Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Minnesota Golden Gophers season with what you need to know.
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
– What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Minnesota Previews 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
2018 Record: 7-6 overall, 3-6 in Big Ten
Head Coach: PJ Fleck, 3rd year, 12-13
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MINNESOTA OFFENSE
– As long as the running game is working, all is fine with the Minnesota world. The backs are there to be magnificent after the team finished eighth in the Big Ten averaging 173 yards per game, but it all depends on whether or not all the parts can play. Mo Ibrahim took over the workload and turned in a 1,160-yard, nine-touchdown season, and Bryce Williams added 502 yards as a freshman, too. If Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks can make some sort of an impact early on after returning leg and knee injuries, respectively, look out.
– The O line has to replace OT Donnell Greene and C Jared Weyler after doing an okay job in pass protection and coming together for the ground game. The puzzle will be a work in progress throughout fall camp, but MASSIVE 6-9, 400-pound Daneil Faalele is almost certain to start at one tackle job, and veterans Conner Olson and Blaise Andries will get the call somewhere in the interior. If nothing else, this will be a Big Ten-sized front five.
– When was the last time Minnesota had a receiving corps this good? Tyler Johnson is a legitimate top 100 pro prospect with good size and deep play ability, and the young group that got its feet wet last season is now about to blossom – if the quarterback play is stronger. The Gophers have depth – that goes for the tight ends, too -there’s a fantastic No. 2 guy in Rashod Bateman, and there are plenty of options. That means …
– The Gophers need steadier, better quarterback play. It’s not that Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad were bad, but they weren’t great. Morgan was able to be a little more explosive down the field, but Annexstad was the main man for the first half of last season. The running game will butter the bread, but if one of the QB options – throw freshmen Jacob Clark and Cole Kramer in that ring, too – can be consistent, the O will be terrific.