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Minnesota HC P.J. Fleck declined to name a starting quarterback for Saturday against Illinois, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press both report that signs point to redshirt sophomore QB Demry Croft drawing the start.

"What I saw out there in the last 10 minutes is a team I couldn’t wait to see!" Fleck said of Croft in the postgame news conference. "I couldn’t wait to see that!" Croft came on in relief of Conor Rhoda on Saturday against Michigan State to rally the Gophers for three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Tyler Johnson. Minnesota fell just short, losing 30-27. Croft went 8-for-14 for 131 yards and three scores in sum. "I felt like, this probably would be a good time to be able to see what Demry can do," Fleck said Sunday. "And once he went in there, he did a really nice job." It's been a wild ride for Croft, who Fleck suspended on Sept. 12 for an unspecified violation of team rules. Croft missed two games before returning for last week’s game at Purdue. And now he may be the team's starter going forward. Croft has a much higher ceiling than Rhoda, and he provides a dual-threat element that Rhoda lacks.
Oct 16 - 5:31 PM

Minnesota sophomore WR Tyler Johnson caught eight passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-27 loss to Michigan State on Saturday.

The Gophers couldn't run the ball, and starting QB Conor Rhoda was entirely ineffective, but Johnson (6'2/190) still was able to have a massive game, although much of it when the game was out of reach. Still, it's the third time the talented sophomore has gone over 100 yards this year, and he's now scored six times on the 2017 campaign. He'll add to those numbers next week when the Gophers play Illinois.
Oct 15 - 12:16 AM

Minnesota sophomore T Nick Connelly (undisclosed) will miss Saturday's game against Michigan State.

This according to HC P.J. Fleck. Connelly, the Gophers' starting right tackle, was sidelined during the Purdue game with an undisclosed injury.
Oct 11 - 5:24 PM

Minnesota redshirt senior S Duke McGhee (suspension) may return for Saturday's game against Michigan State.

"Duke will possibly be back," HC P.J. Fleck said. "We’ll see how his week of practice goes." The Gophers could use him back with fellow starting safety Antoine Winfield Jr. still out with a hamstring injury.
Oct 11 - 3:16 PM

Minnesota redshirt freshman CB Kiondre Thomas will miss Saturday's game against Michigan State.

He exited Saturday's tilt against Purdue with an undisclosed injury. Thomas had started all five games to this point.
Oct 10 - 4:20 PM

Minnesota HC P.J. Fleck gave junior QB Conor Rhoda a vote of confidence.

"I have expectations, but if there was the better answer today, I would have somebody else in there," Fleck said. "[Rhoda] is the better answer for our football team, and he’s proven he can run this offense very efficiently. But he’s also made mistakes. What I want to be able to say is I (watched) him grow from those mistakes." Rhoda has five turnovers through five games, and four of those giveaways were inside opponent’s 25-yard lines. As Fleck alludes to, however, Minnesota doesn't have many other attractive options behind center. Seth Green is listed as the No. 2 QB, and former top backup Demry Croft just returned from suspension.
Oct 10 - 3:36 PM

Minnesota freshman WR Phillip Howard (undisclosed) is unlikely to play on Saturday against Michigan State.

Howard (5'11/187) caught four passes for 47 yards against Maryland two weeks ago, but was forced out early against Purdue on Saturday. For the year, he has 6 catches for 62 yards.
Oct 9 - 10:39 PM

Minnesota junior RB Shannon Brooks ran for 116 yards on 18 carries in a 31-17 loss Saturday to Purdue.

Brooks (6'0/213) missed the Middle Tennessee State game three weeks ago with a shoulder injury. Following a bye week, he struggled seven days ago against Maryland (39 yards on a 3.3 YPC average). Today, he looked like himself, rushing for over 100 yards for the first time this year. The 3-2 Gophers host Michigan State next week.
Oct 7 - 8:40 PM

Minnesota redshirt sophomore QB Demry Croft (personal) has rejoined the team.

Croft left the Gophers in mid-September due to an apparent disciplinary issue tied to matters off of the football field. At the time, Minnesota HC P.J. Fleck said, "If you do not do the right thing academically, athletically, socially and spiritually, and you do not uphold the high, high expectations of our culture on and off the field, you will not play." While Croft has now returned from his exodus, Conor Rhoda has entrenched himself as starting quarterback and will continue to see starting work moving forward.
Oct 3 - 5:39 PM

Minnesota freshman WR Demetrius Douglas is expected to miss the remainder of the season with an undisclosed injury concern.

A three-star recruit in the 2017 class, Douglas had caught 11 passes for 83 yards prior to suffering the season-ending injury. He did not take the field in Saturday's loss to Maryland. Minnesota HC P.J. Fleck indicated that the team will be applying for a medical redshirt, here.
Oct 1 - 12:39 PM

Minnesota redshirt junior WR Melvin Holland Jr. (ankle) will miss the rest of the 2017 season.

Holland Jr. (6'3/205) injured the ankle against Middle Tennessee State on Saturday. He hadn't recorded a catch this season, but was a key contributor for the Gophers on special teams.
Sep 27 - 2:43 PM

Minnesota redshirt sophomore RB Rodney Smith (undisclosed) should be able to play on Saturday against Maryland.

Smith (5'11/200) missed the second half of the game game against Middle Tennessee State, but it appears he was just precautionary. Fellow tailback Shannon Brooks is likely back this week as well, so the two should go back to splitting carries this week against the Terrapins.
Sep 25 - 6:16 PM

Minnesota junior RB Shannon Brooks (shoulder) should be able to play on Saturday against Maryland.

Brooks (6'0/213) missed the Gophers game against Middle Tennessee State two weeks ago, but after a bye, the talented running back should be back on the field for Minnesota. He'll continue to split carries with fellow running back Shannon Brooks, but both are capable of putting up big numbers in P.J. Fleck's offense.
Sep 25 - 6:04 PM

Minnesota senior RB Kobe McCrary ran for 107 yards and three scores on 23 carries in Saturday's 34-3 victory over Middle Tennessee.

McCrary slid into Shannon Brooks' role for the day and acquitted himself well. With Brooks likely to return next week, McCrary will return to a backup role.
Sep 16 - 6:57 PM

Minnesota junior RB Shannon Brooks (shoulder) is not playing in Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee.

Brooks dressed before the game, but did not take the field after kickoff. With Rodney Smith also dinged up with an undisclosed injury suffered in the first half, Kobe McCrary will likely be the man for the final quarter-plus of action. The Gophs lead MTSU 27-3 with the fourth quarter about to start.
Sep 16 - 5:57 PM


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