Hartman: Peterson, blockers work together well

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 10, 2012 - 9:39 PM

The star runner has bounced back strong from knee surgery, meshing nicely with a revamped offensive line.

The Vikings are committed to running the ball, and they are running it better than ever.

Coach Leslie Frazier is encouraging offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to pound the ball against teams when they have a lead at the end of the game to run out the clock, as they did last Sunday against the Titans.

Of course, the great surprise has been Adrian Peterson, who has been almost exactly as effective as he was a year ago when he was fully healthy to start the season. He has been recovering from reconstructive knee surgery done last December.

Peterson had 110 carries for 498 yards (4.53 yards per carry) through five games last season and has 96 carries for 420 yards (4.38 yards per carry) this season. And while a lot of focus in the media has been on the use of receiver Percy Harvin as a running back, Peterson is also happy that quarterback Christian Ponder has started to use the running backs more as receivers out of the backfield.

"I know as a running back group, we're in the quarterback's ears, like: 'Hey, give us the ball, throw us the ball. We know you have to go through your reads, but we're going to be in our check-down position and come back and find us. We'll get 2 or 3.' That's better than throwing the ball [away] or something like that; I'm going to continue saying that to him. [Ponder] took note. He's been dishing the ball down to us."

New offensive line gels

Peterson praised the Vikings' new offensive line.

"Yeah, I felt like it was a good performance up front [against Tennessee]," he said. "You know, it really got started the week against San Fran and just went back with the same type of performance. We knew what type of front we were going up against, and we just practiced all week and got focused and in tune, making sure they executed. We were able to do the same thing on the field."

Peterson added: "You see the body language of the defenders and they have a few choice words that may come out that indicate [they're tired] as well. In the third or fourth quarter, you see those guys just kind of laying it down, not really coming in with the same type of physicality on different plays. That's when you know guys are shutting it down, and we sense that."

Peterson said the Vikings' running backs want to be a cohesive group, no matter who is in the backfield.

"We're sound in our run game," he said. "Something we take pride in as a group, offensively, is running the ball. We're going to go out and do our job and outrush these guys."

Peterson suffered a sprained ankle last week, but it was nothing serious.

"You know, I'm getting better each week, just fine-tuning," he said. "I'm getting stronger and just doing the necessary things to take care of my body, icing and doing different treatments and stretching and stuff. But I'm feeling great."

U recruits stand out

Gophers quarterback recruit Chris Streveler is having a great year for Marian Central Catholic High School in Crystal Lake, Ill., which is undefeated and just beat Montini, the No. 1-ranked team in Illinois, 49-24 last weekend. In that game Streveler, who verbally committed to the Gophers in June, rushed for four touchdowns and threw for two. He finished the game with 136 yards rushing on 17 carries and went 14-for-18 for 147 yards passing.

Streveler also recently told the Northwest Herald that he will enroll early with the Gophers. "Hopefully, I can compete for some kind of playing time whether they're starting me at quarterback or if I can find my way on the field as a safety or a wide receiver," he said. "So I'm just hoping I can get up there and compete, get with the guys and start [building] that camaraderie."

Two basketball players coveted by Gophers coaches recently were highlighted by ESPN reporter Reggie Rankin at the 2012 USA Basketball men's developmental national team minicamp for players in the 2015 and 2016 recruiting classes.

Henry Ellenson, a 6-8 sophomore and younger brother of Wally Ellenson, who will be a freshman at Minnesota this year, is out of Rice Lake, Wis., Rankin wrote: "Ellenson is a coach's dream and an opposing post player's worst nightmare. He has size, strength, skill and the ability to score with his back to the basket and can easily extend to the arc when facing it."

Also highlighted was Hopkins 6-5 guard Amir Coffey, a Class of 2016 recruit and son of former Gophers center Richard Coffey. So far Amir has only been offered a scholarship by Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, but the Gophers are recruiting him. Rankin wrote of Amir: "Coffey has off-the-charts upside. At times he reminded me of a young [Michigan "Fab Five" guard] Jalen Rose."

Jottings

• One person convinced he will play against Northwestern for the Gophers football team Saturday is quarterback MarQueis Gray, who has missed the past three games because of a left high-ankle sprain. He might not be 100 percent, but he wants to try it against the Wildcats for sure. If Gray plays, that will be good news for the Gophers. In a 28-13 loss to Northwestern last year, he rushed 27 times for 160 yards and one touchdown.

• The Gophers will surely try to duplicate what Penn State did in beating Northwestern 39-28 on Saturday by controlling the ball for 39 minutes, 17 seconds of the 60-minute game. A year ago the Wildcats were one of the top passing teams in the county, but currently they are ranked 95th in the country in passing with 199 yards per game, or about 55 yards per game lower than last year. However, their running game will test the Gophers -- the Wildcats rank 14th in the nation at 233.5 yards per game. ... Look for the Gophers to put some more discount tickets on sale for the game, which isn't close to being sold out.

• The Twins wound up signing their first 11 picks in the MLB draft. A total of 27 players signed with the team overall.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 35 FINAL
Miami 37
Baltimore 13 FINAL
Houston 25
Detroit 20 FINAL
Chicago 14
Cleveland 13 FINAL
Carolina 17
Atlanta 30 FINAL
New Orleans 14
Green Bay 20 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City 12 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
New England 17 FINAL
NY Jets 16
NY Giants 37 FINAL
St. Louis 27
Buffalo 24 FINAL
Oakland 26
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Dallas 42
Seattle 35 FINAL
Arizona 6
Denver 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Denver 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Portland 7:00 PM
Houston
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Toronto 7:00 PM
Chicago
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Dallas
LA Clippers 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Sacramento 9:30 PM
Golden State
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Washington
Nashville 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Florida
Arizona 9:00 PM
Vancouver
San Jose 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Calgary 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ark-Little Rock 1:00 PM
Bradley
Brown 1:00 PM
Central Conn St
Stetson 1:00 PM
Florida State
Ill-Chicago 1:00 PM
Northwestern
Ohio 1:30 PM
George Washington
Southern Utah 2:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Elon 2:00 PM
Kennesaw St
Dartmouth 3:00 PM
Penn State
Green Bay 3:30 PM
UC Irvine
DePaul 3:30 PM
Colorado
Lewis & Clark 4:00 PM
Portland
SC State 4:30 PM
Abilene Christian
Manhattan 5:00 PM
Fordham
Truett-McConnell 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Citadel 5:00 PM
Michigan State
Miami-Ohio 5:00 PM
Ohio State
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Purdue
Idaho 5:00 PM
Northern Ky
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Albany
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Alcorn State
UT Martin 6:00 PM
Butler
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
UCF
Oakland 6:00 PM
Clemson
Florida A&M 6:00 PM
East Carolina
Eastern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Illinois State
Norfolk State 6:00 PM
James Madison
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Towson 6:00 PM
Navy
Long Island 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
William & Mary 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Liberty 6:00 PM
Princeton
Delaware 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
MD-Eastern Shore 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Colgate 6:00 PM
Syracuse
Kansas 6:00 PM
Temple
Mercer 6:00 PM
Tennessee
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Va Military 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Western Mich
New Orleans 6:05 PM
Indiana
Columbia 6:30 PM
Connecticut
Long Beach State 6:30 PM
St Johns
Wofford 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Southern U 7:00 PM
Baylor
UAB 7:00 PM
Chattanooga
Char Southern 7:00 PM
Colorado State
North Florida 7:00 PM
Iowa
NC Central 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Rice 7:00 PM
Lamar
Central Mich 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Coppin State 7:00 PM
Michigan
Furman 7:00 PM
Minnesota
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Weber State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma
Grambling St 7:00 PM
TCU
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Penn 7:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Chicago State 7:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Simpson 7:05 PM
Drake
Tenn Tech 7:05 PM
UMKC
Murray State 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oral Roberts 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Arkansas
Wisconsin 8:00 PM
California
Coll of Charleston 8:00 PM
LSU
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Marquette
Northern New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
UC Santa Barbara 8:00 PM
Oregon
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Providence
Northeastern 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Kent State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
UC Davis 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Lewis-Clark State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Walla Walla 8:05 PM
Portland State
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Marshall 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:30 PM
Houston
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Washington
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Hawaii
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 52 2nd Half 7:58
Southern U 44
Xavier 46 2nd Half 8:22
Kennesaw St 50
Eastern Michigan 43 2nd Half 7:56
Michigan 71
Brescia 9 1st Half 11:23
Marshall 29
(21) West Virginia 1:00 PM
Ohio State
UMBC 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Cornell 1:00 PM
Loyola-Maryland
St Bonaventure 1:00 PM
Georgetown
New Hampshire 1:00 PM
Northeastern
Eastern Washington 1:30 PM
Florida
Rice 2:00 PM
Texas Southern
Butler 3:05 PM
Illinois State
UC Davis 4:00 PM
(16) Stanford
Washington St 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Sacramento St 4:00 PM
San Jose St
SIU-Edwardsville 4:30 PM
UMKC
Oakland 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Belmont 6:00 PM
(14) Georgia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Longwood
Kansas 6:05 PM
Creighton
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Kansas State
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Missouri
Hampton 7:00 PM
DePaul
Florida State 7:00 PM
Tulane
Murray State 7:00 PM
Illinois
Fla Gulf Coast 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
BYU 8:00 PM
Utah State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close