DREW WOLITARSKY NEWS

Minnesota's quarterbacks shine in spring scrimmage

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota coach Jerry Kill liked the way starting quarterback Mitch Leidner and his two backups performed during the Gophers' spring game on Saturday. Some of the young receivers need to find a way to hold onto the ball. ''They need to help the quarterbacks out, make plays,'' Kill said. ''I'd rather have them drop balls now than later on.'' Leidner got the fewest...
Via AP on Fox
15 days ago  |  Discuss

Questions abound for Gophers at RB, WR & QB in 2015

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the 2014 season in the rearview mirror, the University of Minnesota football team has already turned its attention to 2015. In doing so, the Gophers have plenty of questions to answer before the start of the next season. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of those questions are on the offensive side of the ball. Minnesota was solid defensively but was inconsistent...
Via Fox Sports North
January 09, 2015  |  Discuss

Gophers season report card: Offense and special teams

MINNEAPOLIS -- After grading the Gophers in various areas following each game this season, we now take a look at each position group and give them grades for the entire year. The first of two year-end report cards examines Minnesota's offensive players and special teams unit. There were a lot of positives on offense, especially at tight end and running back. But the Gophers also...
Via Fox Sports North
January 07, 2015  |  Discuss

5 things to watch: Gophers vs. Tigers in Citrus Bowl

For the first time in more than five decades, the Gophers football team is playing in a January bowl game. Minnesota is preparing to face Missouri in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 1, the school's first New Year's Day bowl game since the 1962 Rose Bowl. The Gophers' final opponent of the season is a Tigers team that played in the Southeast Conference championship and finished...
Via Fox Sports North
December 30, 2014  |  Discuss

Notebook: Bowl-bound Gophers enjoying support, adulation from fans

MINNEAPOLIS -- In his five years on the University of Minnesota campus, Gophers redshirt senior defensive tackle Cameron Botticelli had never been to a men's basketball game. That is, until earlier this week when he and several of his teammates were honored on the court during Minnesota's game against North Dakota. Botticelli was joined by quarterback Mitch Leidner, running back...
Via Fox Sports North
December 11, 2014  |  Discuss

What went right and wrong for Gophers in 2014

MINNEAPOLIS -- The 2014 season had plenty of ups and downs for the Minnesota football team, although there were arguably more positives than negatives. The Gophers finished 8-4 overall and will now face Missouri in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 1. Here's a look at what went right and what went wrong in Minnesota's season that led the Gophers to a New Year's Day bowl game. WHAT...
Via Fox Sports North
December 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Tyler Mason's Dec. 3 Gophers mailbag

MINNEAPOLIS -- The regular season is over for the Gophers football team, which finished with an 8-4 record after losing to rival Wisconsin on Saturday. Minnesota put itself in a position to possibly earn a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship, but that dream died on Saturday in Madison. Now the Gophers await their postseason fate and will find out Sunday which bowl they...
Via Fox Sports North
December 03, 2014  |  Discuss

Gophers hope bye week leaves them re-energized vs. rival Iowa

MINNEAPOLIS -- The recent bye week was both a blessing and a curse for the Gophers football team. On one side of the coin is the fact that Minnesota had an extra week for its disappointing loss at Illinois to linger. The Gophers didn't have the opportunity to get right back out on the field the following Saturday to put that loss behind them. On the plus side, the extra break allowed...
Via Fox Sports North
November 05, 2014  |  Discuss

5 things we learned: Gophers at Fighting Illini

Few people saw this one coming. Minnesota went on the road and was favored to beat Illinois, but it was the Illini pulling off a 28-24 upset over the visiting Gophers. Minnesota fell behind early and, despite taking a second-half lead, couldn't make enough plays when it counted. The Gophers now head into the bye week with a sour taste in their mouths after losing on the road. Here...
Via Fox Sports North
October 25, 2014  |  Discuss

5 things to watch: Gophers vs. Michigan

If there was ever a good time to face the Michigan Wolverines at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich., it's now. Minnesota faces a struggling Wolverines squad that enters Saturday's game with a 2-2 record following a 26-10 loss at home to Utah. The Gophers, meanwhile, are 3-1 and fresh off a win over San Jose State in which Minnesota completed just one pass. Here are five storylines...
Via Fox Sports North
September 26, 2014  |  Discuss

Tyler Mason's Sept. 24 Gophers mailbag

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota improved to 3-1 with a win last Saturday against San Jose State, but much of the focus on that game was centered around the fact that the Gophers had just one completed pass for seven yards. As I anticipated, that fact came up several times in this week's mailbag. Thanks to all who submitted questions this week as Minnesota prepares to take on Michigan.  ...
Via Fox Sports North
September 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Gophers report card: No pass, no problem

MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota football team improved to 3-1 Saturday with a 24-7 win over San Jose State in a game that included a one-hour weather delay. It wasn't always pretty, especially when the Gophers tried to pass, but Minnesota got the job done. Here's a look at the grades from Saturday's victory at TCF Bank Stadium: Running offense: A With Minnesota's passing...
Via Fox Sports North
September 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Keeping themselves grounded: Gophers neglect passing game, still roll

MINNEAPOLIS -- As Saturday's game between Minnesota and San Jose State drew nearer to its conclusion, those in attendance seemed to be asking themselves the same question: Can the Gophers win without completing a single pass? The answer to that question likely would have been yes, if not for a seven-yard completion by redshirt freshman Chris Streveler to Drew Wolitarsky late in the...
Via Fox Sports North
September 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Tyler Mason's Sept. 17 Gophers mailbag

This week brings us our first mailbag following a loss this season after Minnesota was beaten, 30-7, by TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, over the weekend. It was a game in which the offense brought little to the table against a talented Horned Frogs defense. Not surprisingly, most of the questions in this week's mailbag centered around the Gophers' offensive struggles. Thanks to everyone...
Via Fox Sports North
September 17, 2014  |  Discuss

Keep calm: Gophers QB Leidner knows he needs to find way to ease nerves

MINNEAPOLIS -- Run a mile. That was Gophers offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover's solution -- jokingly, perhaps -- to solving the pregame jitters that plagued quarterback Mitch Leidner before last Thursday's season opener against Eastern Illinois. Leidner admitted after the game that he indeed had some nerves, and it showed early on as the passing game struggled. Leidner had waited...
Via Fox Sports North
September 05, 2014  |  Discuss

Gophers report card: Defense makes statement in win

MINNEAPOLIS -- It wasn't flawless, but Minnesota's 42-20 victory over FCS school Eastern Illinois was still convincing. The Gophers defense pitched a shutout for three and a half quarters before the Panthers finally scored. Meanwhile, Minnesota's offense got rolling after a slow start to the game. All in all, there were plenty of positives for the Gophers in the 2014 season opener...
Via Fox Sports North
August 29, 2014  |  Discuss

Kill: Gophers' improved depth means more versatility on offense

MINNEAPOLIS -- The quarterback situation is settled with redshirt sophomore Mitch Leidner comfortable as the leader of the offense. The University of Minnesota football team returns its leading rusher and receiver from last season. Coming off a season in which the Gophers scored an average of 25.7 points per game, the most for the school since 2006, optimism is riding high heading...
Via Fox Sports North
August 23, 2014  |  Discuss

Sophomores take on leadership role in Gophers' young receiver corps

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky is only a sophomore, but he feels like an upperclassman. With such a young wide receiver corps, Wolitarsky and fellow sophomore Donovahn Jones are already among the elder statesmen, especially when it comes to playing experience. The duo saw plenty of action immediately, as Wolitarsky played in all 13 games and made four starts...
Via Fox Sports North
August 03, 2014  |  Discuss

Gophers positional preview: Wide receivers

  This is the third in a series of 11 previews leading up to the Minnesota football team's Aug. 1 start of practice. Today's position: Wide receivers Rating (1-to-10 scale): 5 Projected starters: Donovahn Jones (sophomore), Drew Wolitarsky (sophomore), KJ Maye (junior) Key backups: Isaac Fruechte (redshirt senior), Eric Carter (redshirt freshman) The breakdown: Minnesota's wide...
Via Fox Sports North
July 22, 2014  |  Discuss

Gophers' passing game will feature new faces in new roles

MINNEAPOLIS -- When the 2013 football season started, the Gophers were hoping wide receivers Derrick Engel and Isaac Fruechte would emerge as go-to targets for quarterback Philip Nelson. One year later, the landscape of Minnesota's aerial attack has completely changed. Engel graduated after suffering a torn ACL during his senior year. Fruechte will be a redshirt senior in 2014, but...
Via Fox Sports North
March 12, 2014  |  Discuss

Syracuse rallies late for 21-17 win over Gophers

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill wanted to do something to spark his team in the second half of the Texas Bowl against Syracuse on Friday night. So he decided to coach from the sideline for the first time since Sept. 28. His tactic worked and the Golden Gophers rallied from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to take a three-point lead. But the magic soon wore off and Syracuse came back...
Via AP on Fox
December 28, 2013  |  Discuss

Texas Bowl: Syracuse rallies for late TD to edge Gophers

Terrel Hunt scrambled 12 yards for a touchdown with 1:14 remaining to lift Syracuse to a 21-17 win over Minnesota in the Texas Bowl on Friday night. Brisly Estime set up Hunt's touchdown with a 70-yard punt return. Estime would have scored if not for a tackle by punter Peter Mortell. It was the second-longest punt return in Texas Bowl history. Syracuse (7-6) led 14-3 entering the...
Via AP on Fox
December 27, 2013  |  Discuss

Five Things We Learned: Gophers vs. Orange

It was a disappointing end to an otherwise encouraging season, as the Gophers football team fell 21-17 to Syracuse in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Minnesota was favored by 4.5 points, but it was the underdog Orange escaping with a win thanks to a late touchdown drive. The loss drops the Gophers to 8-4 overall to end the 2013 season, which is still a two-win improvement...
Via Fox Sports North
December 27, 2013  |  Discuss

Gophers fall victim to Orange's late rally at Texas Bowl

HOUSTON (AP) -- Terrel Hunt scrambled 12 yards for a touchdown with 1:14 remaining to lift Syracuse to a 21-17 win over Minnesota in the Texas Bowl on Friday night. Brisly Estime set up Hunt's touchdown with a 70-yard punt return. Estime would have scored if not for a tackle by punter Peter Mortell. It was the second-longest punt return in Texas Bowl history. Syracuse (7-6) led 14...
Via Fox Sports North
December 27, 2013  |  Discuss

5 things to watch in Texas Bowl

For the second time in as many years, the University of Minnesota football team is playing in Houston for its bowl game. The Gophers will take on six-win Syracuse in the Texas Bowl on Friday at Reliant Stadium. Minnesota finished the regular season 8-4, while the Orange snuck in to a bowl game thanks to a last-minute win in its final game of the year. Here are five things to watch...
Via Fox Sports North
December 26, 2013  |  Discuss
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