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Megan Ryan

Reporter | College sports
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Megan Ryan is a sports reporter at the Star Tribune covering colleges.

Ryan covered the Minnesota United FC during its first two years of existence. She previously spent two years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covering Penn State football, Robert Morris basketball and high school sports. A Minnesota native and Minneapolis resident, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a major in journalism and minors in management and global studies. She has lived in Pennsylvania, Texas (covering the real Friday Night Lights for the Dallas Morning News) and New York (as a sports copy editor for a summer through the Dow Jones News Fund).
Recent content from Megan Ryan
Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Purdue linebacker Kydran Jenkins in the second half.

Down 22 players, Gophers outlast Purdue after game was 'close' to not happening

A combination of positive COVID-19 tests and injuries knocked out several players and coaches, but the Gophers still beat Purdue 34-31 at TCF Bank Stadium to improve to 2-3 in this shortened and delayed Big Ten season..
Gophers linebacker Josh Aune ran with the ball after an interception to seal Friday night's game vs. Purdue. One play earlier, the Boilermakers were f

Referees weigh in heavily in Gophers victory

In Friday's 34-31 win for the Gophers, two controversial calls on Purdue's last-ditch drive sealed the Boilermakers' drop to 2-2.
Under Tanner Morgan, the Gophers passed for 253 yards per game last year. They’ve averaged 192 in 2020.

Merely a shadow of 2019, where did the Gophers' offense go?

Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said he counted an uncharacteristic eight drops in last week's 35-7 loss to Iowa. But that's not the only aspect of this offense that's been unrecognizable.
If Rondale Moore makes his 2020 debut, it could mean a lot for Purdue's chances,

Megan Ryan's Gophers-Purdue game prediction

Purdue took its first loss of the season last week, a closely fought, one-touchdown game against undefeated Northwestern.
Gophers defensive back Michael Dixon attempted to recover a blocked punt in the first quarter vs. Michigan.

Ready or not, freshmen are getting playing time for Gophers football

Graduations, injuries and COVID absences, especially on defense, have forced coach P.J. Fleck and defensive coordinator Joe Rossi to use young players who are still learning the ropes.
Gophers cornerback Phil Howard made sure Iowa receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette wouldn’t make a catch last Friday. The Minnesota Gophers played the Iowa

After deciding to stay, Howard getting chance to play for Gophers

Robbinsdale native Phil Howard is starting at cornerback in place of a teammate out with COVID-19.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck

After years of improving records, Fleck copes with Gophers' 1-3 start

The only career trajectory P.J. Fleck has ever known has been up. So this season is providing a test beyond the Gophers 1-3 record in their first four games.
Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon sacked Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan as the Hawkeyes poured it on in the second half at TCF Bank Stadium.

Iowa's latest romp sends Gophers to 1-3; turns testy at the end

For the sixth consecutive year, the Gophers lost to the Hawkeyes, this time 35-7 to fall to 1-3 this season. A quartet of timeouts with 19 seconds to go in the blowout illustrated just how petty this border rivalry has become.

Gophers football notes: St-Juste sits out against Hawkeyes

The cornerback was absent from warm-ups ahead of the game, his starting spot opposite Coney Durr later taken by Phillip Howard.
Minnesota's tight end Maxx Williams, center, celebrated with the "Floyd of Rosedale" trophy after the Gophers defeated Iowa 51-14 in 2014. They haven'

Gophers are hog wild to beat Iowa, reclaim Floyd of Rosedale trophy

Heading into Friday's game against Iowa at TCF Bank Stadium, P.J. Fleck has demanded his players think about the trophy just before bed — count pigs instead of sheep — so the rivalry will infiltrate their dreams.
Iowa Hawkeyes players and fans celebrated last year as they claimed the Floyd of Rosedale. Iowa beat the Gophers 23-19.

Megan Ryan's Gophers-Iowa game prediction

Two 1-2 teams both rebounded from winless starts this past weekend and are hoping that signaled a turnaround. Iowa, though, looked much stronger in those close opening losses.
Gophers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi

U defensive coordinator Rossi returns following virus absence

Joe Rossi missed last week's game at Illinois, quarantining at home but participating in team meetings virtually.
The Gophers' offensive line has been blasting open big holes for running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who rushed for 224 yards and four touchdowns against Il

U running backs reward their offensive line with sweet treats

After the Gophers offensive line again delivered for the offense, star running back Mohamed Ibrahim made a delivery to the team's linemen.
Gophers defensive end Boye Mafe leads the Big Ten with 3.5 sacks, including one on which he broke free and dragged down Maryland quarterback Taulia Ta

Defensive end Mafe leads Big Ten in sacks, but Fleck expects even more

After not starting in the first two games, Boye Mafe broke into the Gophers starting lineup and played a key role in the victory over Illinois.
Defensive coordinator Joe Rossi missed the Gophers' game at Illinois on Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19. His status for Friday's game aga

Status of U defensive coordinator Rossi for Iowa game still unknown

Joe Rossi did not coach at Illinois on Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.
P.J. Fleck

Why did Fleck read team 'Everyone Poops' before beating Illinois?

Perhaps only coach P.J. Fleck could find the teachable moment in an unsavory set of performances by the Gophers in their first two games by reading them a children's book.
Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim carries the ball during the first half

Gophers cruise to first victory of the season, pounding Illinois 41-14

For the second consecutive game, the Gophers leaned heavily on running back Mohamed Ibrahim and he came through in a big way. This time, his career-best efforts resulted in a victory.
Gophers running back Treyson Potts is tackled by Illinois defensive back Tony Adams during the first half

Potts scores first touchdown for Gophers before getting hurt

Treyson Potts had rushed three times for 49 yards, including a 36-yard gain and his 9-yard score before being carted off the sideline in the second quarter with a lower-leg injury.
Gophers defensive lineman Boye Mafe sacks Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa during last week's game in College Park.

After making noise in '19, Gophers defense is less sound in 2020

The Gophers enter Saturday's matchup at Illinois averaging a Big Ten-worst 578 allowed offensive yards per game. Communication, plus lack of experience and leadership, have so far been lacking.
The Gophers haven’t connected in several phases this season, but with the 0-2 Illini coming to town there is no better time to turn things around.

Megan Ryan's Gophers-Illinois game prediction

The Gophers' conference-worst defense meets Illinois, the conference's lowest-scoring offense. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has dramatically impacted both, making this outcome a real tossup.
Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. throws during the second half against Penn State

Topsy-turvy Big Ten season leaves room for Gophers to reverse course

Indiana and Northwestern are unbeaten. The Gophers, Penn State and Iowa are winless. Wisconsin, because of COVID-19, has only played once. This is the new normal.
Gophers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi.

Gophers defensive coordinator Rossi to miss Illinois game with COVID-19

Joe Rossi received the positive test result this week while undergoing the rapid-results testing per Big Ten policy. A following PCR test confirmed, and Rossi has been isolating at home and working remotely.
Gophers freshman receiver Daniel Jackson warmed up before Friday’s game against Maryland, then followed it up with his first career reception.

Freshman Jackson could follow Johnson, Bateman as U's next excellent receiver

He's caught only one pass so far. But true freshman Daniel Jackson could become the next big name for Gophers fans in a program that has shown itself capable of developing some of the nation's best pass catchers.
Illinois coach Lovie Smith was down to his fourth quarterback when the Illini finished off its Big Ten loss to Purdue.

Gophers forced to expect the unexpected as they prepare for Illinois

Illinois was without 14 players last weekend because of positive virus tests and contact tracing, which means the Gophers aren't sure who they'll be preparing for when the teams play Saturday.
Gophers' Fleck takes blame for calling a third-down run

Gophers' Fleck takes blame for calling a third-down run

Assessing blame for the loss to a 20-point underdog could be endless. But Fleck said while in hindsight, he'd probably make some different calls, that's not always the case in the moment.
Maryland wide receiver Dontay Demus Jr. had plenty of room to run free against the Gophers defense on Friday night.

There's plenty of blame to share for Gophers' loss to Maryland

Coaching decisions, defensive shortcomings and one blown kick were the prominent factors, writes Megan Ryan in her Gophers Insider.
The Gophers’ Rashod Bateman, right, celebrated a touchdown catch by Chris Autman-Bell, but Bateman was limited to five catches and no TDs.

Gophers football replay: Maryland 45, Gophers 44 (OT)

The Gophers took a late fade route after entering the fourth quarter with a big lead.
Gophers place kicker Brock Walker misses an extra point during overtime against Maryland

Missed extra point sinks Gophers at Maryland; Ibrahim's big day goes for naught

Mohamed Ibrahim tied a Gophers record with four rushing touchdowns in the first half. But Maryland stormed back to tie Friday's game late in the fourth quarter, and won 45-44 in OT when the Gophers missed an extra point.

Gophers-Maryland game recap

A look back at Friday night's game.

U football notes: Special teams receives a boost, but not where it matters

Starting kicker Michael Lantz was back in action at Maryland on Friday night, marking the return of one of the team's starters. But he returned not to his usual field goals, but to kickoffs. That mattered in the end.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan wasn’t at his best against Michigan, completing only 18 of 31 passes in a 49-24 defeat.

Megan Ryan's Gophers-Maryland game prediction

Friday night's game should be a slam-dunk for P.J. Fleck and the Gophers ... right?
Gophers offensive lineman Curtis Dunlap Jr. (51) during last season's bowl game.

Right side of Gophers' offensive line remains sidelined

Right guard Curtis Dunlap Jr. and right tackle Daniel Faalele both missed Saturday's 49-24 loss to Michigan, and according to a report both are out indefinitely.

Big Ten football review and preview

A look back and a look ahead in the conference.

Megan Ryan's Big Ten football rankings

Ohio State, not surprisingly, is at the top. But where does Rutgers fall into the 14-team race?
Tanner Morgan celebrates a Gophers touchdown with running back Mohamed Ibrahim during Saturday's loss to Michigan.

Morgan, new Gophers offensive coordinators working on in-game rapport

A big focus in preparing for Friday night's game at Maryland has been clarifying gray areas for quarterback Tanner Morgan in reading situations on the field..
Gophers defensive lineman MJ Anderson (3) and linebacker Cody Lindenberg (45) collided as they missed a tackle against Michigan Wolverines wide receiv

Coaches see 'bright future' for Gophers linebacker Lindenberg

True freshman linebacker Cody Lindenberg didn't have the cleanest game vs. Michigan but he was praised for natural abilities shining through in his Gophers debut.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) took a fourth-quarter sack by Michigan’s Kwity Paye in Saturday’s defeat.

'I have to be better.' Morgan calls himself out for Michigan loss

Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan blames himself first for the 49-24 loss to Michigan on Saturday, saying 'things run through me.'
Gophers cornerback Coney Durr (16) pursued Michigan’s Hassan Haskins (25) in Saturday’s loss at TCF Bank Stadium.

Lesson from the Gophers opener: If you don't adjust, you don't win

With a rash of injuries and absences, the Gophers learned the hard way in their 49-24 loss to Michigan what happens when a team fails to adjust on the fly.
Sid Hartman got as far inside the Gophers football program as anyone. His dedication earned a 99th birthday tribute from coach P.J. Fleck.

To the very end, Sid Hartman's passion was U football

Even with a coronavirus pandemic confining him mostly to his home, Hartman arranged a ride to coach P.J. Fleck's house in mid-May, for a driveway interview.
Gophers Coach P. J. Fleck led his team onto the field before a game last November.

As Gophers football finally returns, Fleck is a man in motion again

After months of confusion about whether there'd be a Big Ten season at all, P.J. Fleck is back to having football dominate his time. But this year has taught Fleck how to coach in a new way: hands-off and from afar.
Gophers wide receiver Rashod Bateman

Star receiver Bateman is back with the Gophers, and receptive to change

Georgia native Rashod Bateman, a likely first-round draft choice, already has a plan for after football: "I fell in love with Minnesota. I've thought about it, I think I'm going to retire and live on Lake Minnetonka."
Quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Justin Fields will be back to lead Ohio State in its quest for a national title.

This will be a Big Ten football season like no other

The pandemic, jumbled schedules and social justice issues will combine to make 2020 unique.
Seth Green stood for a portrait outside TCF Bank Stadium Friday.

Seeing the big picture: Turbulent Gophers career fails to slow Green

Once a four-star recruit, Seth Green has never sulked despite roaming from tight end to receiver to wildcat quarterback during a Gophers career that created a flawed perception of Green's character.
Tailgating friends (from left) Nathan Brown, Chris Joos, Greg Palattao, Erik Romslo, Peter Moran and Dave Just in Lot 37 outside the Gophers' stadium.

Gophers football fans have to get creative to carry on their tradition of tailgating

Gophers fans are having to get creative or go without their beloved tradition of tailgating.
Demetrius Douglas delivered a 69-yard punt return touchdown in the Gophers’ victory over Wisconsin in Madison on Nov. 24, 2018.

Fleck expecting more moves after Douglas says he's leaving U football

With another Gophers player opting out of the season Monday, coach P.J. Fleck warned more could follow before the Oct. 24 opener.
From left, incoming University of Minnesota freshman Sean McDonald got help moving into his dorm room from mother Tammi, sister Olivia and father Dan

Fairness in question with daily COVID testing of college athletes

Across the Big Ten, athletic directors and coaches have touted the new testing protocols, while awkwardly acknowledging it's an advantage the general population doesn't have.
Rashod Bateman was diagnosed with COVID-19 this summer. “It was a very lonely time because I wasn’t with my teammates,” he said.

Bateman had scary COVID battle during break from summer workouts

Rashod Bateman has asthma and was among the things that originally caused him to decide to opt-out of playing college football, a decision the U's star receiver has since reversed.
U athletics announces 2.5% positivity rate among COVID-19 tests

U athletics announces 2.5% positivity rate among COVID-19 tests

The Gophers athletics department released updated testing results Thursday, finding 55 positive results in the month of September.
Rashod Bateman

Calling himself 'Agent 0,' Bateman explains return to Gophers football

"The Row the Boat culture has changed my life forever,' Rashod Bateman said in a video hyping his return that also explained why he's switching from No. 13 to No. 0.
Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman will need an NCAA waiver to regain his eligibility.

It's no sure thing, but Fleck hopeful for Rashod Bateman's return

When Bateman signed with an agent and accepted benefits — including money for housing, transportation and training — that terminated his amateur status under NCAA rules.
Gophers football will return Oct. 24.

Take three: New version of Gophers schedule opens Oct. 24 vs. Michigan

The Big Ten announced its new football schedule Saturday morning, with the Gophers opening at home vs. Michigan. They are also set to face Iowa on Nov. 14 and Wisconsin on Nov. 28.
Rashod Bateman

Bateman returns to practice with Gophers; awaits clearance to play

The 2019 Big Ten receiver of the year had planned to sit out the season to prepare for the NFL draft. Now, he's hoping the NCAA will clear him to play for the Gophers.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck and his players reacted during last season’s win over Nebraska.

Big Ten football calls a reverse: Eight-week season to begin next month

The Big Ten will begin an eight-week football season Oct. 23-24, leading to a championship game. The schedule will include no byes, and everything hinges on the results of daily COVID-19 testing.
U graduate John Roethlisberger was an Olympic gymnast in 1996 in Atlanta and finished seventh in the all-around, among the many highlights of a progra

Title IX issues make cutting three Gopher men's sports necessary

Gophers Athletic Director Mark Coyle said when he announced the cuts Thursday they stemmed from a combination of financial difficulties and Title IX issues.
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus.

U regents waiting to vote on cutting three Gophers sports

AD Mark Coyle made a presentation before the board Friday, outlining the need for the cuts, and the regents expressed dismay but not opposition.
Former Gophers gymnast Jack Kramer worked out at Cooke Hall in 2017.

Facing $75 million deficit, three University of Minnesota sports pay the price

Three men's teams -- track and field, tennis and gymnastics -- will be terminated after this season in response to the financial strain caused by COVID-19 and gender equity issues.
Former Gophers safety Antoine Winfield Jr., taken in the second round by the Bucs, is expected to debut Sunday against New Orleans.

With Gophers idled, Winfield and others ready for NFL's start

Tampa Bay listed second-round draft pick Antoine Winfield Jr., who left the Gophers early, as its starting strong safety for Sunday's opener against New Orleans.
Kurt Daudt (foreground) and Paul Gazelka (right) are among 10 legislators from states with Big Ten universities who signed a letter calling the Big Te

Gazelka, Daudt join Republican push to reverse Big Ten decision

Two Minnesota legislators have joined other lawmakers from states with Big Ten universities, asking the conference to overturn its decision to cancel fall sports.
An empty TCF Bank Stadium

Closed for the season: Facing fall with no Gophers, Big Ten football

Thursday would have been the Gophers' season opener against Florida Atlantic. But COVID-19 concerns canceled fall sports and left a future full of questions.
President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One for a trip to Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in Andrews Air Force Bas

Big Ten football in the fall? Trump tweets of 'very productive' talk with Warren

The president was encouraged by his conversation with Kevin Warren on starting the football season this fall.
The Gophers athletic department released one round of COVID-19 test results June 30 and reported seven positive cases of 170 administered tests. That

University of Minnesota lagging in giving updates on virus tests

The athletic department released one round of results June 30 and reported seven positive cases of 170 administered tests, but he department has provided no further updates since.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren.

College football pushes forward while the Big Ten deliberates

Gophers Insider: College football is being played Saturday, although when Big Ten programs take to the field remains up in the air.
Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers was greeted by teammates and coaches, including fellow catcher Alex Avila (16), after Jeffers' big league debut which inclu

Berrios dominates Brewers, rookie catcher Jeffers dynamic in debut

Jose Berrios didn't realize he'd be throwing to a new catcher Thursday night until team interpreter Elvis Martinez pointed out Ryan Jeffers to him before the game.
Coach P.J. Fleck and quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) both expected the Gophers to be well-prepared whenever they play next, whether it will be in the sp

Fleck says delay of season should improve Gophers' depth

Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck said he thinks even in just a year from now, his deep team can accomplish another 11-win season or better.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan said that not playing football this fall is the right move.

Morgan says Big Ten did right thing by calling off football season

Quarterback Tanner Morgan said his first reaction to hearing he wouldn't be playing football this fall was sadness.
An empty TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Gophers

Welcome to their world: College athletes find their voice, push for solidarity

College players' renewed call for representation feels more real than ever — and could emerge as the single most defining development from these past several months.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck addressed the media in a video call Friday morning.

Fleck: Players told him Big Ten made right choice to keep them safe

Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck said his players are disappointed about the fall season being called off but they believed the Big Ten made the right move.
Gophers head coach PJ Fleck

Fleck encourages focus amid anxiety of upcoming football season

Worries about whether there will be a football season are set aside, but concerns about health are not.
P.J. Fleck has switched to a slower pace for training camp.

Gophers begin camp COVID-free as Fleck preaches 'synthetic bubble'

P.J. Fleck and the Gophers football staff have encouraged players to make safe choices when they leave campus and go back to their apartments.

Gophers football players asked to not offer opt-out advice

"We all have our own circumstances, and we have our own families, and we all have our own choices to make," Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said.
The Big Ten logo is displayed on the field before a game between Iowa and Miami of Ohio in Iowa City

Big Ten United movement came from group chat following Floyd's killing

Gophers football player Benjamin St-Juste and more than 1,000 other Big Ten football players found a collective voice following the killing of George Floyd in May while in Minneapolis police custody.
The Gophers are scheduled to open the season Sept. 5 at Michigan State.

Gophers football ranks 18th in preseason coaches poll

P.J. Fleck's team is coming off a No. 10 finish, but star receiver Rashod Bateman has opted out to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Gophers are scheduled to open the season Sept. 5 at Michigan State.

Gophers launch fundraising campaign to stem pandemic losses

"Due to the uncertain nature of COVID-19, and the fiscal constraints it has placed on the department, philanthropic support is needed now more than ever," the athletic department posted on

Gophers football season ticket holders notified of a 'drastic reduction' in available tickets

Following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, the athletics department could allow only 1,500 fans at TCF Bank Stadium, forcing the department to anticipate "few spectators or no spectators at all."
Gophers cornerback Benjamin St-Juste

U cornerback in key role as 1,000 Big Ten athletes seek COVID protections

The College Athlete Unity group called for more protective measures for playing during the pandemic. Gophers football player Benjamin St. Juste is among the organizers.