Spring football is now in full swing across the entire college landscape. Chances are your favorite team has been at it for at least a few weeks now, in preparation for another stellar college football season. It’s time to lace ‘em up, shake the dirt off and get after it. Here at Know It All Football, we are previewing the entire B1G conference and keeping tabs on your squad and rivals so you don’t have to. Today we take an up-close look at The Minnesota Gophers.
Camp Opens: March 26th
Spring Game: April 27th
Optimism is prevalent this spring for Gopher football. Jerry Kill heads into his 3rd season after leading Minnesota to their first bowl game since 2009. While quarterback MarQueis Gray is now off to the NFL, the rest of a mostly hit and miss offense returns a year older and wiser in 2013. They return their entire starting offensive line that quietly produced a nice year in 2012. True freshman Phillip Nelson took over under center mid-season last year and will enter this spring as the front runner to be the Gophers signal caller this fall. Kill has reiterated that Nelson will face stiff competition for the job this spring and be pushed by redshirt freshman Mitch Leidner and incoming freshman Chris Streveler.
The defense takes a hit for 2013 and will be the biggest X factor heading into the up-coming season. The Gophers must replace two stand-out corners in Michael Carter and Troy Stoudermire, as well as starting linebackers Mike Rallis and Keanon Cooper. There is not a lot of experience returning already on campus for those spots but Kill and his staff brought in junior college linebackers De’Vondre Campbell and Damien Wilson to hopefully help close that gap.
In what looks to be a very manageable (and winnable) out of conference slate for the Gophers in 2013, Minnesota hopes to build off of what was considered a break-through season in 2012. They could see themselves being 5-0 heading to Ann Arbor the 2nd week of B1G play and that has Gopher fans giddy. If the Gophers can start the B1G season off with a bang and a win over hated rival Iowa, Minnesota could be looking at one of their best records since the Glen Mason era.
Up Next: Nebraska
BY RYAN OSBAHR ON APRIL 4, 2013