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Gophers QB competition appears to be between Tanner Morgan, Zack Annexstad

The two were the starters during Thursday's spring game.

Unless you're a diehard Gopher football fan you're probably wondering who the heck Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad are. 

Good question. Nobody really knows because Morgan was redshirted as a freshman last season and Annexstad is a true freshman – a preferred walk-on, actually. 


Walk-on freshman making noise in Gophers QB competition

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The two were the starting quarterbacks for Thursday's spring game, while junior college transfer Vic Viramontes played sparingly. Annexstad and the Gold team won 24-20 over the Maroon team. Here's how the trio performed. 

  • Morgan: 18-of-28, 272 yards, 2 TD
  • Annextad: 11-of-18, 186 yards, 1 TD
  • Viramontes: 1-of-3, 1 yard

Morgan connected with wide receiver Tyler Johnson six times for 120 yards and two touchdowns, including this insane one-handed grab for a score. 

Morgan also scrambled eight times for 42 yards. 

Annexstad's touchdown pass went 56 yards to senior running back Rodney Smith. 

Interestingly, this wasn't an ordinary spring game where quarterbacks wear red jerseys and they can't be touched. Head coach P.J. Fleck allowed the defense to blitz and quarterbacks weren't off limits, which was risky considering his five best offensive linemen were split up between the two teams. 

The hits resulted in three fumbles by Morgan, one of which he lost. Viramontes also coughed the ball up twice. 

But Fleck liked how his quarterbacks responded. 

"Sack, fumble, they got back up and boom, scoring drive," he said. "One would take their team down the field, the other would come back and do the same thing."  

Fleck added that he's been impressed by the strides they've made in the last three months. 

The Gophers will wrap up spring practices Saturday and Monday and then return in August for the 2018 season. 

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