What's in Store for Football Team?

Where will the Gophers end up for a bowl game … if any? They really don't know, but they do know what they have to get their heads right before then. Here's a snapshot review/preview.

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: There is little doubt about the running game. There were a couple of blips against Michigan State and Wisconsin, but the Gophers can run the ball with the best of them, with RBs Laurence Maroney and Marion Barber and a solid line.

However, QB Bryan Cupito slumped in the second half after a solid start and he needs to regain his confidence and consistency.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: The Gophers played with plenty of fire and passion in the last regular-season game against Iowa, but with not much effectiveness. Even though they knew the Hawkeyes could not run the ball, the Gophers were powerless to stop the pass.

Iowa threw for 333 passing yards against Minnesota and the Gophers allow 268.1 passing yards per game — a figure that ranks last in the Big ten.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We'll get a bowl game. I think so. I don't know what will happen over the next few weeks but I don't mind at all where we play. We just have to get our minds right for the next game." — Minnesota RB Marion Barber on playing in the postseason.

THIS WEEK'S GAME: The regular season is over — The Gophers have to wait to see where they will play in the postseason. While they lost five of their last six games, Minnesota still had a winning record, and a bowl berth is likely.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: RBs Laurence Maroney and Marion Barber — The Gophers run the football extremely well, thanks to this duo and an outstanding offensive line led by C Greg Eslinger and LT Rian Melander. Maroney has run for 1,243 yards and has averaged 6.6 yards per carry, while Barber has gained 1,082 yards and averaged 5.6 ypc.

LB Kyle McKenzie — The defense lacks overall size, but that does not apply to the 6-1, 230 pound McKenzie. He leads the team with 75 tackles, including seven for loss and 2.5 sacks.

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