The Gophers will gain some much-needed experience at linebacker in 2021.

Jack Gibbens, a Bulverde, Texas, native, recently finished his senior season at FCS Abilene Christian and entered the NCAA transfer portal Nov. 24. His old team went 1-5 this season with two canceled games.

The 6-4, 240-pound Gibbens led Abilene Christian this season with 49 tackles, including 4½ for a loss and two sacks. He also made an interception, forced two fumbles and recovered one. He has played in nearly every game through his four-year career, including all 12 in 2019, when he made 104 tackles.

With the NCAA granting all athletes an extra year of eligibility because of COVID-19, Gibbens should be a scholarship grad transfer with plans to join the Gophers in January. He could help a young defense that has struggled this year.

MEGAN RYAN

Etc.

• Michigan athletic officials are pessimistic about their ability to travel to Ohio State to face the rival Buckeyes next Saturday, three people with direct knowledge of the situation told the Detroit Free Press. The pessimism comes as officials conduct contact tracing and await testing results on players and staff.

• The Southeastern Conference announced a revamped schedule for Dec. 12 and 19, including Vanderbilt's game at Georgia that could not be played as scheduled Saturday because of coronavirus concerns.

• Undefeated Buffalo turned its buses around on its way to play Ohio because the Bobcats roster was depleted by COVID-19. The cancellation left Buffalo in limbo, waiting for the Mid-American Conference to determine if the Bulls had won the East Division title.

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS