BIG weekend ahead as Gopher basektball practice starts today, Gopher Hockey has their season opener against Michigan State tonight, and tomorrow is a homecoming pretty much must-win for football (well at least if Gopher football wants to go bowling)...
Let's start with football and a report from Marcus Fuller of the PP that MarQueis Gray is listed as the backup for tomorrow's game and off the injury report entirely. This doesn't mean Gray is 100% obviously, as Phililp Nelson is also listed as a backup, which means if Grays' ankle doesn't feel well enough to go, then Nelson is the emergency-only backup and it's Max Shortell the whole way. Hard to tell if this is a good sign and that Gray is rapidly improving, or it's just Jerry Kill hoping to give Northwestern something else to think about and gameplan for.
What kind of gameplan? Can I interest you in using Gray him like Tim Tebow? While normally I'd roll my eyes at this type of talk, this didn't come from a writer and or media guy looking to make headlines or get pageviews- it came from head coach Jerry Kill himself:
“I don’t know how much Tebow is playing,” Kill said Wednesday. “Would we consider playing Max and (then) MarQueis 15-20 plays? Yeah, you’d consider doing that type of thing. Is that a possibility? Sure it is, if he’s ready to do that. Have I done it before? Yeah. We did it at Northern (Illinois), and we were successful.”
Obviously it all depends on Gray's ankle and how much strain he can tolerate on it by making hard cuts when he runs. Q brings the added running threat the offense needs, but if his mobility is still limited by the high ankle sprain, it's not going to add much of a threat.
Speaking of versatile QB's, the Gopher defense have been gameplanning for Northwestern's versatile QB and athlete Cain Kolter, who is here, there, and everywhere.
#1 Gopher hockey kicks off their season this weekend with a two game series against #16 Michigan State. The Gopher Sports website has a very informative release on the long history between these two schools. The opener tonight is an early start at 6pm, tomorrow night is an 8pm puck drop, and if you can't make it to Mariucci for the games, both are on FSN's main channel.
The one big question facing the Gophers this season is in net (by the way, love the work Roman does for the Strib, but it's awesome having Russo covering Gopher Hockey during the NHL lockout. There is none better. None!). Lucia says his plan for his two goaltender is a rotation for the first few weekends, and then hopefully choose a starter by November. I don't love the idea of a goalie rotation, but we'll see how it goes.
The MN Daily talks about the Gophers getting redemption this weekend after losing in East Lansing last year.
Good Gopher hockey story in the PP about the three Reilly brothers, twin forwards Connor and Ryan,and younger brother defenseman Mike.
The Lansing Journal previews Michigan State.
Gopher basketball begins tonight and the Strib's Amelia Rayno has a season preview. 2013 Gopher basketball commit Alvin Ellis will be at the Gopher scrimmage tonight.