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  1. #1

    Default College Football's Top 20 Teams on the Rise for 2019 (Minnesota)

    per Athlon:

    Minnesota

    Minnesota ended 2018 on a high note, as coach P.J. Fleck’s team beat rival Wisconsin (37-15) and dominated Georgia Tech 34-10 in the Quick Lane Bowl. The momentum in Minneapolis should continue into 2019, as the Golden Gophers will be a sleeper team to watch in the Big Ten West Division. The offense improved its scoring average by nearly a touchdown from 2017 to ’18, and another step forward is realistic for next season. Quarterbacks Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad combined for 20 touchdowns in 2018 and are set to compete for the starting job under center once again. The passing attack received a huge boost when Tyler Johnson (78 catches for 1,169 yards and 12 scores) decided to return for his senior year. Johnson will team with Rashod Bateman (51 catches) and Chris Autman-Bell (28) to form one of the Big Ten’s top receiving trios. The backfield is also loaded with talent. As freshmen in 2018, Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 1,160 yards and Bryce Williams chipped in 502. Those two players are back, along with Rodney Smith (1,158 yards in ’16) and Shannon Brooks returning from a redshirt year due to injury. Joe Rossi assumed the defensive play-calling duties after a 55-31 loss to Illinois on Nov. 3. Minnesota did not allow an opponent to score more than 24 points in each of its last four games, which certainly helped Rossi earn the full-time role. Fleck also upgraded his defensive staff over the offseason, hiring former Maine coach Joe Harasymiak to coach safeties, while Jim Panagos was brought aboard to develop the defensive line. The Golden Gophers will miss linebacker Blake Cashman and safety Jacob Huff, but Rossi has pieces to work with, including end/linebacker Carter Coughlin (15 TFL), linebacker Thomas Barber and safety Antoine Winfield (back from injury). Minnesota’s schedule features home dates against Nebraska and Penn State, along with road trips to Iowa and Northwestern next fall. After winning seven games in Fleck’s second year, another step forward is definitely within reach for 2019.

    https://athlonsports.com/college-foo...eams-rise-2019

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2

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    lets hope we live up to the hype for once

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by salzie View Post
    lets hope we live up to the hype for once
    when was the hype you refer to?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wcfan56 View Post
    when was the hype you refer to?
    Articles like this one.


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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wcfan56 View Post
    when was the hype you refer to?
    We've gotten "dark horse for B1G" and such news before in the Kill era, we just never broke though.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bordergopher View Post
    Articles like this one.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    the "for once" in the earlier post implied previous years
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Slab_of_Bacon View Post
    We've gotten "dark horse for B1G" and such news before in the Kill era, we just never broke though.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhillyGopher View Post
    the "for once" in the earlier post implied previous years
    It's not the first time

    I'm also taking broad view of MN sports on my post

    I'm very excited for season and future, so despite my somewhat pessimistic post, I'm really hoping this time it's real deal

  8. #8
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    I can't remember his name, but the BTN on-air guy who used to be a linebacker at Illinois picked the Gophers to break through and contend for the Big Ten West title this past season. So there's one for you.

    Update: It was J Leman.
    Last edited by everybody knows my name; 02-04-2019 at 11:43 AM.
    I’m a light eater. As soon as it’s light, I start to eat. And I'm on a seefood diet. If I can see food, I'll eat it.

  9. #9

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    Well the hype I believe was actually more with the posters here. When we were picked for 4th or where ever in the past, posters were all over that. We were possibly considered dark horses, but for the most part articles weren't all that pleasant towards us. We thought we knew more than they did.

  10. #10

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    Of course we are a team on the rise and I think Gopher fans in the know are very excited. We finished very strong after Rossi was promoted and the wins over Wisconsin and Georgia Tech looked very good. The big question now is: Can they build on this momentum and take it to the next level? This is the best Gopher offense we have seen in some time, probably back to at least the Mason years. We may have averaged 7 points more than last year but I think it's very possible that we average 7 more this year. I am already excited to see it next year!

    The defense is the biggest question mark - if they could play like they did the last 2 games we have something special for sure. I think at least on paper we will be better. We lose Cashman and Huff but we should be more experienced and have more depth. Winfield is a big upgrade in the secondary but I think the most improvement will be in the defensive line. With a lot of new faces there it could take a while to gell but they should get better as the season goes on.

    We do lose Carpenter in the kicking game and we will miss him. A friend of mine from Atlanta really likes the new kicker Lantz we have coming in. He said he watched him in warmups when he was a junior and he was bombing FG's from 50 yards out. That's pretty impressive for a 17 year old!

    Hopefully, Coach Fleck and staff can keep the momentum rolling. With the extremely mediocre pro teams that we have it's very hard to look forward to any pro season these days but I am legitimately looking forward to Gopher football this year more than any of the local pro teams.

    It's been a long time since I said that, too.

  11. #11

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    No mention of the best 6-7 team to ever don football cleats. Interesting!
    Attention: If the above comment sounds puzzling, adjust your sarcasm setting and try again.

    Quote Originally Posted by God View Post
    For you are one of the chosen ones, my son. Please carry my other messages forward and spread them across the land.

    Thou shall not root for the Badgers under any circumstances, whatsoever. Doing so will bring upon my wrath and you suffer from the same plague of obesity, stupidity, and ugliness of the one who leads the razorbacks.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by everybody knows my name View Post
    I can't remember his name, but the BTN on-air guy who used to be a linebacker at Illinois picked the Gophers to break through and contend for the Big Ten West title this past season. So there's one for you.

    Update: It was J Leman.
    He was right if it wasn't for Rossi pissing on our parade

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