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Each week we will be gathering the top notes from the previous Saturday and Tuesday’s press conference. Take a look below:
Gophers Sticking With Rhoda Boat
Conor Rhoda is 4-2 as a starter and Minnesota is 8-2 in games he has played in. He has started all five games for Minnesota this season and has completed 54-of-97 passes for 786 yards and five touchdowns. The Gophers have taken a big step in plays down the field with Rhoda under center. He is 16th in the NCAA and second in the Big Ten in yards per completion at 14.56 yards. He has eight completions in four games of 25 yards or greater. Minnesota ended last season with 18 completions longer than 25 yards and one of those was thrown by Rhoda. He has connected on three passes for 50 yards or more, which is more than all of last season when the Gophers had two completions greater than 50 yards. Two of Rhoda’s five passing touchdowns this year are greater than 60 yards and both were caught by Tyler Johnson.
“He's the best quarterback we have right now,” Fleck said. “That's the easiest way to be able to go through it in my mind as a head football coach. I mean, we wouldn't be 3-2 if it wasn't for Conor Rhoda.”
Fleck went on to talk about the end of game interception against Purdue and how Rhoda is growing each week.
“He's also made a lot of big-time throws for us. He's led our football team. He's done a lot of positive things for our communities, done a lot of positive things to bring this team in collectively together,” Fleck said. “He is the leader of this football team. But just because he's made a few mistakes doesn't mean I'm going to pull him out.”
Anything Can Happen At Night
Fleck said he did not want the team to get more excited for one game more than another just because it is night but did acknowledge what kind of atmosphere is possible playing a ranked team under the lights at TCF Bank Stadium.
“Anything happens at night. They talk about LSU at night, all the things in college football of what could happen,” Fleck said. “But again, it's another opportunity for us to play. It just happens to be dark. But I think it's really cool that the 21st ranked team in the country is coming to TCF Bank Stadium.”
Respect for Dantonio
P.J. Fleck played Michigan State when he was at Western Michigan and had nothing but positive things to say about the Spartans and head coach Mark Dantonio.
“One thing I'll say about Mark Dantonio is they were 3-9 last year, they're 4-1 this year, ranked 21st in the country. That's him. That's who he is,” Fleck said. “That's what type of culture he runs. And that's the type of program he leads. And I think he's a Hall of Fame coach and one of the best in the country.”
More Geese Talk?
Tuesday’s press conference ended on an entertaining note between the geese in the room that made headlines last week and the duck, duck, gray duck vs. duck, duck, goose debate.
“Yeah, geese have been here for a long time, guys. I mean, yeah, been here a long time,” Fleck laughed. “And so you guys asked about them. They were a big story last week. Some of you made it like a reaction, like: Okay, they lost that game, so he brought the geese out, you know. The geese have been here.”
As for the duck, duck, goose vs. duck, duck, gray duck controversy?
— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) October 10, 2017
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Minnesota will welcome Indiana to TCF Bank Stadium for the first time ever in 2018. The Big Ten Conference announced today that the game will now be played on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.