame after Gophers' 'unacceptable' play in loss at Purdue

The Gophers collected four first-half turnovers Saturday from Purdue, but left the door open after halftime and lost late after allowing a touchdown and throwing a pick-six interception.

Gophers lose trio of starters to injury vs. Purdue

The Gophers took a trio of hits Saturday when wide receiver Phillip Howard, offensive tackle Nick Connelly and cornerback Kiondre Thomas suffered injuries and did not return.
P.J. Fleck fan club's unlikeliest member: Purdue coach Jeff Brohm's son

P.J. Fleck fan club's unlikeliest member: Purdue coach Jeff Brohm's son

Brady Brohm, 12, who aspires to be a football coach, may be conflicted Saturday.
The Call: The Gophers can beat Purdue if ...

The Call: The Gophers can beat Purdue if ...

Purdue has become more competitive under first-year coach Jeff Brohm.
Former Cooper QB Howard catching on for Gophers as receiver

Former Cooper QB Howard catching on for Gophers as receiver

Phillip Howard, a redshirt freshman and former standout from Robbinsdale Cooper, is slated to start for the second consecutive week when the Gophers face Purdue on Saturday in West Lafayette
Can Croft help Gophers running game after return from suspension?

Can Croft help Gophers running game after return from suspension?

In the 31-24 loss to Maryland, the Gophers struggled to run the ball, mustering only 80 yards on 31 carries. Croft's skills have the potential to help.
One injured, one suspended: Both U starting safeties could miss Purdue game

One injured, one suspended: Both U starting safeties could miss Purdue game

Duke McGhee has been suspended because of a violation of team rules and Antoine Winfield Jr. is questionable because of a hamstring injury.

P.J. Fleck says Demetrius Douglas to miss rest of Gophers' season

Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said Sunday morning on WCCO Radio that wide receiver Demetrius Douglas will miss the rest of the season because of an…
Shorthanded: Four Gophers starters missed all or most of Maryland game

Shorthanded: Four Gophers starters missed all or most of Maryland game

Injuries and a suspension are starting to take a toll on the Gophers, and that was apparent Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.
Fleck: Gophers 'didn't deserve' to win mistake-filled game vs. Maryland

Fleck: Gophers 'didn't deserve' to win mistake-filled game vs. Maryland

You can add another category into the list of firsts P.J. Fleck's inaugural season as Gophers football coach. His first loss. The Gophers fell 31-24 to Maryland on Saturday afternoon.
The Call: Gophers will beat Maryland if ...

The Call: Gophers will beat Maryland if ...

Maryland (2-1) turned heads with its 51-41 victory at Texas to open the season, but coach DJ Durkin's Terrapins have endured mainly bad luck since.
Gophers quarterback Rhoda grows from walk-on to 'awesome leader'

Gophers quarterback Rhoda grows from walk-on to 'awesome leader'

Last season against Maryland, he was a little-known sub. Saturday, he begins his final Big Ten season against the same team as the undisputed leader.
Gophers' Craighton, Holland Jr. out for the season with leg injuries

Gophers' Craighton, Holland Jr. out for the season with leg injuries

Both players were hurt during the victory over Middle Tennessee State. Zo Craighton was a reserve cornerback; Melvin Holland played mostly on special teams.
Fleck says 'a few' Gophers out for season, but won't name them

Fleck says 'a few' Gophers out for season, but won't name them

Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck acknowledges there are some long-term injuries to players but isn't naming names, extending the trend of secrecy in college football.
Gophers, like many, no longer stand on sidelines for national anthem

Gophers, like many, no longer stand on sidelines for national anthem

P.J. Fleck's practice of keeping the team in the locker room differs from Minnesota tradition, although changes to the Gophers' routine took place last season.
Backs should be ready for Gophers opener; Croft still suspended

Backs should be ready for Gophers opener; Croft still suspended

Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks are on track to play against the Terrapins after suffering injuries during the Gophers' nonconference schedule.
Gophers dominate Middle Tennessee, but endure bumps along the way

Gophers dominate Middle Tennessee, but endure bumps along the way

The Gophers rolled to a 34-3 victory at TCF Bank Stadium but running backs Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith played a combined one half of football.
Loss of starting QB Stockstill hurt Middle Tennessee's chances vs. Gophers

Loss of starting QB Stockstill hurt Middle Tennessee's chances vs. Gophers

Brent Stockstill is in his third year as a starter for the Blue Raiders and has passed for 7,714 yards and 65 touchdowns in his career. His absence was a big blow Saturday for the visitors to TCF Bank Stadium.
Gophers' Winfield primed for challenge vs. MTSU's 100-catch receiver

Gophers' Winfield primed for challenge vs. MTSU's 100-catch receiver

Rickie James, the Blue Raiders' best player, can score from anywhere on the field. Antoine Winfield Jr., the Gophers' best defensive back will spend the day trying to prevent that.
What does Fleck mean when he says Gophers should grow 'spiritually'?

What does Fleck mean when he says Gophers should grow 'spiritually'?

Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck isn't endorsing religion; he hopes his players 'believe in something bigger.'
The Call: Gophers will beat Middle Tennessee on Saturday if ...

The Call: Gophers will beat Middle Tennessee on Saturday if ...

Breaking down Saturday's game at TCF Bank Stadium.
Croft sidelined over 'personal issues'; Green expected to back up Rhoda

Croft sidelined over 'personal issues'; Green expected to back up Rhoda

Demry Croft is the second player coach P.J. Fleck has sat in his first year in Minnesota. "If you can't abide by the culture, you're not going to play," Fleck said.
Future Gophers football schedules have big changes, including opener against Ohio State

Future Gophers football schedules have big changes, including opener against Ohio State

Coming soon to Gophers football: An Ohio State season opener at TCF Bank Stadium, early October rivalry games against Wisconsin and nonconference games mixed into the Big Ten schedule
Rhoda grabs U starting job after impressive game at Oregon State

Rhoda grabs U starting job after impressive game at Oregon State

Conor Rhoda will have three starts and a bye week under his belt before the Big Ten season begins with a visit from Maryland on Sept. 30.
Rhoda shines at QB, Gophers execute 'perfectly' in rout over Oregon State

Rhoda shines at QB, Gophers execute 'perfectly' in rout over Oregon State

The Gophers forced three turnovers and got long-yardage plays on the ground and through the air against the Beavers en route to a 48-14 romp at Oregon State.
The Call: Gophers defense should lead the way against Oregon State

The Call: Gophers defense should lead the way against Oregon State

A breakdown of Saturday night's game in Corvallis, Ore.
Gophers' lack of offensive punch in opener raises early red flag

Gophers' lack of offensive punch in opener raises early red flag

Though the Gophers began the P.J. Fleck era by winning, their offensive performance, especially, raised questions.
Gophers grind out closer-than-expected win over Buffalo

Gophers grind out closer-than-expected win over Buffalo

Those who anticipated an easy win and a high-energy celebration of a new regime likely went home only partially satisfied following the 17-7 victory in a game where the Gophers were favored to win by almost four touchdowns.
Former North High star Johnson emerges as Gophers playmaker

Former North High star Johnson emerges as Gophers playmaker

Tyler Johnson had all of his six catches for 141 yards in the first half, including a 61-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
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