What They're Saying - Aug. 5

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It all begins up front (GopherSports)
Some great items in the Goal Line Club Auction (GopherSports)
Kill talks about honoring Bob McNamara (Star Tribune)
Day 4 in photos (GopherGridiron)
More Leidner leadership, plus a chinstrap reference (CSNChicago)
The greatest individual season by a Gopher is... (ESPN.com)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Offensive line looks to be versatile (FSN)
A look at Eastern Illinois (The Daily Gopher)
Gophers fourth practice got a little intense (Star Tribune)
Anyanwu lost to knee injury (Pioneer Press and FSN)
Cobb doesn't want any regrets (Star Tribune)

What They're Saying - Aug. 4

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Boys of Fall Elite Camp was a memorable experience for fans (GopherSports)
Joe C's notebook from Minnesota's third practice (Star Tribune)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Practice three in photos (GopherGridiron and Star Tribune)
Sophomore receivers taking on leadership role (FSN)
KFAN's Cake Show broadcasted live from Sunday's practice (KFAN)
Kill checks in at No. 25 (Yahoo Sports)
Cobb looking for a memorable season (Pioneer Press)

What They're Saying - Aug. 3

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Leidner is the Boss (Star Tribune)
Stellar secondary (FSN)
We are all thinking about Duke and wishing him well (Star Tribune)
The third and final (for the immediate future) Olson to wear No. 58 (Pioneer Press)
Day 2 in pictures (GopherGridiron.com)

What They're Saying - Aug. 2

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Quick recap, photos and honoring the late Bob McNamara (GopherSports)
Camp Audio: Kill l Leidner l Campion l M. Williams 
Where will Josh Campion end up? (Pioneer Press)
Gophers boast big tight ends (Star Tribune)
Complete camp schedule (GopherSports)
Minnesota relying on strong defense (Scoggins)
Leidner is clear leader for Maroon and Gold (FSN)
More pretty pictures (Star Tribune)

What They're Saying - Aug. 1

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Fall camp practice schedule (GopherSports)
Gophers are not lacking leaders (Star Tribune)
Cobb embraces role (Minnesota Daily)
Here we go (The Daily Gopher)
Position previews (FSN)
A look at the running back (The Daily Gopher)
Kill wants Gophers starving (CSNChicago)
Watch Lists: Cobb l Olson l Mortell l M. Williams
Gophers jump into professional development (GopherSports)
Kill encouraged as Gophers open camp (Sid)
Gophers looking to build on success (Bring Me The News)
Five things to look for as camp opens (WCCO and Pioneer Press)
Leidner worked out with NFL players this summer (FSN)
Kill brimming with confidence (PennLive)
Mortell has lofty goals this year (Green Bay Press Gazette)
Kill on the rise (Yahoo! slide seven)
Leidner sees passing game improving (Pioneer Press)
Gophers looking to make strides (Chicago Tribune)
Leidner is the guy in charge (Detroit News)
MSU's Dantonio likes Gophers (Star Tribune)
Photo day fun (GopherSports)

What They're Saying - National Signing Day

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If you missed National Signing Day yesterday (and really, how could you?) then we have you covered. Below is a roundup of clips from Minnesota and from around the country and North America of the newest Gophers.

GopherSports: Signing Day Central

Sid: Kill fought hard to land top recruits

Star Tribune: Gophers get their guy

Star Tribune: Wayzata tight end has size and talent U was looking for

Star Tribune: Gophers recruiting class

Pioneer Press: Jones signs with Gophers

Pioneer Press: Stelter looks forward to signing with "great group"

Pioneer Press: Gophs' class best of Kill's tenure

Jeff Jones, the state's number one recruit, signed an NLI with the Gophers Wednesday.

Minnesota Daily: No. 1 recruit Jones commits to Gophers

ESPN.com: Kill says latest class must help "turn the tide"

Owatonna Peoples Press: Stelter signs with Minnesota

ESPN.com: Recruiting Q&A with Jerry Kill

Montreal Gazette: Kafo gets scholarship at Minnesota

AL.com: Gibson heading to Minnesota

Local15tv.com: Gibson to Minnesota

The Telegraph: James signs with Minnesota

Clayton News Daily: Mundy's Mill has historic signing day and Players willing to travel far to play college football

BTN.com: Kill talks Signing Day

FoxSportsNorth: Jones to follow in Hageman's footsteps

Hageman Turning Heads At Senior Bowl

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Minnesota fans have long known about the dominance and confidence of defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman, but now the rest of the football world is taking notice as well.

Hageman is in Mobile, Ala., this week prepping for Saturday's Senior Bowl and by all accounts turned in a strong first practice. The Senior Bowl is at 3 p.m. on Saturday and will air on the NFL Network.

Here are some of the observations of Hageman after the first day of practice.

Axe Week Attention

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This Saturday, two 8-2 teams will meet on the gridiron in the most-played rivalry in Division I FBS football: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin. Paul Bunyan's Axe entered the scene in 1948, and the teams have played for it ever since. 

Leading into the 2013 edition of the Border Battle, both the rivalry and the Gopher coaching staff have captured the media's attention. Catch up on some of the national and athletic department coverage here:

During the week...

...Coach Kill's toughness and the Gophers' unique situation were featured in:
*CBSSports.com's front page, in an article by Dennis Dodd
*ESPN.com's college football front page, in an article and video by Ivan Maisel
*USA Today's front sports page, in a feature by Erik Brady
*The Minnesota Daily, in a story by Sam Gordon and Dane Mizutani

...members of the team talked about the historic rivalry:

...ESPN.com did stories on:

...fans had a chance to remember some of the game-changing moments in past Axe games:

...and the team prepared for a game with this on the line:

Gophers' Belief Leads to Historic Win

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MINNEAPOLS, Minn. - In the Minnesota locker room following last week's 20-17 win at Northwestern, the Gophers' coaches talked about how much this year's team could accomplish if it just believes in itself.

One of the things mentioned in that victorious celebration was that the Gophers had what it takes to beat Nebraska. That was a bold statement, given that the Huskers entered today's game without a loss in the series in more than 50 years.

Well, it looks like Minnesota's players took that message to heart.

On Saturday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium, Minnesota rallied from an early 10-0 deficit to defeat the No. 21/25 Huskers, 34-23.

Led by sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson, junior running back David Cobb, and an inspired defense, the Golden Gophers scored 17 unanswered points to take a 17-13 lead at the half. Minnesota then scored the first 10 points of the second half to build a 27-13 lead and hold on for the win.

After the game, fans stormed the field and a mass celebration took place around the 50 yard line.

Here are some of the things the Gophers accomplished with the milestone victory:

--Minnesota defeated Nebraska for the first time since a 26-14 win on Sept. 24, 1960, snapping a 16-game losing streak versus NU

--Minnesota scored its most points against the Huskers since a 39-20 win in Minneapolis on Oct. 20, 1951

--The Gophers improved to 6-2 this season, qualifying for a bowl berth for the second consecutive year

--Minnesota recorded its first win versus a nationally-ranked opponent since defeating No. 24 Iowa, 27-24, to end the 2010 season

The win created such a buzz on Twitter that the person updating Minnesota's Game Day Blog could hardly keep up with the traffic.

Nelson entered the game with 8:41 remaining in the second quarter and the Gophers trailing, 10-7. He immediately led Minnesota on a seven-play, 88-yard drive, completing two passes for 53 yards in the process.

The key play on the drive was a 33-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Engel on 4th and 10. Engel beat two Nebraska defenders on a post route and made a leaping grab of Nelson's pass, giving Minnesota a 14-10 lead with 6:21 left in the half.

"When the play call came in, I knew I was the go-to on that play," Engel said. "Philip put a good ball up there, and at first I thought it was going to be overthrown, but it hung in the air. So I stuck a foot and put my hands up and the next thing I knew it was a touchdown."

Here's another milestone - when Engel scored that touchdown, it gave Minnesota its first lead versus the Huskers since 1969. Yes, you read that correctly.

Cobb also played a huge role for the Gophers, as he recorded his second-straight 100-yard rushing game by carrying 31 times for 138 yards, both career-highs. Cobb's performance helped the Gophers rush for 271 yards on 54 attempts, an average of 5.0 yards per carry.

"From the first quarter on, throughout the game, the offensive line had a great push and as a running back if there's no penetration you can see you gaps, holes and cuts and it makes it easy," Cobb said. "So they did a great job of play action pass and it opened up the lines for me. Really, it was more the O-line and just the whole play-calling scheme more so than me."

Defensively, the Gophers allowed 88 yards and 10 points on Nebraska's first two drives of the game, but then settled down to surrender just 81 yards and three points the remainder of the half.

The strong defensive play for Minnesota continued into the third quarter, as the Gophers forced Nebraska into three-and-outs on its first two possessions, while Minnesota's offense took the opportunity to score 10 points and build a 27-13 advantage with 2:33 left in the third.

At that point, the Gophers had outscored the Huskers, 27-3, since the 7:06 mark of the first quarter. Those in the crowd of 49,995 dressed in Maroon and Gold were ecstatic, while those wearing red were in shock.

"I think we all just have this confidence right now," Nelson said after the game. "We know that we can compete with anyone and that's the main thing as a football player. You just have to believe in yourself and that you are going to go out there and compete. That's where we are at right now."

Nebraska fought back, scoring the next 10 points to cut Minnesota's lead to 27-23 with 9:26 remaining. But the Gophers' defense once again did its part to allow Minnesota to retain the lead by forcing a 37-yard field goal by Pat Smith instead of allowing a tying touchdown.

After Nebraska forced a punt to regain possession with 5:50 left in the game, Minnesota's defense did its job once again. The Gophers dropped the Huskers for minus-2 yards and forced a punt, which Sam Foltz shanked out of bounds at the Huskers' 34.

On the ensuing drive, Cobb carried six times for 16 yards and Nelson completed a key 20-yard pass to freshman tight end Maxx Williams, before Nelson sealed the monumental victory with a one-yard touchdown run with 0:48 seconds left.

And, in the end, Minnesota's defense came up big once again, as senior defensive back Jeremy Baltazar intercepted Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez with 0:16 left.

"We are starting to believe and that's all that really needs to be said right now," Nelson said. "We have the confidence rolling from week to week and we are finally starting to realize how good we really can be."

Believing in themselves, the Gophers accomplished what few outside the program thought they could do. Now it's on to Indiana, a team Minnesota last faced during 2008.

Belief. It can create a confidence and a swagger that can help a team accomplish great things.

Saturday's performance versus the Huskers was a perfect example.

Get Ready to #BringFloydHome

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Floyd of Rosedale is on the line this Saturday when the Gophers take on Iowa at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota looks to reclaim the beloved bronze pig it won in both 2010 and 2011 before the Hawkeyes took him back last year. Get ready to #BringFloydHome by catching up on some of this week's coverage.

The history of Floyd of Rosedale (GopherSports)
Game sold out (Pioneer Press)
Line play will be key (ESPN.com)
Floyd, 5-0 record on the line (FSN)
Coaches to wear special patches for MD fundraising (Star Tribune
How to be a Gopher fan (GopherSports)


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