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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Injuries, fumbles: Rough first scrimmage for Gophers

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gophers preseason practice Updated: August 16, 2011 - 1:58 PM

The Gophers fumbled at least eight times during Tuesday's scrimmage, MarQueis Gray was thrown off the field by Jerry Kill at one point, and every positive play seemed offset by a couple of bad ones.

And that's the good news.

Center Ryan Wynn rolled his ankle three plays into the scrimmage and spent the rest of the three-hour session at TCF Bank Stadium on crutches, his left leg in a boot. Troy Stoudermire took a knee to the head and appeared dazed on the sideline as he tried to clear his head. Even long-snapper Jake Filkins was shaken up after also being hit in the head.

But nobody appeared too alarmed. Annoyed? Definitely. Kill had harsh words for his players several times during the practice, at one point telling Gray, his starting quarterback, "MarQueis, you're killing us right now" for fumbling a couple of snaps. But the mistake-ridden play, particularly on offense, is standard for a first scrimmage. "If we were perfect, then I'd think something's wrong," Kill said.

A handful of highlights:

Brock Vereen intercepted a Gray pass and took it almost 60 yards, but was caught from behind by Duane Bennett at the 3-yard line.

Bennett popped outside for several big gains, at least four of double-digits, and used a spin move to get into the end zone at one point.

Walk-on Jordan Wettstein, in the competition for the place-kicking job, nailed a 50-yard field goal.

Freshman David Cobb impressed Kill with his toughness running inside, particularly near the goal line. "Give me my touchdown-maker," he said at one point when he was disappointed with another back.

Receiver Ge'Shun Harris, after being benched for a few series for lining up wrong, redeemed himself with a spectacular 37-yard catch -- he knocked the ball into the air, then came down with it -- near the goal line.

I'll have more on the scrimmage, which was attended by perhaps 100 fans, later, and in tomorrow's Star Tribune.

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NY Rangers 2
Boston 1 2nd Prd 3:51
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BYU 80
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<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

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