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2012 Minnesota Golden Gopher preview

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1 2012 Minnesota Golden Gopher preview on Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:51 pm

The Minnesota Golden Gophers come into the season as defending National Champions after going 14-0 last season in Head Coach Ryan Turner's first campaign. Despite this fact Minnesota enters the season unranked.

Offense

Last Season the Gophers lead the nation in rushing and look to be among the leaders in that category again this season, they lose record setting B Back who thrived in the role last season despite learning a brand new system in Duane Bennett. He ran for a Gopher record 1501 yards and added 12 TD's. However record setting QB Marqueis Gray returns for his senior season after mulling over the option of going pro last season he ran for 1077 yards and set a Gopher record with 19 TD's, he also added 1246 yards passing and 8 TD's. Both starting A Back's return for there sophmore seasons but there roles may change some this season. The Gophers lost big play threat and return specialist WR Da Jon Mcknight but the WR's arent a focal point in Turner's offense.

Quarterbacks

Sr Marqueis Gray returns and is the leader of the offense. He will be backed up again by RS So Tim Parish and RS Jr Moses Alipate. New recruit Damien Franklin will redshirt this season. Highly touted pocket passer (name doesnt come to mind) left the team as a RS Fr roughly 78 overall to go play in the FCS (Division 2)

Running Backs

Last seasons starting A Backs both RS So return in Lamonte Edwards and Donnell Kirkwood, Edwards lead the team in receptions, yards and td's last season and was 3rd in rushing, Kirkwood had the teams 3rd highest reception total and 4th highest rushing total. Both players' roles may change and both may see some time at B Back. Converted WR's who both redshirted last season RS Fr Marcus Jones and RS So Malcolm Moulton will both see time at A Back, Jones will also return kicks. RS So Devon Wright and RS Fr David Cobb are also on the roster but may not see much playing time this season. New recruit D.J. Ewing will likely see some action as a true freshman at B Back and RS So Mike Henry wont likely see much action this season.

Wide Receiver

Converted TE's Sr John Rabe amd RS So Alex Bisch will start. RS So JD Pride would likely fill the void if either of these two were to go down. RS Sr Brandon Green fills at the WR corps but wont likely see much action.

Tight End

N/A

Offensive Line

RS Jr Ed Olson returns as starting LT. New recruit Brandon Moore will redshirt this season but should play a solid role in the future. RS Fr Kyle Mcavoy will be a backup. RS Jr Zach Mottla returns as starting LG. RS Fr Luke Mcavoy will back him up. Starting at C will be RS So Sean Ferguson, he was moved over from RT in the offseason to fill in for last seasons departed starter. New recruits Skyler Daniel and Lester Mangum will both redshirt, both were Tackles in High School but were moved to C, both are likely to have solid futures here and both possess the ability to play at multiple positions on the line. RS Fr Tommy Olson will start at RG, he looks like a great player and could start for 4 years, he is the only RG on the roster as last season's starter graduated. RS So Jimmy Gjere returns as starting RT backing him up will be RS So Jonathan Ragoo.

Defense

Last season the Gophers defense was one of the best in the nation in pts, yards and they lead the nation in takeaways. The Gophers defense pitched shutouts in 3 of there final 4 games including the Big Ten Championship and National Championship. The Gophers lost there starting DT, MLB and one of there CB's but have players ready to fill in. However the Gophers lost both starting safeties and there best backup and this could be a trouble spot for them.

Individual Units coming later

Special Teams

The Gophers return RS Jr K Chris Hawthorne and RS Jr P Dan Orseske. They lose dangerous return man Da Jon Mcknight but RS Fr Marcus Jones should fill in fine.

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