Fall Practice Report: 9/7

Because of a windy, rainy day in Dinkytown, the Gophers practiced indoors Tuesday at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex. The running game and defensive line looked to be continuing their great play in practice.

The Gophers looked to improve on their impressive running performance last week by practicing running plays and making holes for the halfbacks. Minnesota had a dominating performance in their first game, rushing for 281 yards against Middle Tennessee State. Establishing a running game has been top priority this season due to the fact that the Gophers averaged less than 100 yards per game on the ground.

Starting running back Duane Bennett looked to still be working hard at practice even after an amazing game last Thursday where he racked up 187 yards on 30 carries. True freshman Donnell Kirkwood also looked good today, hitting the hole with a good burst and then accelerating into the secondary. Expect to the Gophers to continue with their run dominance against the University of South Dakota.

The defensive line worked hard on agility drills as well as flexibility drills. The big men on the line held the Blue Raiders to just 146 yards rushing. This was an impressive feat considering the high-powered spread offense that MTSU used.

Defensive tackles, Brandon Kirksey and Jewhan Edwards played well compiling five and four tackles respectively. The athletic defensive line looked fit and ready to practice. It is easy to see the line dominating the front five of South Dakota despite the size and depth of the Coyotes.

Quarterback Marqueis Gray has been the talk of the pre-season due to his apparent change of position to wide receiver.

Yesterday in practice, Gray wore the yellow jersey of the quarterbacks while playing some snaps at quarterback and others at wide receiver. Having Gray back at quarterback puts some rumors to rest that he will be playing only at receiver.

It would appear that Gray will continue to play at wide receiver but is also the backup signal caller if Adam Weber gets hurt or does not perform up to standards.

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