1. David Cobb is the real deal- There wasn’t much doubt coming into the year as Cobb ran for 1,202 yards last season including an impressive 101 yards against what was possibly the nation's best defense in Michigan State. Through five weeks, Cobb has rushed for 722 yards, including to games where he cracked the 200 yard mark. Cobb is third in the nation in rushing yards heading into the bye week after rushing for 183 yards against what was supposed to be a tough Michigan run defense. Cobb has also excelled in the passing game both as a blocker and out of the backfield catching balls. Cobb has a very good chance to play in the NFL.
2. Keeping things in the family- Cobb’s cousin Damian Wilson is the best Gopher linebacker in recent memory. Statistically, Wilson is one of the top linebackers in the Big Ten and the film backs that up. Wilson was one of the few bright spots in an ugly loss in Fort Worth against TCU. Like his cousin, Wilson has a realistic chance of playing on Sundays.
3. Leidner has work to do- After struggling mightily in his first three starts of the year Leidner came back to the Big House, where he started his first game, and looked like he did during fall camp. If he can maintain that level of play or progress at all the Gophers could be viable on offense. However, if he plays like he did against a tough TCU defense the Gophers aren’t going to win very often.
4. The defensive backs are as good as advertised- The defense as a whole has 8 interceptions and two of those are for touchdowns following linebacker De’Vondre Campbell’s pick six of Michigan. This unit is deep as well as talented with guys like Murray, Boddy, Wells, Travis, Johnson, and even true freshman Craig James contributing. The defensive backs seemed to hold up decently well against TCU thought they did allow a few circus catches it’s hard to place the blame on them.
5. The freshman defensive lineman are going to be a force to be reckoned with- Minnesota will lose Cameron Botticelli to graduation after this season, but Stephen Richardson has already shown he is ready to start as he’s constantly broken into the backfield alongside the senior. While Richardson may be short he plays with great leverage and has a great burst. Alongside Richardson at defensive tackle will be Stelter who has also played some at defensive end. Stelter has looked good at both spots, but as he puts on weight I expect him to see more and more time at defensive tackle. The final defensive tackle true freshman is Gary Moore who has flashed some potential, but needs some coaching still as he is very raw. On the outside Gaelin Elmore has consistently pressured the QB. As he develops he will hopefully see more time on running downs as he is capable of bursting into the backfield at any time.
Brice Marich also contributed to this report