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Bowl Game Or Bust? Gophs Believe They’ll Get There

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(credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)

(credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The start of the season always brings optimism.

Players at Minnesota insist this is different. They’re determined to get back to a bowl game.

Gophers coach Jerry Kill has a history of guiding improvement. At each of his previous stops, Saginaw Valley State, Emporia State, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois, Kill’s teams had a better record in his second year.

Minnesota is coming off consecutive 3-9 finishes. Quarterback MarQueis Gray returns after an up-and-down first season as a starter. Running back and wide receiver positions are wide open, but the offensive line is more experienced and largely intact. The development of a mostly young defense might be the biggest key for the Gophers this year.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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