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Minnesota Football: Wednesday Nugz

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Brian Smith is off the team, but Jonah Pirsig is back!

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

First things first. Minnesota is 6-2 and bowl eligible. Moreover, thanks to a logjam at the top of the Big Ten West standings, the Gophers are still technically in contention for the division and a berth in the conference title game.

In short, let’s do this!

Gophers

  • It’s been a long time since Jonah Pirsig saw the field. A sprained left ankle has kept him out of competition, but he was cleared to practice Tuesday, and if he’s ready, he’ll get to play on Saturday (Joe Christensen, Minneapolis Star Tribune).
  • Wide receiver Brian Smith has been dismissed from the team. According to Tracy Claeys, Smith had violated team rules, and the dismissal appears to be related to a fight Smith was in recently. Claeys noted that player behavior is ultimately his responsibility and that he takes these issues seriously:

Sometimes there’s a mentality out there that as long as you’re winning, you can do what you want, and people will oversee it and find a way to get around it and whatever. But that’s not the case. I tell them all the time, you can play hard and aggressive on the football field. But when you’re off of it, you can be a good person, you can go to class, you can be involved in the community, and that is your obligation. And whenever you make a bad choice, you’re taking a chance of losing a privilege of being a part of the football team at the University of Minnesota.

The Gophers will take on Purdue at TCF Bank Stadium this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 PM CDT. The game will air on BTN.

Purdue

How are things going in West Lafayette now that a new era has dawned? Well...

Finally, this picture is worth way more than 1000 words: