Edwards could play both ways

  • Article by: DENNIS BRACKIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 19, 2011 - 1:01 AM

Lamonte Edwards says his only preference as to whether he's playing linebacker or running back is where he's needed most.


Lamonte Edwards (left)

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune file

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Lamonte Edwards says his only preference as to whether he's playing linebacker or running back is where he's needed most.

The answer: Both positions.

The Gophers are expected to face Nebraska Saturday without running backs David Cobb and Devon Wright, both of whom are battling hamstring problems, coach Jerry Kill said Tuesday. Edwards, who has been switched to linebacker after starting the season as a tailback, could see action on both sides of the ball Saturday with the team down to two healthy running backs: Duane Bennett and Donnell Kirkwood.

"If we need more help on the offensive side of the ball, definitely it's running back,'' Edwards said when asked if he has a preference. "If it's defense, I'll play defense.''

Edwards has one of the Gophers' six rushing TDs this season, although he has gained only 11 yards on eight carries. He was moved to linebacker after early injuries sidelined Brandon Beal and Aaron Hill, and started his first game there last Saturday at Purdue. There are aspects of defense, he says, that he's learned to relish.

"You can hit somebody on any play,'' he said. "Even if you don't get a hit on the ball carrier, you can hit an offensive lineman.''

Seeing red

No one really knows how many Nebraska fans have managed to get their hands on tickets for Saturday's game, since there are numerous independent online outlets selling tickets. Gophers players know this much: there will be a lot of visiting fans inside their home stadium.

"It's going to be a lot, we know that,'' sophomore defensive back Brock Vereen said. "I won't be surprised to see a little red out there. We saw a lot of North Dakota State fans for that game, and I expect Nebraska to be right in the same boat.''

Cortney Storsved, director of operations at Ticket King, said demand for the Nebraska game is the highest for any team on the Gophers' schedule, including Wisconsin on Nov. 12.

"It's definitely a sought-after ticket,'' she said. "We're definitely seeing a lot of Nebraska fans who will be coming in, but there's also a lot of interest among Gophers fans who want to see Nebraska for the first time as a Big Ten member.''

Storsved estimated demand at 60-40, with the highest percentage Nebraska fans.


• Defensive back Troy Stoudermire, who has missed the past two games because of a fractured forearm, was scheduled for an X-ray Tuesday that could determine his status for Saturday's game.

• The Gophers had three sacks in their last game at Purdue -- their first multi-sack game of the season. The Gophers have five sacks, but have allowed 15.

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