Minnesota Football 2013 Bowl Capsule

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Big Ten


When Minnesota’s only four losses on the year come against Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State, it is a successful season. The Golden Gophers had a relatively easy non-conference slate, but they did beat bowl eligible Mountain West teams UNLV and San Jose State. In conference play they defeated Northwestern, Nebraska, Indiana and Penn State, including wins on the road against the Wildcats and Hoosiers.

2013 Record: 8-4, 4-4
Coach: Jerry Kill
Coach Bowl Record: 0-3

Big Wins: 10/26 Nebraska (34-23), 11/9 Penn State (24-10)
Bad Losses: 9/28 Iowa (7-23), 10/5 at Michigan (13-42)

The Gophers defense will not create many turnovers, yet they have been solid all year long. Linebackers Damien Wilson and Aaron Hill have been good tacklers and have done a great job helping out in the run defense. The front four is led by Ra’Shede Hageman and Theiren Cockran. Hageman is an amazing athlete for a 6-6, 311 pound lineman and he does a great job of getting in lanes and knocking down passes. While the opposing quarterback worries about Hageman, Cockran will blindside them. He easily led the Golden Gophers in sacks with 7.5.

The offense found a productive running back in David Cobb. He ended up totaling 1,111 yards and seven scores on the ground. Even when Cobb is having a good day, this offense can be one-dimensional. Sophomore signal caller Philip Nelson has a nice arm and can be dangerous with his legs, but the overall passing attack will not scare many defensive backs. Nelson threw for just 1,288 yards and nine touchdowns on the year. Freshman quarterback Mitch Leidner will get some snaps and he threw for just 414 yards. Leidner is much, much more dangerous with his legs than his arm at this point in his career. A lack of production at wide receiver has not helped the quarterbacks. Derrick Engel is really this team’s only productive option and he spent the end of the year on the sidelines with an injury. He caught five of the team’s ten touchdown passes. Tight ends Maxx Williams and Drew Goodger accounted for the other five. Even while Engel was out, another wide receiver did not emerge as a consistent option for Nelson and Leidner.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: David Cobb, RB, 1,111 yards
Passing: Philip Nelson, QB, 1,288 yards
Receiving: Derrick Engel, WR, 401 yards
Tackles: Damien Wilson, LB, 70
Sacks: Theiren Cockran, DL, 7.5
Interceptions: Aaron Hill, LB, 2

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 200.9 (34th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 141.8 (116, 12)
Total Offense: 342.8 (105, 11)
Scoring Offense: 26.4 (79, 10)
Rushing Defense: 154.0 (52, 7)
Pass Defense: 217.3 (41, 5)
Total Defense: 271.3 (41, 7)
Scoring Defense: 22.3 (29, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.3 (44, 4)
Sacks: 1.42 (103, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 1,92 (60, 8)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2012    Car Care of Texas Bowl    Texas Tech (31-34)
2009    Insight Bowl        Iowa State (13-14)
2008    Insight Bowl        Kansas (21-42)
2006    Insight Bowl        Texas Tech (41-44)
2005    Music City Bowl    Virginia (31-34)
2004    Music City Bowl    Alabama (20-16)

*all team stats through 11/30


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