Gopher Ground Game Will Be Key In Texas

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Go Gophers! Donnell Kirkwood
Go Gophers!
Donnell Kirkwood has rushed for 849 yards this year, which includes three 100-yard rushing games.
Go Gophers!
The Gophers will participate in their 15th bowl game when they play Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas on Dec. 28. Minnesota has had a 100-yard rusher in seven of its previous 14 bowl games. The Gophers have had eight 100-yard rushers in bowl history, as both Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney topped 100 yards in a win against Alabama in the 2004 Music City Bowl.

Tellis Redmond owns the school record for rushing in a bowl game, as he rumbled for 246 yards against N.C. State in the 2000 MicronPC Bowl.

Coach Jerry Kill has said numerous times that he wants to have a team that can establish the run, so fans should keep an eye on Donnell Kirkwood and Rodrick Williams on Dec. 28.

Kirkwood has carried the ball 199 times this year for 849 yards. He has three 100-yard games this season and also added 99 yards against Syracuse. The Gophers are 4-0 in those games and 6-1 when he rushes for more than 70 yards (rushed for 73 yards in 21-13 loss vs. Northwestern). Kirkwood is the first Gopher running back to rush for more than 800 yards in a season since Amir Pinnix did so in 2006.

Williams made his collegiate debut against Northwestern and has played in the final seven games of the season. The true freshman has rushed for 201 yards on 45 carries and Minnesota is 2-0 when he rushes for more than 40 yards.

Another Gopher who is sure to have the ball in his hands in Houston is wide receiver/quarterback MarQueis Gray. The senior has five career 100-yard rushing games and Minnesota is 3-2 when Gray hits the century mark.

Most Yards Rushed For By A Gopher In A Bowl Game
246 Tellis Redmond vs. N.C. State (2000 MicronPC)
187 Marion Barber III vs. Alabama (2004 Music City)
179 Amir Pinnix vs. Texas Tech (2006 Insight)
136 Darrell Thompson vs. Tennessee (1986 Liberty)
131 Laurence Maroney vs. Oregon (2003 Sun)
109 Laurence Maroney vs. Virginia (2005 Music City)
105 Laurence Maroney vs. Alabama (2004 Music City)
100 Thomas Tapeh vs. Arkansas (2002 Music City)

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