Andy Greder / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — The Joe Moore Award has been given to college football's best offensive line each season since 2015, and the Gophers didn't earn as much as a second glance from that selection committee through the opening five games this season. After dominating New Mexico State (2-5) in the season opener, the Gophers saw the number of sacks allowed creep up each of the next four games, while they were routinely stymied on the ground, rushing for less than three yards per carry.
ST. PAUL — Brent Kallman will remain a Loon when Minnesota United opens Allianz Field in St. Paul next season. The defender from Woodbury, Minn., has a contract in place with the Major League Soccer club for the 2019 season, sources told the Pioneer Press. With Kallman, United will retain its longest-tenured player into the club's unveiling of its new $250-million stadium in the Midway neighborhood next April.
MINNEAPOLIS — A paper sign reading "0-0" hangs on the wall outside the Gophers football coaches' offices to signify the start of what head coach P.J. Fleck has called "Season 2." At the halfway mark of the overall campaign, Minnesota wants to reboot after a 3-3 start, which includes the current 0-3 skid in Big Ten play. The Gophers start Season 2 on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Nebraska (0-6, 0-4) in a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS — Gophers running back Shannon Brooks and his surgically repaired knee were cleared to play for the first time Saturday, Oct. 20, against Nebraska, but an ongoing Minneapolis city attorney's office investigation into allegations of domestic assault against him have put that season debut in serious doubt. "His status is evolving each day," Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said Tuesday.
COLUMBUS, Ohio—The promos started during the Vikings game last Sunday, continued through the NFL's Thursday night game and rolled into the MLB playoffs Friday night. It all seemed like commercial overkill of a nationally televised game with third-ranked Ohio State being a 29-point favorite over the under-.500 Minnesota Golden Gophers. Then the first half Saturday, Oct. 13, at Ohio Stadium held four lead changes and piqued interest of a potential monumental upset of a college football playoff contender.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two Gophers defensive starters, cornerback Terell Smith and defensive tackle O.J. Smith, missed Saturday's 30-14 loss to third-ranked Ohio State with head injuries, coach P.J. Fleck said. "When anything has to do with the head, we will always be very sensitive to that," Fleck said. "Could (Terell) possibly have come back? Maybe. But I'm not going to mess with that." A third defensive player, backup end Tai'yon Devers, also missed the game, but that was Fleck's decision, according to a Gophers spokesman.
MINNEAPOLIS — Gophers rush end Carter Coughlin is tied for the Big Ten Conference lead with five sacks, but no other U defensive lineman has a single sack through five games. So, it's a mighty good thing for Minnesota that the four-star recruit from Eden Prairie, Minn., didn't capitalize on his scholarship offer to Ohio State, the Gophers' opponent at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, in Columbus. Coughlin arrived at Minnesota as a linebacker in 2016, then switched to defensive end last season, where he had a team highs of 6½ sacks and 11½ tackles for lost yards.
ROSEMONT, Ill. — There's one big question hanging over the Gophers men's basketball team heading into the 2018-19 season: Who will play point guard? Hall of fame coach Rick Pitino, father of Gophers coach Richard Pitino, said on a podcast last week that, now that all-Big Ten guard Nate Mason is gone, that is the one uncertain piece of Minnesota's roster.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Gophers men's basketball team will finish ninth in the Big Ten Conference this season, according to a poll released Wednesday, Oct. 10, from the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and The Athletic. The poll compiled views from 28 reporters, two covering each team, and picked Michigan State to repeat as champions, followed by Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland and Ohio State. Minnesota's 168 votes were more than — in order — Iowa, Penn State, Northwestern, Illinois and Rutgers.
MINNEAPOLIS — Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim has had Rodney Smith speaking into one ear, Shannon Brooks in the other, and Kobe McCrary sending text messages and telephoning from afar. All three of Minnesota's top rushers last year are doing all they can to help Ibrahim, this year's starter, navigate his redshirt freshman season.