Gopher Football: Defense Still Suspect

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(credit: CBS) Mike Max
Mike Max returned to WCCO-TV as a sports reporter and anchor in Apr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Gopher football team is just one day away from kicking off its season at UNLV.

Training camps bring optimism, and the Gophers traditionally fall into that category believing the pieces are in place on offense.

“We have size and speed with the running backs, and with the receivers,” said quarterback MarQueis Gray.

It’s difficult enough to predict the Gopher offense, but the other side of the ball is just as perplexing because the defense is usually the reason Minnesota comes up short.

And specifically it’s pass defense. This year, the Gophers have safeties that haven’t played there before.

“There’s been some mistakes, and still are, but they’re getting less and less,” said junior defensive back Brock Vereen.

That might be the biggest concern, but there is more. The defense is a unit untested without a real stand out.

“A lot of kids that haven’t played a lot, and it’s similar a lot to a year ago in some aspects,” coach Jerry Kill said.

So the Gophers are hanging their hats on the second year under a coaching staff and hoping that is enough to take a step.

“The playbooks are the same, and as long as they’re the same, we can play fast,” senior defensive back Troy Stoudermire said.

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