clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Minnesota Football Spring Game: Time, Game Format, How to Watch, What to Know

The Gophers will hold their first spring game under new head coach P.J. Fleck on Saturday, April 15, at TCF Bank Stadium

Rutgers v Minnesota

When: Noon (CST) on Saturday, April 15

Where: TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN

Weather Forecast:

Saturday Weather Forecast

How To Watch

Streaming: Stream the game online at noon (CST) on BTN2Go

TV: The game will air at 6:30 p.m. (CST) on the Big Ten Network

Game Format

With 22 players sidelined due to offseason surgeries — a situation that has left the Gophers with just five available offensive lineman this spring — P.J. Fleck’s first spring game at Minnesota will not follow the traditional game format. The team will instead be performing a variety of different drills throughout four 15-minute quarters with a running clock. It’ll give fans a glimpse of how Fleck and staff run their practices.

Here is the full schedule of events for Saturday:

What To Watch

  1. Conor Rhoda vs. Demry Croft. Reports from spring practice have indicated that the quarterback competition has developed into a two-horse race between redshirt senior Conor Rhoda and redshirt sophomore Demry Croft. Redshirt freshman Seth Green and freshman Tanner Morgan are a cut behind the two frontrunners, and JUCO quarterback Neil McLaurin is set to transfer after only a few months on campus. Since the spring game will be a different format than fans might be accustomed to, it could be difficult to get a read on which of the two leading quarterback contenders has the edge, but it will be interesting see how both fare in the early goings of a new offensive system.
  2. Improvement at wide receiver. It’s stating the obvious to say that the Gophers have had woes at the wide receiver position. But the arrival of Fleck and wide receivers coach Matt Simon should change that. It’s early, but Saturday will offer our first glimpse at how the wide receiver corps is developing under Simon and how they’ll be utilized in the new offensive system. Sophomore Tyler Johnson has received the lion’s share of praise this spring, but Fleck has also singled out the raw talent of junior Rashad Still. Keep an eye on senior Eric Carter, junior Melvin Holland, Jr., and sophomore walk-on Claey Geary.
  3. Depth at defensive back and on the defensive line. The Gophers are short on warm bodies at every defensive position group other than linebacker. It’s fairly easy to guess what the starting defense will look like come fall, but good luck trying to fill out a two-deep. The spring game will give fans an opportunity to see who the breakout candidates are at defensive line and defensive back, although answers at the defensive line might not come until fall camp. This will also be the first glimpse at redshirt freshman Kiondre Thomas, who is a near lock to start at cornerback opposite Antonio Shenault. Safety Jacob Huff is also one to watch after receiving raves from Fleck this spring for his playmaking ability.

Spring Position Previews

Quarterback

Running Back

Wide Receiver

Tight End

Offensive Line

Defensive Line

Linebacker

Defensive Back

A Special Request from Coach Fleck

P.J. Fleck issued a special request earlier this week for those who are planning to attend the spring game on Saturday: