Football

Publish Date: 
Tue, 09/02/2014
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Recap: Minnesota’s defense came into the first game of the season with high expectations and lived up to them. The Gophers forced three Eastern Illinois turnovers to go along with a blocked punt by defensive back Eric Murray, which Minnesota recovered for a touchdown.

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The redshirt freshman scored two touchdowns in his first college game.
Publish Date: 
Tue, 09/02/2014
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Most of the announced crowd of 44,344 started heading toward TCF Bank Stadium’s exits during the fourth quarter of the Gophers’ 42-20 win over Eastern Illinois on Thursday night.

But for fans who stayed, they saw the future, and possibly the present, of Gophers football emerge.

Redshirt freshman running back Berkley Edwards only received four carries, two of which he ran for touchdowns.

“He is lightning in a bottle,” head coach Jerry Kill said. “He can flat-out run.”

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Mitch Leidner and Berkley Edwards each ran for two touchdowns.
Publish Date: 
Tue, 09/02/2014
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For Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner, the script flipped Thursday night.

Minnesota opened its season with a midweek home game under the lights for the second consecutive year.

But instead of being the backup quarterback coming into the game during garbage time with little pressure on his shoulders, Leidner was under center from the get-go.

Chris Streveler relieved Leidner in the second half once the Gophers’ 42-20 victory was well in hand, just like Leidner did in last year’s opener.

Minnesota blew the game open in the second half after a slow start.

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Publish Date: 
Thu, 08/28/2014
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Minnesota gophers took on the Eastern Illinois Panthers, Thursday evening at TCF Bank Stadium.
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The Vikings will play their first preseason game on Aug. 8 at TCF Bank Stadium.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 08/06/2014
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In the past year, TCF Bank Stadium has been the site of football, hockey and soccer games, as well as the University of Minnesota homecoming and MLB All-Star Game concerts.

This weekend, the venue will get a new inhabitant when the Minnesota Vikings host the Oakland Raiders on Friday in a preseason game at TCF, their home for at least the next two seasons as they await their new stadium.

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Tight end Duke Anyanwu will miss the season with a right knee injury.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 08/06/2014
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Looking ahead to the 2014 season, tight end is one of Minnesota’s strongest positions on the offensive side of the ball.

Maxx Williams is returning after a breakout freshman season, and senior Drew Goodger is a workhorse blocker capable of catching passes in the open field.

But Duke Anyanwu, who could have played a big role at tight end along with Williams and Goodger, is out for the season with a right knee injury, Gophers head coach Jerry Kill told reporters Monday.

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The Big Ten runs the ball more than ever before, but the style of play has changed.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 08/06/2014
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Iowa running back Mark Weisman lowered his shoulder and rumbled in between tackles, bouncing off Gophers defenders for an 11-yard gain.

Rain dripping off the Hawkeyes’ facemasks, they lined up for the next play, and quarterback Jake Rudock handed the football off to Weisman again: 5 yards.

And again: 2 more yards.

That sequence — part of Iowa’s 23-7 victory at Minnesota last season — was a throwback display of Big Ten smash-mouth football.

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David Cobb finished 12th in program history in rushing yards last season.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 07/30/2014
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CHICAGO — David Cobb began last season as Minnesota’s third-string running back.

But when he got an opportunity in the first game of the season, he seized it.

Starting running back Donnell Kirkwood sprained his ankle against Nevada-Las Vegas, and Cobb came into the game and rattled off a 60-yard run.

After leapfrogging Kirkwood and Rodrick Williams at the position, Cobb kicks off this season as Minnesota’s go-to guy in the backfield.

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Jerry Kill has battled epilepsy for years, but his condition seems to be getting better.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 07/30/2014
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CHICAGO — At a recent summer workout, the Gophers slammed their chests down to the ground in unison and pushed off the turf with their arms, repeating that process over and over again.

Midway through the conditioning drill, called up-downs, senior safety Cedric Thompson noticed something unexpected.

“I look over and I see coach [Jerry] Kill doing up-downs with us,” Thompson said. “I was honestly shocked.”

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Minnesota ranked last in the Big Ten in passing yards last season.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 07/30/2014
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CHICAGO — Throughout last season, the Gophers claimed that having two capable quarterbacks in Philip Nelson and Mitch Leidner was a positive.

“You can play two kids that can run your offense,” offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said in September 2013 of Minnesota’s quarterback situation.

Entering the 2014 campaign, Nelson is out of the picture and Leidner is Minnesota’s team leader. Now, the Gophers are saying that having one signal caller could help them take the next step as a football team.

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