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  1. #1

    Default Dynamic Freshmen Receivers Left Mark on Season

    per GopherSports:

    It's no secret that Minnesota relied heavily on its freshman this season. As they grew, the team improved and ended the season with a 7-6 record and won three of its final four games.

    The Gophers ended the season with resounding wins at Wisconsin and against Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl. This was the first time in the history of the program that Minnesota won the final game of the regular season and a bowl game.

    While many freshmen played integral roles on the team – receivers Rashod Bateman, Chris Autman-Bell and Demetrius Douglas – left their marks on the season.

    Bateman, who played as a true freshman, set freshman program records for receptions (51) and yards (704). His six touchdowns – which all came in Big Ten play – tied for the second most ever by a Minnesota freshman. Bateman started all 13 games and caught at least one pass in every game. He had two 100-yard receiving games and caught a career high seven passes three times.

    The Tifton, Ga., native also had a career high 175 receiving yards at Illinois, which were the second most ever by a Gopher freshman in a game (Ryan Thelwell had 178 yards against Northwestern in 1994). Bateman's 86-yard touchdown from Tanner Morgan at Illinois was Minnesota's longest passing play since Jared Ellerson had a 96-yard touchdown reception from Asad Abdul-Khaliq at Northwestern on Oct. 4, 2003. Bateman also caught a 67-yard game-winning touchdown from Morgan with 1:34 left in the game against Indiana.

    Autman-Bell saw his first action as a Gopher this year after redshirting last season. The Kankakee, Ill., native playing in all 13 games and started nine of them. He made 28 catches (fourth all-time for a Minnesota freshman) for 449 yards (third all-time for a Minnesota freshman) and led the team with a 16.03 yards per catch average.

    https://gophersports.com/news/2019/1...on-season.aspx

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2

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    Awesome group! Will be fun to watch next year as they get stronger and continue to jell with the team.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BleedGopher View Post
    per GopherSports:

    It's no secret that Minnesota relied heavily on its freshman this season. As they grew, the team improved and ended the season with a 7-6 record and won three of its final four games.

    The Gophers ended the season with resounding wins at Wisconsin and against Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl. This was the first time in the history of the program that Minnesota won the final game of the regular season and a bowl game.

    While many freshmen played integral roles on the team – receivers Rashod Bateman, Chris Autman-Bell and Demetrius Douglas – left their marks on the season.

    Bateman, who played as a true freshman, set freshman program records for receptions (51) and yards (704). His six touchdowns – which all came in Big Ten play – tied for the second most ever by a Minnesota freshman. Bateman started all 13 games and caught at least one pass in every game. He had two 100-yard receiving games and caught a career high seven passes three times.

    The Tifton, Ga., native also had a career high 175 receiving yards at Illinois, which were the second most ever by a Gopher freshman in a game (Ryan Thelwell had 178 yards against Northwestern in 1994). Bateman's 86-yard touchdown from Tanner Morgan at Illinois was Minnesota's longest passing play since Jared Ellerson had a 96-yard touchdown reception from Asad Abdul-Khaliq at Northwestern on Oct. 4, 2003. Bateman also caught a 67-yard game-winning touchdown from Morgan with 1:34 left in the game against Indiana.

    Autman-Bell saw his first action as a Gopher this year after redshirting last season. The Kankakee, Ill., native playing in all 13 games and started nine of them. He made 28 catches (fourth all-time for a Minnesota freshman) for 449 yards (third all-time for a Minnesota freshman) and led the team with a 16.03 yards per catch average.

    https://gophersports.com/news/2019/1...on-season.aspx

    Go Gophers!!
    Is that true? That is almost unbelievable.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoRedux View Post
    Is that true? That is almost unbelievable.
    +1 on that being ridiculous and sad

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt View Post
    +1 on that being ridiculous and sad
    Well, they've only won 8 bowl games, so it's not like it's that many opportunities. And the last game has been either Wisconsin or Iowa all of those years (Wisconsin 5 times including this year, Iowa 3 times). It's not great, but it's not as shameful as it looks on the surface.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeville Goldy View Post
    Well, they've only won 8 bowl games, so it's not like it's that many opportunities. And the last game has been either Wisconsin or Iowa all of those years (Wisconsin 5 times including this year, Iowa 3 times). It's not great, but it's not as shameful as it looks on the surface.
    And in the National Championship years there were no bowls. So we certainly would have accomplished that was there a such thing back then.
    "My life has become a single, ongoing revelation that I haven't been cynical enough." - Chrisjen Avasarala

  7. #7
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    Watched the end of the Wisconsin game again last evening.

    Bateman was having as much fun as anyone...probably even more...as The Axe was paraded around Camp Randall.

    Nice to see a kid with zero prior association with the rivalry...having grown up in Atlanta...fully enjoying the moment.

    He'll certainly be pumped next year at TCF for all the right reasons.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoRedux View Post
    Is that true? That is almost unbelievable.
    Oh, it's believable.

  9. #9

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    It's amazing how much a perception change there was of this season with the Wisc game, and the bowl game too.... really changed things. Not that it was negative to positive, but still a big swing.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Slab_of_Bacon View Post
    It's amazing how much a perception change there was of this season with the Wisc game, and the bowl game too.... really changed things. Not that it was negative to positive, but still a big swing.
    I think my excitement meter went from a 6.5 to a 9.5 for next year.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Slab_of_Bacon View Post
    It's amazing how much a perception change there was of this season with the Wisc game, and the bowl game too.... really changed things. Not that it was negative to positive, but still a big swing.
    Honestly I think what the Wisconsin game did was truly confirm that what we were noticing in the Purdue and Northwestern games might actually be for real. Especially as it relates to the defense with the change at DC.

    There was already a lot of hope surrounding the offense given the youth we were playing in that unit and the way they were performing. The complete turnaround by the defense to go from historically bad to solid against some decent competition makes it realistic to think this team could contend in the near future in the Big Ten, maybe as early as 2019.

    We ended the year in very different way then we have for quite some time. Instead of limping to the finish line we dominated 3 or our final 4 opponents. And the vast majority of the team comes back on both sides of the ball.....Let's go!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorkingMyTailOff View Post
    I think my excitement meter went from a 6.5 to a 9.5 for next year.
    It is likely that the O and D both take big steps forward next year.
    Kingdom Warriors

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MNVCGUY View Post
    Honestly I think what the Wisconsin game did was truly confirm that what we were noticing in the Purdue and Northwestern games might actually be for real. Especially as it relates to the defense with the change at DC.

    There was already a lot of hope surrounding the offense given the youth we were playing in that unit and the way they were performing. The complete turnaround by the defense to go from historically bad to solid against some decent competition makes it realistic to think this team could contend in the near future in the Big Ten, maybe as early as 2019.

    We ended the year in very different way then we have for quite some time. Instead of limping to the finish line we dominated 3 or our final 4 opponents. And the vast majority of the team comes back on both sides of the ball.....Let's go!
    That's a good way to put it, we saw it... but suddenly we felt like we knew we were seeing change.

    Even the games where we had close games but we still closed the door look different now.

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