Sep 30, 2022 - Sports

Gophers could crack top 15 ranking with homecoming win

Gophers players celebrate

Gophers cornerback Ryan Stapp (22) celebrates a sack with his teammates during a win over Michigan State. Photo: Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Gophers have steamrolled into this Saturday's homecoming game against Purdue and have a chance to crack a top 15 ranking with a win.

State of play: Minnesota is 4-0 and has outscored its opponents 183 to 24. The starting defensive unit has not given up a touchdown all year.

  • The team got its first big test last Saturday at Michigan State. The Gophers pummeled the Spartans, 34-7.
  • The Gophers are now ranked No. 21 by the Associated Press. The last time they were a top-15 team was November 2019.

Between the lines: Quarterback Tanner Morgan, who has had an up-and-down career at Minnesota, is meshing well with offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, who returned to the Gophers after a couple seasons away.

What's ahead: Coach P.J. Fleck likes to take the season one game at a time, but fans are rightfully looking ahead and sizing up the team's chances to win the Big Ten West, something it hasn't done in the eight years since the conference was split into two divisions.

  • If the Gophers keep it rolling, an Oct. 22 showdown at No. 11-ranked Penn State looms large over the schedule.

Something fun for non-football fans: Wide receiver Mike Brown-Stephens is the nephew of John Legend and broke one of the musician's Grammy awards when visiting him as a child.


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