Gophers' back David Cobb wants senior season to end without regrets

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 5, 2014 - 7:26 AM

Senior David Cobb is out to atone for a difficult ending to his 2013 season.

view larger photos


The Texas Bowl was supposed to launch a family celebration for Gophers running back David Cobb last December.

More than 30 friends and family members from Texas and Mississippi had turned out at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, ready to see him cap a breakout junior season.

Cobb figured he and his cousin, Damien Wilson, a Gophers middle linebacker, would enjoy a festive drive to Mississippi after the game — as long as Minnesota won. But the favored Gophers lost to Syracuse 21-17, and Cobb said it turned into a long, quiet ride back to where the players grew up.

“We drove my mom’s car,” Cobb said. “It was just me and him, so we didn’t say too much.”

Cobb, in particular, felt like he had let the Gophers down. He had used a late-season surge to become their first 1,200-yard rusher in eight years, but after the season he was left to replay his bowl-game lowlights in his mind.

“I was trying to do a little bit too much,” Cobb said of his quiet, 91-yard performance. “The O-line was opening up holes, and I was just rushing myself, stuff I hadn’t done all season, bouncing outside and not staying between those tackles.”

He still shakes his head at the memory.

“It definitely plays a motivational role,” Cobb said last week. “I hate to say it, but maybe it’s something I definitely needed.”

Cobb knows he can’t be complacent. He waited so long for his opportunity, sitting mostly idle his first two years with the Gophers, getting 10 rushing attempts as a freshman and one as a sophomore. Those were humbling seasons for Cobb after he had rushed for nearly 3,000 yards at Ellison High School in Killeen, Texas.

Now a senior, Cobb also knows the Gophers running back depth is such that if his production sags, he could land back on the bench.

Fellow senior Donnell Kirkwood battled injuries last year but led the team with 926 rushing yards in 2012. Junior Rodrick Williams started six games ahead of Cobb last year. And then there’s redshirt freshman Berkley Edwards, whose speed and shiftiness could make him quite a threat.

“I think competition makes everybody better,” coach Jerry Kill said. “David is an awful good football player and had a great season for us and has worked very hard in the offseason. But when you have some of the kids that he’s got in that backfield, you have no time to rest.”

The 5-11 Cobb played at about 229 pounds this spring but said he shed about 10 pounds for camp to gain a little speed.

“The crazy thing about last year is he got 1,200 yards, and he didn’t start until the Northwestern game,” quarterback Mitch Leidner said. “That’s halfway through your season. That’s why I’m excited for him this year, just to see the confidence and the swagger he has going into this season.”

Last week, at Big Ten Media Days, Cobb said the Gophers think they can go 12-0 this year. When probed about the Wisconsin rivalry, he smiled and thought to last year, when the Badgers won but the Gophers prevented them from chopping down the goalpost near the student section at TCF Bank Stadium.

“That doesn’t sit well with us,” Cobb said. “So this year, I definitely have that game circled and once we win, we’ll go over there and we will chop down their goalposts.”

But behind that bravado, Cobb knows there is a lot he can improve. After posting 174 receiving yards last year, he wants to become a better receiver and blocker for Leidner.

“And finishing runs,” Cobb said, listing his goals. “Turning those 15-yard runs into 40, 50-yard runs.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: K. Herrera 7
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 92 FINAL
Memphis 96
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 117 FINAL
San Antonio 107
Portland 86 FINAL
LA Lakers 94
Phoenix 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 108
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Washington 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


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.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 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA




question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question