Gophers' pass-to-rush ratio is off kilter

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 13, 2013 - 12:27 AM

 

The Gophers pass offense ranks second-to-last in the Big Ten, averaging 113 yards per game, but offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover won’t be out to pad Philip Nelson’s passing numbers Saturday against Western Illinois.

“There’s still a ton of things we need to improve on offensively that it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against,” Limegrover said. “There’s not going to be any specific agenda.”

Nelson leads Big Ten quarterbacks in rushing with 27 carries for 205 yards. As a team, the Gophers rushed for 342 yards in last week’s 44-21 victory at New Mexico State.

“When [opponents] start taking away the run, then you’re going to need to be a little better passing, but I feel like it’s working well together,” Limegrover said. “Everybody freaks out if your quarterback throws for 250 [yards] but you only rush for 85 yards, and then it’s the reverse … and the sky is falling.

“It’s one of those things where I feel like we’re progressing.”

Lauer gaining steam

On this week’s depth chart, the Gophers list the starting left tackle as Marek Lenkiewicz or Ben Lauer. Lenkiewicz started the first two games, and senior backup Ed Olson is out because of an ankle injury.

A redshirt freshman from Wayzata High School, Lauer played his first few collegiate snaps late in last Saturday’s victory over New Mexico State.

“He’s a guy that keeps coming along, so I look for him to continue to push for some playing time as we go here,” Gophers coach Jerry Kill said.

Another redshirt freshman tackle, Jonah Pirsig, played the same number of snaps as Lauer at New Mexico State, but the Gophers are being careful with Pirsig coming back from surgery to repair a dislocated kneecap. Pirsig had that same procedure in high school.

“It’s different than a running back,” Kill said. “He’s [308 pounds], so it takes a little time to get the strength back in those legs.”

Claeys speaks his mind

Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys isn’t quick with a tongue-lashing, but he got after his players at halftime of the New Mexico State game. The Aggies managed one first down on their first five drives, and then scored a touchdown to trim Minnesota’s lead to 13-7. It was 27-7 at halftime.

“We came out and played a lot better at the beginning of the ballgame than we did [against UNLV],” Claeys said.

“We got a lead and relaxed, and that’s what happens. Again, we need to be greedy and try to dominate, and not just, ‘Hey, we’re going to win,’ and be satisfied.”

Etc.

• Running backs Donnell Kirkwood and Berkley Edwards are both expected to miss Saturday’s game as they recover from sprained ankles. Backup linebacker Nick Rallis is out because of mono.

  • related content

  • College Football Insider: Big weekend for the Big Ten

    Friday September 13, 2013

    In Saturday showdowns, conference has a chance to shine – or crumble.

  • Big Ten Power Poll: Michigan stays on top

    Thursday September 12, 2013

    BIG TEN POWER POLL1. Michigan (2-0): The Devin Gardner to Jeremy Gallon connection was unstoppable against Notre Dame.2. Ohio State...

  • Gopher quarterback Philip Nelson soars over the New Mexico State defensive line and into the end zone Saturday during the second half of the game at Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces, N.M

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
NY Mets 8 FINAL
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 39 FINAL
Kentucky 78
Xavier 60 FINAL
Arizona 68
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
Ole Miss 70 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 60 FINAL
UCLA 74
St Marys-CA 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 69

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Major League Soccer be successful in Minnesota?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close