Weber Intercepted, But Not Sidelined

Quarterback Adam Weber is close to a dubious ranking nationally, but he still has the support of his head coach as giving the Gophers the best chance to win.

Gophers redshirt freshman Adam Weber is tied for the second-most interceptions in Division I-A this season with 12 and the team is 1-5, but coach Tim Brewster said he has no plans to make a switch at quarterback.

"I truly believe that Adam Weber still gives us the best chance to win for what it is we're doing," Brewster said. "Obviously, the turnovers have to be minimized. He's got to continue to grow and get better."

Weber threw two more interceptions in a 40-20 loss at Indiana Oct. 6. One came on a deflected pass, which Indiana's Leslie Majors caught while on his back. Weber ranks 19th nationally in total offense (301.8 yards per game), is second on the team in rushing (268) and has accounted for 16 touchdowns (13 passing and three rushing).

Brewster reiterated that he won't have a quick hook for his young quarterback. Junior backup Tony Mortensen has yet to play this season.

"If I felt Tony gave us the best chance to win, I would play him," Brewster said. "But I don't think that's the case at this particular point."

As for the long-term outlook, Brewster said the quarterback position will be evaluated just like any other position.

"If we're winning, and [Weber] is an established starter, then obviously you've got no competition," Brewster said. "But obviously, if we continue on like we're continuing, sure it's got to be open. Who gives us the best chance to win, regardless of position? If you're not winning, you better find somebody who's going to help you win."

The Gophers, who are off to their worst start since 1992, will face yet another spread offense Oct. 13 at Northwestern. Wildcats quarterback C.J. Bacher torched Michigan State for a school-record 520 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-41 overtime victory last week.

Considering Minnesota's ugly track record against spread offenses and Northwestern's surging confidence, this game has a chance to be another long day for the defense. Ohio State is the only opponent that didn't consistently spread the field with four and five wide receivers against the Gophers.

"We've got to get faster and more athletic," Brewster said. "That's where we've got to go on defense versus all these spread teams. To be honest with you, we were a better matchup for Ohio State than we were Indiana — as crazy as that sounds."

NOTES

  • DE Willie VanDeSteeg collected his first sack of the season Oct. 6, after finishing with 10 last season. VanDeSteeg, who's playing with a broken right wrist, also had three tackles for loss.

  • SS Dominique Barber finished with a one sack and five solo tackles. He leads the team in tackles (51) and solo tackles (39).


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