Football

Subhead: 
Mitch Leidner, David Cobb and other players have nagging injuries.
Publish Date: 
Mon, 09/15/2014
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Every time Mitch Leidner dropped back to pass in Minnesota’s 30-7 loss at TCU on Saturday, pressure seemed to come from all sides. 

TCU’s talented defense sacked the Gophers quarterback multiple times, and Leidner rarely had time to cleanly get passes off.

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Publish Date: 
Mon, 10/13/2014
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When ESPN commentator Ed Cunningham said the Gophers were the favorite out of the Big Ten West following Minnesota’s victory over Michigan, I smirked.

My initial thought was that Cunningham’s praise was simply an example of a well-known media pundit using superfluous language to make a victory seem bigger than it actually was.

But after the Gophers grinded out a victory against a gritty Northwestern opponent over the weekend, it seems as though Cunningham’s words might hold water after all.

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After the Gophers game Saturday, a crew worked late to get TCF Bank Stadium NFL-ready before kickoff Sunday.
Publish Date: 
Mon, 10/13/2014
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Just 30 minutes after the Gophers football team toppled Northwestern on Saturday, the signature maroon and gold “M” had nearly vanished from TCF Bank Stadium’s 50-yard line.

More than 100,000 fans filed into the University of Minnesota stadium over the weekend to watch the Gophers or Vikings, as the teams played consecutive games Saturday and Sunday. But behind the players’ stage, operation staff worked overnight to transition the facility from a college scene to one ready for an NFL game.

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Publish Date: 
Mon, 10/13/2014
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Minnesota 24, Northwestern 17

Saturday, Oct. 11

TCF Bank Stadium

Recap

The Gophers (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) took a 7-0 lead toward the end of the first quarter with a 1-yard quarterback sneak from Mitch Leidner. The team never trailed in a 24-17 win against Northwestern.

The Wildcats did fight back in the fourth quarter with a 97-yard drive to tie the game at 17-17. But sophomore defensive back Jalen Myrick quickly put the Gophers back on top with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, giving Minnesota the lead that finished the game.

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Sophomore Jalen Myrick scored the deciding touchdown in Saturday’s game.
Publish Date: 
Mon, 10/13/2014
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Jerry Kill endearingly calls Jalen Myrick “a piece of work.”

Sometimes the Gophers head coach has to tell the sophomore defensive back to pay attention in practice and stop messing around.

“I joke a lot,” Myrick said. “In practice, I play around a little too much.”

But Myrick got serious after Northwestern tied the game midway through the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s 24-17 victory on Saturday.

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With the victory, Minnesota is off to a 2-0 start in conference play.
Publish Date: 
Mon, 10/13/2014
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There’s no consensus among the Gophers football team regarding who the team’s fastest player is.

But sophomore defensive back Jalen Myrick made his case as he bolted down the left sideline for a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Saturday, which made the difference in Minnesota’s 24-17 victory over Northwestern.

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Minnesota’s passing attack is struggling, but KJ Maye is gaining momentum.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 09/17/2014
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When fall camp ended and reporters asked Jerry Kill who had impressed him the most, the Gophers head coach quickly said KJ Maye.

But Maye didn’t have a single catch in Minnesota’s season-opening victory against Eastern Illinois.

A few days later, redshirt sophomore quarterback Mitch Leidner said there were “a lot more things” the Gophers would do in their next game in early September against Middle Tennessee State to get Maye the ball.

Maye finished that game with zero receptions, too.

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As Big Ten play approaches, Minnesota is dealing with a string of hurt football players.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 09/17/2014
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A series of injuries have challenged the Gophers football team this season, spurring frustration from head coach Jerry Kill as a handful of his players go under the knife this week.

With only one more game between Minnesota and Big Ten play, the team is counting on the injured athletes to heal quickly and having younger players step up to fill the gap in attempt to ensure a strong performance in upcoming games.

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Northwestern has beaten Penn State and Wisconsin in its past two games.
Publish Date: 
Thu, 10/09/2014
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Gophers fans are still buzzing about the program’s victory at Michigan last month. After all, Minnesota’s first time defeating the Wolverines since 2005 deserved some celebration.

This week’s opponent, Northwestern, did something more remarkable last weekend while the Gophers were on their couches watching a bizarre day of college football unfold.

Eleven of the nation’s 25 ranked teams lost, including Northwestern’s opponent — then-No. 17 Wisconsin.

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Subhead: 
Redshirt freshman Ryan Santoso has played a big role in Minnesota’s success.
Publish Date: 
Thu, 10/09/2014
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Looking at the Gophers’ sideline a year ago, one may have thought No. 28 was a tight end or defensive lineman.

But that assumption would be wrong.

At 6 feet 6 inches and 260 pounds, freshman Ryan Santoso played as the team’s kicker. Head coach Jerry Kill calls him the “Big Man.”

But Santoso isn’t as big anymore. He trimmed down to 245 pounds over the summer but still carries a big leg.

Santoso said the longest field goal he’s ever made occurred during a high school practice where he kicked the ball 70 yards.

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