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Continued: Midseason report: Evaluating Gophers football program a convoluted issue

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 10, 2013 - 6:32 AM

Defense

The Gophers are banged up on defense, especially in the secondary, and this is catching up to them. Through six games last year, they had the Big Ten’s second-ranked pass defense, allowing 162.5 yards per game. This year, they rank 10th in that category at 255.5 yards per game.

Part of it has been the lack of a pass rush. Even with NFL prospect Ra’Shede Hageman at defensive tackle, the Gophers have managed only seven sacks, compared to 11 at this time last year.

The bye week came at a key time for the secondary. Safeties Cedric Thompson (concussion symptoms) and Brock Vereen (knee), and cornerbacks Martez Shabazz (shoulder) and Derrick Wells (shoulder) will get an extra week to heal.

They’ll need it because the next three opponents — Northwestern, Nebraska and Indiana — rank among the Big Ten’s top four teams in scoring offense.

Special teams, etc.

Kill often says a team needs to win two of three facets — offense, defense or special teams — to be successful. The Gophers have been good on special teams this year, with return man Marcus Jones becoming a difference-maker.

The Gophers are the least-penalized team in the Big Ten and they have only seven turnovers this year, compared to 12 last year.

Kill’s recruiting classes have ranked toward the bottom of the conference, but this coaching staff can cite several players — including Leidner, Wells, Thompson, defensive end Theiren Cockran and cornerback Eric Murray — who’ve outperformed their rankings.

Tim Brewster’s program lost scholarships because of academics. Under Kill, the team has posted its best Academic Progress Rate (994 for the 2011-12 school year) in the program’s history.

Those close to the program can see the foundation improving. But it’ll be hard selling that to the public if the Gophers go 0-6 or 1-5 in their last six games.

 

Joe Christensen • jchristensen@startribune.com

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Washington 101
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Charlotte 86
Memphis 65 3rd Qtr 5:35
Miami 55
Indiana 50 2nd Qtr 0:27
Brooklyn 46
New Orleans 45 3rd Qtr
Chicago 49
Atlanta 21 2nd Qtr 12:00
Milwaukee 10
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Utah
New York 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
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Buffalo 1
Detroit 1 3rd Prd 16:05
Ottawa 2
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Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 3rd Prd 11:26
NY Rangers 2
Boston 2 3rd Prd 15:36
Columbus 5
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Minnesota 1
Washington 1 2nd Prd 1:58
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 2 2nd Prd 17:06
St. Louis 2
Philadelphia 0 2nd Prd 14:47
Nashville 1
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Arizona 1
Chicago 0 1st Prd 20:00
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Edmonton 9:00 PM
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Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 25 2nd Half 15:40
Western Ky 52
Tennessee St 21 1st Half 2:22
Tennessee 29
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Illinois 0
Colorado State 2 1st Half 17:40
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Utah State 6
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Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
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Santa Clara 61
San Diego 38 2nd Half 19:19
Portland 26
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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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