MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Most power conference teams expect to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback against weaker competition in the non-conference schedule.

For Minnesota, it’s cause for celebration. The Golden Gophers have six sacks in the first two games against UNLV and New Hampshire. Those are big numbers considering they had only 19 sacks last season. Only one Gopher has registered double-digit sacks for a season since 2000.

Converted tight end Ra’Shede Hageman is off to a fast start. He has three sacks, just ahead of D.L. Wilhite for the team lead. Hageman says he feels more comfortable on the defensive line in his junior year after getting just two sacks last season.

The Gophers play pass-happy Western Michigan on Saturday, which will give them more chances to boost that total.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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