The best news for Gophers fans will be the return of safety Kyle Theret to the starting secondary. The Gopher defense allowed 352 yards through the air to South Dakota. The holes in Minnesota's secondary were obvious. Adding an experienced player like Theret will boost the defense and help to stifle opponents' pass offenses.
Today in practice, Theret took control of the secondary, yelling out plays and pointing his teammates into position. Theret was also called on to be the gunner on punts.
He looked confident and like a leader that the Gopher defense will need when they take on the Trojans this Saturday.
An interesting note from practice was that redshirt defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman lined up with the first team defense at tackle for some snaps. Junior Brandon Kirksey will obviously be the starter but it looks as though the team plans to line Hageman up both at end and at tackle.
At Tuesday's press conference, Coach Brewster said of Hageman playing defensive tackle, "Right now he's still playing a little bit of both spots. We're trying to limit what we ask of him so he can come on and get on the field and help us. But I think you'll see him some inside and at the defense end the rest of the season."
Hageman who is 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds is reportedly the strongest player in the Gophers' roster. With that size and strength he should have no problem lining up at tackle on some plays.
The depth chart for this week was released today and senior offensive tackle Dom Alford is eligible to play in Saturday's game but will be a backup to redshirt freshman Ed Olson. Olson who has impressed Brewster throughout the fall will keep his starting job over the experienced Alford.
When asked about how Olson has performed thus far, Brewster said, "Really good. I mean, for a redshirt freshman, Ed Olson has been, I can't tell you how pleased I am with him. I think it says a lot that with Dom Alford coming back, we still have Dom as the third tackle and not ahead of Eddie." Having Alford back gives the Gophers some added depth on the offensive line.
To share your thoughts on this article please go to Gopher Football Forum.
Season Practice Report
Gopher Illustrated Top Stories
2018 Minnesota Recruiting: Point GuardGopher Head Coach Richard Pitino added a top point guard in his 2017 class but is also looking for another ball handler for his 2018 group.
Gopher Illustrated1:35 PM
2018 Minnesota Recruiting: Shooting GuardThe shooting guard position is one that Minnesota seems to be putting a big emphasis on for the 2018 class.
Gopher Illustrated10:25 AM
Know Your Enemy: IllinoisIllinois publisher Jeremy Werner of the IlliniInquierer.com breaks down the Illinois Fighting Illini as Minnesota searches for their third straight Big Ten win.
Gopher IllustratedYesterday at 6:05 AM
Hoops Notebook: Media DayMinnesota Basketball opened their doors to the media today with the team speaking to press from the state. GI runs you through the important details of today’s media session.
Gopher IllustratedTuesday at 3:39 PM
GI GIF Rewind 2nd half: RutgersGopherIllustrated takes a look at Minnesota's homecoming win against Rutgers 34-32 through GIF's of the plays that mattered in the second half.
Gopher IllustratedTuesday at 6:00 AM