2012 Game Preview – Minnesota

What to watch on offenseMarQueis Gray - FanIQ.com

Personnel has dictated much of what Minnesota has been able to do offensively over the past 2 years. The presence of super athlete MarQueis Gray has pushed Minnesota toward the spread option, but that approached has softened a bit.

Gray started out the year as the starting QB; but injuries allowed sophomore Max Shortell to play his way into the starting lineup where his performance has ebbed and flowed. After getting off to a quick start Shortell’s play took a nose dive and true freshman Philip Nelson took over the starting job in the last two weeks. Nelson has a 5-2 TD to INT ratio the last two weeks and has averaged 197 yds through the air. Junior A.J. Barker ranks 4th in the Big 10 in receiving despite having three different signal callers this season.

RB Donnel Kirkwood was 3rd on the team in rushing a year ago but has blossomed this season with increased reps and is the Gophers leading rusher this season. Minnesota lost three of five starters off the offensive line including three year starter Chris Bunders. The line struggled to block at the beginning of the year but has hit their stride in recent weeks. Minnesota boosts one of the largest offensive lines in the Big 10, averaging 305 lbs across the unit.

Best Offensive Player

AJ Barker- Barker averages 19 yds per reception and is a big play waiting to happen. A player with exceptional speed and quickness, Barker also doubles as Minnesota’s punt returnman.

Head Coach – Jerry Kill -2nd Year

Off Coord – Matt Limegrover -2nd Year

Def Coord – Tracy Claeys -2nd Year

2011 Record


Returning Starters


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An Early Look at the 2012 B1G Legends Division (Pre-Spring)

1. Michigan 10-2 (7-1)

michigan logo

2012 Forecast

IF the Wolverines can find somewhat productive replacements for Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen and find consistency on offense, they should have another very good season.

Key Returnees

Offense: Denard Robinson (QB-SR) 142-258 (55%) 2173 Yds. 20 TD 15 INT – 221 Carries 1176 Yds (5.3) 16 TD. B1G Football Honorable mention.Denard Robinson - OSU

Fitzgerald Toussaint (RB-JR) 187 Carries 1091 Yds (5.6) 9 TD – 6 Rec 1 TD. B1G Football Honorable mention.

Jeremy Gallon (WR-JR) 31 Rec. 453 (14.6) 3 TD.

Taylor Lewan (OT-JR) B1G Football Second Team.

Defense: Jordan Kovacs (SS-SR) 75 Tackles 8 Tfl 4 Sacks 1 Int.

Kenny Demens (MLB-SR) 94 tackles 5 Tfl 3 Sacks. B1G Football Honorable mention.

Jake Ryan (SAM-SO) 37 Tackles 11 Tfl 3 Sacks.

Craig Roh (DE-SR) 32 Tackles 8 Tfl 4 Sacks.

Key Departures

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