Football Friday: Minnesota

7 a.m. - Indiana

8 a.m. - Iowa

9 a.m. - Michigan

10 a.m. - Michigan State

MINNESOTA

Spring game attendance: 7,700

Spring MVP: Adam Weber. The quarterback had offseason surgery on his nonthrowing shoulder and wasn't expected to do much during the spring. But with a change at offensive coordinator, Weber felt it was important to get some time on the field. He hit 9 of 12 passes in the spring game. Backup MarQueis Gray was even better in the final scrimmage, hitting 8 of 10 for 141 yards and two scores. But Weber is the starter.

What they're saying: "I think this team has a real edge to it. Physical toughness is a big part of that. This spring there was a big emphasis on being able to run the football. We showed that we can run the football and that we're going to be good at doing it. We still have a lot of work to do, but we really improved as a team this spring," Minnesota coach Tim Brewster on the difference between this year's team and the 2008 model.

What I'm thinking: Can the defense improve with Kevin Cosgrove in charge? The former Illinois and Wisconsin assistant was away from football for a year. After the way the Gophers finished in 2008, there is nowhere to go but up. But the defense isn't the only question. Will star receiver Eric Decker return or go into baseball? Can former News-Gazette All-Stater Duane Bennett regain the form he showed before suffering a torn ACL? Whoever ends up on the field will be playing in a magnicent new building. TCF Bank Stadium should provide a great homefield advantage for Minnesota, especially as the temperature goes down.

To ask Asmussen about the Gophers, click here

To read Asmussen's blogs on the Illini, click here

 

 

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

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