Gophers quarterback Gray dealing with both bruises and babies

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 16, 2011 - 12:01 PM

From injuries to new fatherhood, Minnesota's football team has a full plate.

hide

Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray found the going tough against Wisconsin last Saturday.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Between parent and patient, pupil and player, MarQueis Gray is one busy quarterback right now.

The workload of student-athlete is heavy enough, but the Gophers' 21-year-old QB is dealing with a couple more time-consuming factors, too. Most obvious is his twins sons, MarShawn and MarZell, born Friday and still hospitalized. But Gray also has been receiving treatment on his lower back injury, which he said hindered him during Saturday's 42-13 loss to Wisconsin.

"It had me thinking about it a little bit, getting hit [again]. I kept getting a little sharp pain shooting through my legs," Gray said. "It limited my reps, so going into the game, I wasn't fully confident in myself."

It showed in his game -- perhaps Gray's worst of the season, a 6-for-14, 51-yard disappointment. "We were pretty beat up," offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said. "It was like musical chairs out there. It felt like you're out of synch all the time."

After two days off and a few therapy sessions, the quarterback practiced with no pain Tuesday, and pronounced himself fit again for Saturday's game at Northwestern.

"I plan on taking every rep this week, and hopefully we can regain the confidence this Saturday," Gray said. "Now that I'm better, I won't have the tendency to think about it again."

No, but he's got plenty of other things to think about.

"He certainly has a lot on his plate," Gophers coach Jerry Kill said.

The injury, which occurred when a Michigan State helmet struck the quarterback from behind on Nov. 5, kept Gray out of practice for much of last week "and that threw his timing off," Kill said. "As the game progressed, he loosened up. Ran pretty hard, actually. I was pleased with the toughness he showed."

Now he'll have to show some time-management skills, too, since children are also a full-time commitment. Several players have children, but they're not quarterbacks, with leadership responsibilities.

"He handles things pretty well, and he's a pretty mature young man," Kill said. "To this point, he's dealt with it very well."

Dueling blueprints

A lot has been made of the blueprint Wisconsin provides for a rebuilding program such as Minnesota, the big-up-front, straight-ahead running game the Badgers have mastered over the past two decades. But Kill said Northwestern, under coach Pat Fitzgerald, is a pretty good model, too, for teams that know they will occasionally have to compete with more-talented teams.

"He knows exactly what he needs to do at Northwestern. He played there. He knows the culture," Kill said of Fitzgerald, the sixth-year Wildcats coach. "He's done a good job identifying who they're going to be and how they're going to do it. Same thing we have to do here."

The Wildcats' success the past two seasons has largely been built around senior quarterback Dan Persa, who last week threw for a career-high 372 yards and four touchdowns against Rice.

"We go from playing Wisconsin, which is a power football team, a play-action passing team, to a spread, wide-open team that goes no-huddle," Kill said. "So it's a totally different package to take on as a defensive unit."

Etc.

The Gophers' season finale, a Nov. 26 game with Illinois at TCF Bank Stadium, will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and be televised by BTN

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - LP: D. Otero 8 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 9
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
San Jose 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent 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 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers do against Michigan?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close