Good morning, college football fans. I’m sitting high atop the TCF Bank Stadium press box on this beautiful morning. That chill in the air sure makes it feel like a great day for football.
I collected some questions on Twitter (@rjstrib) over the past couple of days, and here are some of the highlights as the 11 a.m. Gophers-Maryland kickoff approaches:
Q: Chance McCrary get some time in the running back rotation moving forward? -- @MattyIce_53
A: Kobe McCrary’s big game against Middle Tennessee a couple weeks ago showed that the Gophers have plenty of depth in the backfield. I imagine they’ll use him a bit more than they did in the first two games, but Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks will get the bulk of the carries, depending on health.
Q: You think Badgers and Gophers ever move the games to Lambeau and USBank in back to back seasons? -- @Gundy_Ryan
A: I’d never say never, but I’d be surprised if it’s done in the near future. I think the Gophers are pretty happy with their stadium, and I don’t see them wanting to move off campus for a game, even against Wisconsin. It definitely would create some buzz around town, though.
Q: Chance Blaise redshirts this year? --@jhgans
A: Each game he doesn’t play, freshman offensive tackle Blaise Andries of Marshall, Minn., becomes a more likely candidate to redshirt. Remember, coach P.J. Fleck would like to redshirt EVERY freshman if he could.
Q: Who are some of the recruits coming in and possible commitment? -- @CSMGators15
A: The Gophers’ biggest 2019 target, junior quarterback Hank Bachmeier of Murietta Valley High School in Murietta, Calif., is visiting today. Bachmeier, a four-star recruit, is rated the fourth-best pro style QB by 247Sports.com. Fleck flew out to California to visit Bachmeier last week. “P.J., two or three times a day, he’s FaceTiming, calling, texting,” Bachmeier told Rivals.com. Bachmeier visited Colorado last week and has an upcoming visit to Boise State scheduled.
Q: What’s up with Demry Croft? Back with team? Available this week? -- @dameydames
A: As of earlier in the week, Croft remained indefinitely suspended, Fleck said. The interesting thing was that Fleck used the word suspension instead of saying Croft was away from the team.
Q: What % of the PJ Fleck offense has been implemented, and what % has been used in games, roughly? -- @HargoFett
A: Tough to say an exact percentage, because I don’t have access to the playbook. But I’d say we’re seeing a little more each week. As Fleck and offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca continue to develop trust in QB Conor Rhoda in particular, we should see more wrinkles offensively. Game situations have dictated the heavy use of the run game, and if they can continue to run the ball against opponents, they will.