Gophers want to get running game going against Northwestern

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 17, 2013 - 12:11 PM

 

The Gophers might be 12-point underdogs heading into Saturday’s game at Northwestern, but Minnesota sees an opportunity to re-establish a running game that spurred a 4-0 nonconference start.

Northwestern allowed an average of 118 yards rushing in four nonconference victories but gave up 248 yards and 286 yards on the ground, respectively, in losses to Ohio State and Wisconsin.

Granted those are two of the best rushing teams in the Big Ten, but the Gophers averaged 282 yards rushing in nonconference play before being held to 30 yards on the ground in a disappointing loss to Iowa.

The Gophers fared better on the ground in their loss to Michigan on Oct. 5, rushing for 136 yards, including 66 on 18 carries from quarterback Mitch Leidner.

David Cobb ran for 332 yards on 53 carries in four nonconference games (6.3 yards per carry), and fellow running back Rodrick Williams gained 277 on 45 carries (6.2). In two Big Ten games, though, Cobb has run for 42 yards on 15 carries (2.8) and Williams 55 on 15 (3.7).

“We feel like this is a defense we match up with, a lot like Michigan’s, and that’s a huge part of the equation,” offensive coordinator Matt Lime­grover said. “With their style of defense, with the way they play their personnel, it’s a matchup that we feel like we’re going to have a good opportunity to be able to run the football.”

Schedules released

The Big Ten released its 2018 and 2019 schedules, so the conference’s next six years of league games are now set.

Next year, the Gophers will move to the Big Ten West Division, along with Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Illinois and Purdue.

In 2014 and 2015, each team will play six intradivision games and two interdivision games. The Gophers received arguably the toughest draw in the West Division for those two years, as they play Michigan and Ohio State from the East Division. For comparison, Wisconsin’s two crossover games those two years come against Rutgers and Maryland.

In 2016, the Big Ten is moving to a nine-game conference schedule, including three interdivision games for each team. The Gophers’ three opponents from the East that year are Penn State, Maryland and Rutgers.

In 2017, the Gophers’ three East opponents are Maryland, Michigan State and Michigan. In 2018, their East opponents are Maryland, Ohio State and Indiana. And in 2019, their East opponents are Rutgers, Maryland and Penn State.

Willing to switch

Brock Vereen started 12 games at cornerback as a sophomore for the Gophers before moving to safety last year as a junior. The coaches moved him to cornerback in practice last week, just in case Derrick Wells and Martez Shabazz aren’t ready to come back from their respective shoulder injuries.

“Wherever they need me to be, I’m here for the team,” Vereen said. “Nothing is certain. It’s kind of fill-in where needed. There’s some question marks as far as injuries go, so I’ve just got to do whatever gets thrown at me.”

Relishing his chance

Senior kicker Chris Hawthorne lost his starting job after injuring his right quadriceps in 2011 and watched Jordan Wettstein handle the kicking duties again last year.

  • related content

  • Chart: Gophers' 2018 and '19 Big Ten football schedules

    Wednesday October 16, 2013

    2018-19 BIG TEN SCHEDULESThe Big Ten announced its 2018 and ’19 conference football schedules Wednesday. Here’s how they look for...

  • Gophers running back David Cobb and his teammates have found that running the ball is much tougher in Big Ten play than it was in the nonconference season. Minnesota averaged 282 yards on the ground in its 4-0 nonconference start but only 83 in two Big Ten games.

  • GOPHERS NOTES

    Up next: 11 a.m. Saturday at Northwestern • TV: ESPN2 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles 1 Bottom 6th Inning
Chicago Cubs 4
Cleveland 0 Bottom 8th Inning
Houston 1
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 8th Inning
St. Louis 0
Arizona 6 Bottom 6th Inning
Colorado 1
Philadelphia 1 Top 5th Inning
San Diego 2
Seattle 0 Top 2nd Inning
LA Angels 0
Tampa Bay 0 3rd Qtr 13:00
Atlanta 35
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 4th Qtr 6:28
(20) Kansas State 7
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
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 Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close