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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Pregame: Gophers look to awaken offense, Johnson could start at safety

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gophers game day Updated: October 19, 2013 - 10:36 AM

EVANSTON, ILL. -- It's a beautiful fall day here along Lake Michigan for today's game between the Gophers and Northwestern at Ryan Field.

The Gophers (4-2, 0-2 Big Ten) will need to get their offense going if they're going to beat the Wildcats (4-2, 0-2) for the first time since 2009.

Minnesota has scored 17 points or fewer in its past six Big Ten games, dating to last year, averaging just 12.3 points in that span. That includes losses to Iowa (23-7) and Michigan (42-13) this year.

Defensively, the Gophers job will be a little easier today if Northwestern QB Kain Colter and RB Venric Mark are still hobbled with ankle injuries. But the Wildcats have several other weapons.

I'm hearing Antonio Johnson could start at safety for the Gophers today, with Brock Vereen moving to cornerback. We'll see if that plays out when the game begins.

The Gophers are wearing their white jerseys and maroon pants.

Update: I did not see Mark or Colter during warmups.

Vereen lined up at cornerback and Johnson at safety with the first-team defense. Derrick Wells, who normally starts at corner, was not with that unit.

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Cleveland 2
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Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
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Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
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Florida
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Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
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Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
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Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
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Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
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Phoenix 50
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
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

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