Andy Greder / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS—Two days after Gophers starting quarterback Demry Croft asked to leave the program, Minnesota received an oral commitment from junior college quarterback Vic Viramontes to join its 2018 recruiting class, he announced Monday on Twitter. "I can't wait to play for the Golden Gophers! #RTB," Viramontes wrote, using the hashtag for coach P.J. Fleck's "Row the Boat" mantra.
MINNEAPOLIS—After starting the final six games this season, Minnesota quarterback Demry Croft will leave the football program, a school official said Sunday night, Nov. 26. "Demry asked Coach (P.J.) Fleck for his release after (Saturday's) game, and coach will grant him that release," spokesman Paul Rovnak texted the Pioneer Press. Croft made his request once the Gophers lost 31-0 to fifth-ranked Wisconsin in the battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe at TCF Bank Stadium. Croft, who has two years of eligibility remaining, could seek a transfer to another school.
MINNEAPOLIS — It's necessary — cathartic, even — to turn the page to next year after the Gophers were outscored by a combined 70-0 against Northwestern and Wisconsin to squash this season. After the Saturday, Nov. 25, 31-0 loss to the No. 5 Badgers, Minnesota (5-7, 2-7 Big Ten) missed out on a bowl game for the first time since 2012.
MINNEAPOLIS — While it remained a chance throughout November, the Gophers were officially eliminated from a bowl game on Saturday evening, Nov. 25. For Minnesota, it took more than just the 31-0 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday, which finalized being one win short of bowl eligibility in a 5-7 season. "We were one game away from bowl eligibility," Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said. "There (are) no moral victories. It's unacceptable, but we are exactly where we are. We got exactly what our work deserves."
ST. PAUL — The Gophers' current combined losing streak against their traditional football rivals is scratching the bottom of program history. Heading into Saturday's battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe, Minnesota has lost eight straight games against trophy rivals Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa dating to 2014. With a loss to the Badgers, a 17-point favorite at TCF Bank Stadium, the Gophers' current skid would tie it for second-longest since 1890. The record is 13 from 1994-99.
MINNEAPOLIS — Gophers starting left guard Garrison Wright and center Conner Olson appear to be questionable to play in the regular-season finale against fifth-ranked Wisconsin (11-0) on Saturday, Nov. 25, at TCF Bank Stadium. "We are doing everything we can with Conner and (Garrison), but we'll see," Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said Tuesday, Nov. 21. If those two can't play the Badgers, Minnesota (5-6) will turn to Quinn Oseland at guard and Bronson Dovich at center. The Gophers previously lost starting center Jared Weyler to a season-ending leg injury.
ST. PAUL — For those driving by on Interstate 94 in St. Paul, Minnesota United's Allianz Field has been a couple of tower cranes and little else since the start of construction this summer. But 17 feet underground, about 40 percent of the concrete for the new Major League Soccer stadium has been set, and the steel structure will begin to sprout from the ground in the coming weeks.
MINNEAPOLIS — With leading pass catcher Tyler Johnson sidelined, the Gophers' receiver depth chart is in flux between last Saturday's 39-0 loss to Northwestern and the regular-season finale against No. 5 Wisconsin on Saturday, Nov. 26, at TCF Bank Stadium. Johnson, whom coach P.J. Fleck confirmed to KFXN-FM will miss four to five weeks after breaking his left hand Nov. 11 against Nebraska, leads Minnesota in receptions (35), yards (677) and touchdowns (seven). He traveled to Evanston, Ill., but watched from the sideline with a cast on his hand.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Gophers and quarterback commitment Brennan Armstrong have officially parted ways. Now the Gophers must fill that crucial role with just a month remaining until the early signing period. "After a long process and tons of emotions, my family, coaches and I have decided it is in my best interest to de-commit from the University of Minnesota," Armstrong wrote in a tweet Monday morning. "With that being said, I will now be committing to The University of Virginia to further my education and athletic career! I will be shutting down my recruitment."
EVANSTON, Ill. — Minnesota quarterback Demry Croft completed his first two passes on the opening drive Saturday, Nov. 18. He then connected on zero over the next 11 series during a 39-0 blowout loss to Northwestern at Ryan Field. Croft had three interceptions and was the victim of an estimated six dropped passes, including one by receiver Phillip Howard on the goal line which ended in a Wildcats pick and maintained the Gophers' first shutout in 31 games since October 2015.