MINNEAPOLIS Whether it's criticism or praise, the focus of a football team seems to be centered more often than not on the quarterback. Gophers freshman Philip Nelson was no exception to that rule this season.
Nelson, the true freshman from Mankato, was thrust into the starting role in Week 7 against Wisconsin when MarQueis Gray and Max Shortell were both out with injuries. From then until theend of the regular season, Nelson was Minnesota's starting quarterback. While he lost his first career game 38-13, he bounced back one week later to help the Gophers beat Purdue 44-28.
In that win over the Boilermakers, Nelson certainly created a buzz on campus when he threw for 246 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. But from that point on, Nelson seemed to regress.
The following week, he was 13-of-29 for 142 yards and a touchdown in a 35-13 loss at home to Michigan. In his final three games against Illinois, Nebraska and Michigan State, Nelson compiled a total of 198 yards, thre...