Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
Junior-college transfer Malcolm Moulton has earned a spot in the Gophers' starting lineup for Saturday's season opener at Southern California, coach Jerry Kill revealed Monday night in his first two-deep roster of the year.
Moulton, who enrolled this summer after a season at Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College, is listed as the No. 1 receiver at both the "Z" outside position and "V" slot position, in both cases backed up by true freshman Marcus Jones. Senior Da'Jon McKnight will start at the "X" receiver, with sophomore Victor Keise behind him.
Among other notable lineup decisions, freshman David Cobb, impressive through several practices early in camp, is not among the tailbacks on Kill's two-deep. Senior Duane Bennett is the starter, and redshirt freshmen Lamonte Edwards and Donnell Kirkwood, in that order, are behind him.
MarQueis Gray is listed as the Gophers' starting quarterback, the first time since 2006 that Adam Weber will not fill that role. Freshman Max Shortell is behind Gray.
The only to-be-determined starting position is at center, where the Gophers list Ryan Wynn or Zach Mottla as the starter; Wynn has been bothered by a sprained ankle for two weeks.
Two redshirt freshman will start for Minnesota on Saturday: Jimmy Gjere at right tackle, and Ben Perry at defensive end.
One other wrinkle: Eric Lair is listed at "H-Back/Fullback," which means he won't always line up at a typical tight-end spot on the offensive line, and will mostly see action in a two-tight end alignment. At "Y" receiver, a more traditional tight-end position, senior Collin McGarry is the starter. As if to emphasize their intention to use multiple lineups, the Gophers list 12 starting positions on offense.
The Gophers' starting lineup, as of Monday:
Offense -- LT Ed Olson, LG Chris Bunders, C Ryan Wynn or Zach Mottla, RG Ryan Orton, RT Jimmy Gjere, QB MarQueis Gray, TB Duane Bennett, H-Back Eric Lair, Y Collin McGarry, X Da'Jon McKnight, Z and V Malcolm Moulton.
Defense -- DE Ben Perry, DT Anthony Jacobs, NT Brandon Kirksey, DE D.L. Wilhite, OLB Mike Rallis, MLB Gary Tinsley, OLB Keanon Cooper, CB Brock Vereen, CB Troy Stoudermire, S Shady Salamon, S Kim Royston.
Specialists -- PK Chris Hawthorne, P Dan Orseske, LS Jake Filkins.
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