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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Lauer climbing Gophers depth chart

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gophers injuries Updated: September 12, 2013 - 6:07 PM

On this week’s depth chart, the Gophers list the starting left tackle as Marek Lenkiewicz or Ben Lauer. Lenkiewicz started the first two games, and senior backup Ed Olson is out with an ankle injury.

A redshirt freshman from Wayzata High School, Lauer played his first few collegiate snaps late in last Saturday’s victory over New Mexico State.

“He’s a guy that keeps coming along, so I look for him to continue to push for some playing time as we go here,” Kill said.

Another redshirt freshman tackle, Jonah Pirsig, played the same number of snaps as Lauer at New Mexico State, but the Gophers are being careful with Pirsig coming back from surgery to repair a dislocated knee cap. Pirsig had that same procedure in high school.

“It’s different than a running back,” Kill said. “He’s [308 pounds], so it takes a little time to get the strength back in those legs.”

Note: Here's a link to the full depth chart and injury report. It doesn't list Donnell Kirkwood, but he's expected to miss this game with a sprained ankle. RB Berkley Edwards (sprained ankle), LB Nick Rallis (mono) and TE Alex Bisch (foot injury) are listed as out.

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