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.

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Kill says Gophers need a packed house against Penn State; Christenson has surgery

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher coaches, Gophers injuries Updated: November 3, 2013 - 2:48 PM

Gophers coach Jerry Kill handled the team's regular Sunday beat writer briefing today for the first time since Sept. 29, and he was in great spirits coming off the 42-39 victory over Indiana.

The Gophers (7-2, 3-2 in the Big Ten) play host to Penn State next week with a chance to reach eight victories for the first time since they went 10-3 in 2003 under Glen Mason.

"We’re playing for something in November, and we’re playing at home, which is even better," Kill said. "I’m happy for our fans, but by gosh, we need everybody right now. Playing Penn State for the first time [since 2010], we need a packed house, and our players need to be hungry."

* Kill had some somber news, as starting center Jon Christenson will indeed miss the rest of the season with a left leg injury that required surgery Sunday afternoon. Kill couldn't provide other details but said, "I just feel terrible. The game of football’s a great game, but it’s a hard game, and ... he is a beautiful kid, and smart, so it’s a shame."

Kill added, "It’s a shame, however the kid that came in [at center] just did a tremendous job, Tommy Olson. So that’s why we always preach about depth."

* The Gophers aren't ranked in the Top 25 in either poll, but they climbed to No. 31 in the AP poll and No. 30 in the Coaches' poll.

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