Fleck Names Conor Rhoda Gophers Starting Quarterback

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – After a dominant performance in a 48-14 win at Oregon State, the University of Minnesota football team will no longer split quarterback duties.

Gophers coach PJ Fleck said Monday fifth-year senior Conor Rhoda will be the starting quarterback going forward. He had previously split time with redshirt sophomore Demry Croft, who could still see time in a reserve role. But Rhoda will get a majority of the snaps going forward, which Fleck said he deserves.

Rhoda took command of the Gophers’ offense Saturday night, throwing for 158 yards and a touchdown on seven completions. But it was his leadership in the huddle and decision-making that led Fleck to his decision.

Rhoda found Tyler Johnson for a 67-yard touchdown in the first quarter of Saturday’s win over the Beavers. It was virtually the same play Johnson scored on a long touchdown against Buffalo in the season opener.

In the opening win over Buffalo, Rhoda was 12-of-20 passing for 176 yards and a touchdown. He did have an interception deep in Buffalo territory that ended a potential scoring drive. But Croft also fumbled against Oregon State, which led to a touchdown to get the Beavers within 17-14.

The Gophers (2-0) host Middle Tennessee State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday for their final non-conference game.

Fleck announced Tuesday that Croft will not play Saturday and will not be with the team due to unspecified personal reasons. Fleck said Seth Green will be the back-up quarterback.

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