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Gophers dealt 'major blow' with Scott Epke out for the season

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The knee injury Minnesota Gophers defensive tackle Scott Epke suffered in last week's win over Eastern Illinois will keep him out the remainder of the season, head coach Jerry Kill said Tuesday.

According to the Pioneer Press, Epke, a 6-foot-4, 293-pound junior, tore his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the first quarter against the Panthers.

Fellow defensive linemen Alex Keith (knee) and Yoshoub Timms (leg) also suffered injuries in the game. Their statuses for Saturday's home game against Middle Tennessee State are uncertain.

Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune took a look at how the injuries could impact Minnesota's defense going forward. The main concern is depth. Freshman Steven Richardson will get more playing time at defensive tackle, as will Owatonna native Andrew Stelter.

“You can’t lose any front-line players and be where you need to be,” Kill said after last week's game. “You can have all the depth in the world, but then you get less depth. To be successful, you’ve got to stay healthy. You’ve got to be lucky, so hopefully we’ll get lucky on this deal. We’ll have to see.”

The Gophers didn't get lucky in Epke's case.

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