Briefs: Fruechte is Living a Dream With Gophers

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Fruechte is Living a Dream With Gophers

Isaac Fruechte has always dreamed of playing football for the University of Minnesota, and now that dream is flourishing.

The redshirt sophomore wide receiver transferred from Rochester (Minn.) Community and Technical College in January after earning second-team All-Minnesota Junior and Community College Conference honors in 2010. He's a graduate of Caledonia High School, where he earned all-state recognition and helped his dad Carl win state titles in 2007 and 2008.

Fruechte had one catch for seven yards in the season-opening win at UNLV, and Saturday afternoon he caught his first career touchdown for the Gophers as he played in front of numerous friends and family members. Fruechte's touchdown covered 27 yards and gave the Gophers an early 9-0 lead.

His dad and uncle are longtime season ticket-holders, and Isaac used to attend Gopher football practices and games as a kid. Now he's suiting up for the team he always wanted to play for and is making a difference for the undefeated Gophers.

Shortell Shines in Limited Action

Sophomore quarterback Max Shortell made his first appearance for the Golden Gophers on Saturday, entering the game early in the fourth quarter and leading the team to its final touchdown.

Shortell was very efficient in his time on the field, completing five of his six pass attempts for 72 yards and his third career TD. He added 17 rushing yards on three carries as the Gophers scored more than 40 points for the first time since a 42-34 win versus Michigan State on Oct. 31, 2009.

The 6-foot-6, 237-pound signal caller from Shawnee Mission, Kan., played in eight games and made two starts for Minnesota in 2011, completing 26-of-54 passes for 309 yards and two TDs.

Wilhite, Hageman Anchor Stout Defensive Line

Minnesota's defensive line was stellar once again, as the Gophers limited New Hampshire to 68 yards rushing, while recording four sacks and nine tackles for loss.

"I think the most impressive thing for me from the defensive side of the ball is, I think, our defensive line was really getting off the football."

Most notable was the play of senior defensive end D.L. Wilhite and junior nose tackle Ra'Shede Hageman. Wilhite finished with five tackles, including 1.5 sacks for 12 yards in losses and 2.5 tackles for loss. Hageman led the Gophers with two sacks for 15 yards in losses and had three tackles overall.

Wilhite credited Gophers strength and conditioning coach Eric Klein for having the team ready to go after last week's triple-overtime win at UNLV.

 "Where it shows and where Coach Klein really shines is like last week when we had to go into triple overtime," he said. "Coach Klein really does a great job of making sure everyone is in great shape. There's really no slow down... everyone needs to come out with that same kind of energy and we can do that because of Coach Klein."

For the season, Minnesota has already recorded six sacks, and the Gophers' defense has now limited its past three opponents to less than 300 total offensive yards. Last year, Minnesota's first 11 opponents all accounted for more than 300 yards of offense.


- Article written by Minnesota staffer Michael Molde

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