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

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you favor the plan for expanded athletic facilities at the U of M?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close