Gophers football coach Tim Brewster is aware of the outside criticism of redshirt freshman Adam Weber, but he fired a rebuttal Sunday in defense of his quarterback.
"Do a study of all first-year quarterbacks and report back to me and tell me what you get," Brewster said. "Look at the first-year numbers of all the great quarterbacks and tell me what you get. Now, were those guys yanked? You have to show great confidence in young quarterbacks. I think that's a huge part of their development as players. Adam knows he's our guy."
Weber has endured a rough two weeks after showing signs of continued progress in his first season as the starter. In losses to North Dakota State and Michigan, he completed only 24 of 52 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown with one interception and one fumble.
Michigan's pressure appeared to bother Weber in Minnesota's 34-10 loss on Saturday. Weber was sacked three times, took several more huge hits and never looked comfortable.
"It's all part of his development," Brewster said. "[Having] the patience and the calmness in the pocket, knowing that, 'Hey, I'm going to get tattooed right between the eyes but I'm going to stand in here and make a throw.' One thing about Adam is he's one tough sucker."
Didn't like the call
Brewster said he was "disappointed" in Michigan's decision to throw a pass rather than take a knee or call a run on the final play of the game.
On fourth-and-2, backup quarterback David Cone rolled to his right and hit Andre Criswell for a 21-yard pass as time expired.
"I don't know what went into their thinking on it," Brewster said. "But obviously I think it was a disappointing thing. Maybe somebody will ask [Michigan coach Lloyd Carr] what he was thinking."
Brewster said he did not talk to Carr about it when the two coaches shook hands after the game.
"I just shook hands with him and went about my business," Brewster said. "But I think he knew that I was thinking about the last play and maybe what his thought [process] was."
The obvious story line this week will be Brewster's first game against his alma mater, Illinois. Brewster was a two-time All-Big Ten tight end and played in the Rose Bowl at Illinois.
"The only thing I'm concerned about is helping our kids win a game because we all know we need it," Brewster said. "That is the only thing that matters to me. All the other story lines surrounding it don't matter."
Brewster on playing 13 freshmen, including nine true freshmen, on Saturday: "We're playing the best players. We're playing the players that we feel like give us the best opportunity to win. Our kids know that."
The Gophers had a few minor injuries Saturday but nothing serious, Brewster said.