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The Gophers will face a unique challenge on defense and a coach who will be on the sidelines for the final time as their reward for making a bowl game in P.J. Fleck's second season.
The Yellow Jackets won their opener before losing three games in a row. But they won six of their next seven games to secure bowl eligibility before losing their regular-season finale, 45-21 at Georgia.
With Saturday's 37-15 victory by the bowl-eligible Gophers, Paul Bunyan's Axe is going back to Minneapolis for the first time since 2003.
Joe Rossi was named interim defensive coordinator after Fleck fired Robb Smith following the 55-31 loss at Illinois on Nov. 3, and the defense responded.
Saturday's game might be Minnesota's only chance for nearly a full calendar year to impress that noncommittal bloc known as casual fans in this sports-saturated market.
It's Gophers-Wisconsin week, and that means Rhys Lloyd is getting an annual chance to reminisce about a career kicking highlight.
Minnesota is minus-11 in turnovers in Big Ten play, heading into the regular-season finale at Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin star running back is nearing 2,000 rushing yards.
The Gophers couldn't get that sixth win Saturday because Big Ten West Division-champion Northwestern played mostly error-free football and owned the key situations in a 24-14 victory.
"We're going to miss that young man one day,'' Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said. "He's an incredible player.''
College Football Insider: Big Ten bowl guesses start at the top with two national playoff possibilities. The Gophers need to win one of their last two games to get to a postseason game.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said even though the Wildcats are assured a spot in the Big Ten title game the final two weeks of the regular season will be played with a "championship approach."
New defensive coordinator Joe Rossi said the team's linebackers were big in beating the Boilermakers. One more victory will make the Gophers eligible for a bowl game.
At Cooper High School, Phillip Howard was a jack of all trades, playing quarterback, receiver, defensive back and return specialist.
Once the top-rated player in the Gophers football recruiting class of 2019, Jason Bargy faces charges in Illinois and is no longer in Minnesota's plans.
P.J. Fleck had a thought about why the Gophers defense rebounded in his team's lopsided victory over Purdue. And was Blake Cashman robbed of an honor he deserved?
In Joe Rossi's first game as interim defensive coordinator, the Gophers limited the Boilermakers to just 233 total yards and won 41-10 at cold, snowy TCF Bank Stadium.
Operating behind an offensive line that won one-on-one battles throughout Saturday's game, the 5-10, 205-pound Mohamed Ibrahim got better as the game went on.
Rashod Bateman is on a historic pace as a Gophers freshman wide receiver.
The defensive problems facing the Gophers, to put it bluntly, are massive. Enter Joe Rossi, the team's interim defensive coordinator.
The reality of this season means that coach P.J. Fleck is asking more from one of his freshman that he wanted. "He's not ready to play, but he's going to play."
"This is not about one specific game or one specific issue," P.J. Fleck said, explaining his decision to fire his defensive coordinator, a longtime friend and colleague.
Coach P.J. Fleck fired defensive coordinator Robb Smith on Sunday. The Gophers have given up at least 30 points in all seven of their 2018 Big Ten games.
The host Illini racked up 646 yards of offense - 430 alone of the ground - with most of it in coming in sizable chunks. Illinois scored four times from 67 yards or longer.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said after Saturday's 55-31 loss at Illinois that Shannon Brooks, a senior running back, will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury suffered in last week's victory over Indiana.
Tanner Morgan, a redshirt freshman, led three TD drives in the second half of a loss at Nebraska, then passed for 302 yards and three TDs in a win last week. Morgan will start again Saturday at Illinois.
Injured Gophers senior running back Shannon Brooks was arrested Oct. 14 and released the next day.
With a month left in the regular season, some conference races have interesting division leaders.
Colllege Football Insider: Only a late-season collapse can keep the Wildcats from reaching Indy.
The former Eden Prairie star has been nominated for a national honor given to the most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.
The Gophers have needed their depth at running back in a season that has been marked by injuries to players at that position.
The redshirt freshman quarterback was named Big Ten co-freshman of the week on Monday after leading the Gophers over Indiana.
Gophers junior Tyler Johnson caught five passes for 102 yards and touchdowns of 8 and 18 yards Friday night. It's his sixth 100-yard receiving game of the season.
The Hoosiers rallied from 22 points down to tie the Gophers, but a long touchdown pass sealed Minnesota's first Big Ten win of the season
P.J. Fleck this week reiterated that he expected a difficult season and that patience will be required with the Gophers football team. They have not won a Big Ten game this season.
With the season in a downward spiral and Friday night's game against Indiana at TCF Bank Stadium quickly approaching, the Gophers need an answer for a reeling defense.
Zack Annexstad suffered an internal midsection injury late in the first half at Nebraska on Saturday and Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said Tuesday, "I'm not sure yet" if Annexstad will play Friday night vs. Indiana.
Tanner Morgan replaced Zack Annexstad in the second half at Nebraska and led a pair of touchdown drives at the start of the third quarter.
Zack Annexstad did not play in the second half of Saturday's game at Nebraska because of a midsection injury suffered shortly before halftime. He was sent to a hospital but was expected to be released.
The Cornhuskers went ahead by four touchdowns in the second quarter, and racked up 659 yards for the game in their 53-28 victory sending the Gophers to their fourth consecutive loss.
On Saturday at Nebraska, running back Mohamed Ibrahim and lineman Blaise Andries, among many others, hope to build on last week's performance at Ohio State in which the Gophers ran for 178 yards.
While some teams celebrate fumbles and picks with chains, backpacks and robes the Gophers need to start taking the ball away from opponents to make any turnover prop worthwhile.
Nebraska is off to an 0-6 start with several close losses under new coach Scott Frost, the quarterback on Nebraska's last national championship team in 1997.
Senior running back Shannon Brooks was on track to play his first game Saturday in Nebraska, but his weekend arrest could change that.
With the Gophers up 7-3 early Saturday, Ohio State faced fourth-and-2 from the Minnesota 44. Mike Weber was given credit for a 3-yard gain, though the ball was spotted ahead of where Weber was down
Rather than dwell on one call, coach P.J. Fleck took away some positives from a game in which the Gophers twice had the lead on a College Football Playoff contender.
Shannon Brooks was released from the Hennepin County jail because 'further investigation is needed' in connection with an incident between Brooks and his roommate early Sunday.
After dropping from 3-0 to 3-3, the Gophers begin the second half of their season on Saturday against shockingly winless Nebraska.
Brooks, who has been sidelined all season because of a knee injury, was booked into the Hennepin County jail about 2:40 a.m. Sunday, according to the jail log.
Too many mistakes, not enough breaks for the U allow the third-ranked Buckeyes to remain unbeaten.
A quick look at Saturday's game.
Ohio State ran for only 92 yards, but the Buckeyes were able to do damage in the air.
The backup to J.T. Barrett last year, Dwayne Haskins has passed for a nation's-best 25 touchdowns this season and is averaging 319.8 passing yards per game.
True freshman Daniel Faalele, all 6-9 and 400 pounds of him, will start at right offensive tackle against Ohio State on Saturday.
Doing most of the damage for the Hawkeyes was defensive end Anthony Nelson, who had three first-half sacks, including two on back-to-back plays in the second quarter.
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley was a standout the Badgers let get away.
USA Today released its annual study of college football head coaching salaries Wednesday.
Jordan Howden, a true freshman walk-on from Las Vegas, is part of the Gophers' plan to replace "one of the best" in injured Antoine Winfield Jr. Hodwen is described as "a diamond in the rough" by coaches.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck is impressed by Iowa's large front wall and linebackers, calling the group "big, long, tall [and] rangy."
Coming off a 42-13 loss to the Terrapins in the Big Ten opener on Sept. 22, the Gophers used the extra time to regroup, self-assess and prepare for an eight-week grind through the heart of the conference season.
Two true freshmen are taking repetitions at safety.
The Gophers paid tribute to Nick Connelly, who died Wednesday, by wearing a helmet decal with his initials and lime-green wristbands, the color used to promote lymphoma awareness.
Another 3-0 start to the football season. Another opener vs. Maryland. Déjà vu? The Gophers think not.
Connelly, a star player at Red Wing, died Wednesday at age 22 after a three-month battle with cancer. He stopped playing football last season because of concussion issues.
It's a rare reunion of teacher and pupil, who mutually admire each other, and it comes with much on the line for P.J. Fleck's Gophers and Matt Canada's Terrapins.
A student of his craft, the Green Bay native sympathized with Daniel Carlson's troubles that cost him his job with the Vikings.
"Zack's performance was pretty gutsy. In terms of showing he's got guts, he can fight through being uncomfortable,'' coach P.J. Fleck said.
Three touchdown catches by Tyler Johnson and a stingy defense masked some Gophers blemishes in a 26-3 victory over the RedHawks on a steamy afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium.
In the first half Saturday, the Gophers held the ball for 17:14 to Miami's 12:46 in building a 19-3 lead.
Together, four fresh faces of Gophers football — including quarterback Zack Annexstad and receiver Rashod Bateman — have made a positive impact in the season's early weeks.
One of two freshman will start for Minnesota against Miami of Ohio on Saturday. But an unexpected name has made its way into the conversation for later this season.
Antoine Winfield Jr. was named the Big Ten co-defensive player of the week for his efforts in the Gophers' 21-14 victory over Fresno State, and was joined by Emmit Carpenter as special teams player of the week.
Gophers Insider: An emotional P.J. Fleck heaped praise on his young team's performance Saturday night in the face of adversity after senior Rodney Smith was injured.
The Gophers cut down on the flags in their second game, committing three for 30 yards in their 21-14 victory over Fresno State on Saturday night.
Senior running back Rodney Smith injured his left knee three offensive plays into Saturday night's game, in which he took a screen pass 11 yards for a first down.