Minnesota Golden Gophers
TCF Bank Stadium (50,805/FieldTurf)
Saturday, September 22 • 8 p.m. • Big Ten Network
Big Ten Network — Matt Shephard, Chris Martin and Jay Wilson
WTKW-FM 99.5 (flagship)
Saturday’s game will be the third meeting between Syracuse and Minnesota … The Golden Gophers hold a 2-1 series lead after a 23-20 overtime win at the Carrier Dome in the 2009 season-opener … Syracuse held a 20-14 halftime lead in that game, but Minnesota K Eric Ellestand provided the only scoring the rest of the way with three field goals after intermission … The only Syracuse win in the series was a 27-17 decision in 1995.
Doug Marrone (Syracuse ’91)
18-22, fourth season
Syracuse picked up its first win of the season with a 28-17 victory against Stony Brook at the Carrier Dome last week … The Orange face their second Big Ten opponent of the season after opening the 2012 season with a 42-41 loss to Northwestern …Sandwiched between those results is a 42-29 setback to then-No. 2 USC … The Orange play a true road game for the first time this season … Syracuse is establishing itself as one of the nation’s most prolific offensive teams this year … The Orange rank 15th nationally in total offense (533.3 ypg) and third in passing offense (379.7 ypg) … The focal point is QB Ryan Nassib, who has thrown for 1,139 yards and nine touchdowns with three interceptions … Nassib has completed 97 of 147 passes (66.0 percent) and has thrown for at least 300 yards in all three games … WR Marcus Sales has registered four straight 100-yard receiving games and is the BIG EAST leader in receptions (8.3 rpg) and receiving yards (116.7 ypg) … RB Jerome Smith is averaging 58.3 rushing yards per game as part of the Orange’s three-man rotation in the backfield … LB Marquis Spruill is the leading tackler, with 21 stops on the year … Spruill and LB Dyshawn Davis have a team-high 3.5 tackles for loss each.
Jerry Kill (Southwestern ’83)
6-9, second season at Minnesota
133-82, 19th season as collegiate head coach
Minnesota has already reached its win total from each of the past two seasons as the Golden Gophers take a 3-0 record into Saturday’s game … Minnesota went 3-9 in each of the past two seasons and has had just one winning season since 2006 … The Gophers won at UNLV to open the season (30-27 in overtime) before defeating New Hampshire (44-7) and Western Michigan (28-23) at home … QB MarQueis Gray, a dual-threat signal-caller, suffered a high ankle sprain against Western Michigan Saturday and is unlikely to play against Syracuse … QB Max Shortell, who completed 10 of 17 passes with 188 yards and three touchdowns off the bench against Western Michigan, is expected to start against the Orange … RB Donnel Kirkwood has a team-high 262 rushing yards … WR A.J. Barker leads the team with 10 receptions, 231 receiving yards and four touchdown catches … S Derrick Wells has a team-high 26 tackles with two interceptions and five pass breakups … DE DL White has 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss to lead the Gophers in both categories.