Season Practice Report

After a tough loss to South Dakota on Saturday, the Gophers wasted no time in getting back to work to prepare for their second home game against the USC Trojans.

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.

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