A Wisconsin native might be “the MVP” of the Gophers offensive line heading into this Saturday’s showdown with the Badgers, offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said.
Foster Bush hails from Menasha, Wis. The 6-5, 320-pound senior didn’t get any other Big Ten offers coming out of high school, but he’s made an impact at Minnesota.
Bush started four games at right guard in 2013 and five more last year before getting injured. He opened his senior season on the second string but has started the past three games at left tackle with Ben Lauer out.
“That is a hard thing for a kid to take,” Limegrover said of Bush’s reduced role earlier this season. “He could have said, ‘OK, I’m going to ride out the string.’ He hung in there and in some respects he’s been our MVP on the O-line because he’s kind of brought it all together.”
Coach Tracy Claeys said running back Rodney Smith (ankle) is probable for the Wisconsin game. Otherwise, Claeys said the team is pretty much status quo on injuries. He said defensive tackle Steven Richardson (calf) is questionable.
Kill’s vantage point
Claeys said former coach Jerry Kill will be on the field for the team’s Senior Day ceremony before the game, greeting all the players he recruited to the school. Kill has requested a sideline pass for the game and might choose to watch from there.
McGhee’s role expands
Already without safeties Damarius Travis and Ace Rogers, the Gophers lost Adekunle Ayinde to an injury in the first quarter against Illinois last week. Sophomore Duke McGhee entered and finished with a team-high 12 tackles.
“Duke is one that is very good against the run, and the other kids had just been ahead of him in the passing game,” Claeys said. “With the injuries, it’s allowed him to practice more, and he played awfully well.”