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Mortensen Demoted to Third String?

Plenty of news emerged Saturday after the Gophers had an intersquad scrimmage. Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press reports on his blog and in the print edition ...

1) Fuller is of the belief MarQueis Gray will be redshirted, and that's not overly surprising, but what here's what is: Tony Mortensen could be demoted to third-string quarterback while Mike Maciejowski gets the back-up honors.

"I've got a comfort level with Mike," Brewster said. "He's one of those guys with very limited reps seems to be able to step in and assimilate your offense and execute your offense. And that's a really positive trait for a backup."

Maciejowski has played exceedingly sparingly in his four years with the Gophers. It'd be interesting to have someone get a comment from Brewster on Mortensen. Is he not been able to execute the spread? Whatever the case, Mortensen backers can't be happy with this news.

2) Newcomers on the defense impressed. Linebacker Simoni Lawrence showed teammates his speed will make a diffference this season. Other new Gophers turning heads according to Fuller were Tim Dandridge, Cedric McKinley, Marcus Sherels and Traye Simmons. Senior Willie VanDeSteeg (who recorded three sacks on the day) was impressed:

"We have a lot of (new) guys that are going to help us out in individual positions," said senior defensive end Willie VanDeSteeg, who looked to be back to his old self with three sacks Saturday. "Sherels, the kid can play. You watch him on the basketball court, and he's a stud. You watch him on the football field and you know he can play football. ... He's just a solid player you can count on for anything."

3) The defense recorded nine sacks. Sounds good for the defense, bad for the O-line. But, recall that the defense was outperforming the offense last year at this time and some members of the likely starting o-line didn't suit up.

4) Baby Gophers wideouts had a hard time with some simple things, like lining up properly. This should be able to be worked out. Brewster wasn't happy with the offense.

"We didn't have as much poise as we needed to on the offensive side of the ball," said Brewster, who has high expectations for the Gophers' spread offense this season led by sophomore starting quarterback Adam Weber. "We had some alignment issues. We had some pre-snap fouls. I call them administrative penalties, (or) self-inflicted wounds. We had a few too many of those, but I don't think it's uncommon for your first game-like scrimmage."

5) Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune also notes it was a win for the defense. Those still around from last year's embattled defense were "using words like "flying, "speedy," and "fun"' to describe the scrimmage.

All in all, we shouldn't take too much away from this. It's one scrimmage. The offense looked bad reportedly, but again, it did last year as well.