By the numbers: Minnesota



Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck on the sidelines during the first quarter against Maryland at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. The visiting Terrapins won, 31-24. (Elizabeth Flores/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

The last time Minnesota made an appearance in Kinnick Stadium, it turned out to be one of those games not easily forgotten by those who were there.

Also under the lights, as this one will end up being at some point, nearly 71,000 fans watched Iowa defeat the Gophers, 40-35, for its 10th win of the season, the first time in school history that the Hawkeyes had ever been 10-0.

In a 0-turnover game, Iowa put up 506 yards of offense and completed 27 first downs en route to the win.

Back then, Minnesota ran a pass-heavy offense as quarterback Mitch Leidner threw for 2,701 yards. Now, the Gophers lean much more on the running game to take care of most of the offense.

Minnesota in 2017 is much different from the last time it visited Kinnick. Here’s a look at the Gophers, by the numbers.

Number of running backs with 50+ carries: 3

Minnesota’s offensive coordinator has plenty of options when it comes to whom the quarterback should hand the ball.

Rodney Smith, Shannon Brooks, and Kobe McCrary all have more than 50 rush attempts, and together, the three have garnered 1,135 of Minnesota’s 1,335 yards on the ground. Demry Croft, one of Minnesota’s quarterbacks, has an additional 25 carries for 159 yards in addition to the backs.

Smith, Brooks, and McCrary have also combined for 11 of Minnesota’s 21 touchdowns.

Though not as much of a threat through the air as they are on the ground, all three have received passes as well — Smith and Brooks have 57 and 59 receiving yards, respectively.

RELATED: Gophers face new culture

Starting quarterbacks: 2

Head coach P.J. Fleck has been back and forth on which of his two quarterbacks will play.

Croft was the most recent to start under center for the Gophers in their win over Illinois last weekend. However, the sophomore had a less-than-impressive outing, completing just 5 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown while throwing 2 interceptions.

Before the Illinois game, Croft had only appeared in two other games — Michigan State on Oct. 14 and Buffalo in the opener.

Conor Rhoda, on the other hand, has played in every game except Illinois and has put together 839 of Minnesota’s 1,112 passing yards. However, he has also thrown just 5 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in those six games.

Turnover ratio: +0.57

Through Minnesota’s first seven games, the team has created a whole lot of turnovers.

The Gophers have picked up 8 fumbles and forced 7 interceptions, while giving up 11 turnovers of their own.

The defensive threats come from everywhere, too. Ten different players have managed to get their hands on the ball on defense.

Facebook Comments