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Minnesota Football: Gophers set for 11 a.m. kickoff against Nebraska

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Minnesota looks to return to action after a two-week hiatus

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have not seen the field since their 34-31 win over Purdue on Friday, Nov. 20 due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program, but the Gophers could return to action on Saturday, Dec. 12 against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 11 a.m. in Lincoln and will be televised on either FS1 or the Big Ten Network.

The Cornhuskers are 2-4 but coming off perhaps their best game of the season, defeating Purdue on the road, 37-27. Nebraska started the season 0-2 after losses to Ohio State and Northwestern, then rebounded to beat a Penn State team that was winless at the time. But the Huskers laid an egg the following week in a 41-23 loss to Illinois at home and then traveled to Iowa City to suffer a 26-20 loss in a tightly-contested battle with the Hawkeyes.

Minnesota is 2-3 on the season, but has not played since Week 5. The Gophers were forced to cancel back-to-back games against Wisconsin and Northwestern due to a COVID outbreak that saw 49 individuals — 23 student-athletes and 26 staff members — test positive since Nov. 19. Minnesota announced that the program had been cleared to hold light workouts on Wednesday, Dec. 2, but no announcement regarding a return to normal practice has been made as of yet. If the Gophers are able to play against Nebraska, they will almost certainly have a number of players unavailable, including star wide receiver Rashod Bateman, who opted out of the season and declared for the NFL Draft shortly after the Wisconsin game was cancelled.