252 inches. That's how far the Golden Gophers moved the ball via their passing game in Saturday's victory over San Jose State.
252 inches, or seven yards, isn't going to get the Gophers very far when Big Ten season rolls around this weekend at The Big House in Ann Arbor – and head coach Jerry Kill knows they'll need to find more success in the air against Michigan.
“Will we need to throw it better when we get into the Big Ten? Yeah, better and more often,” Kill said. “And we may line up against Michigan and throw it 27 times and tear it up. If we get Maxx (Williams) back [from injury, we just may go crazy.”
Kill, according to the Star Tribune, was referring to the calf injury that kept Williams – arguably the team's best receiving option – out of Saturday's game. He's also optimistic that starting defensive lineman Alex Keith will return from injury. Keith hasn't played since Week 1.
Minnesota's passing offense finished last in the Big Ten a year ago, and their average of 99.8 passing yards per game this season is dead last again.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines haven't scored an offensive touchdown in either of their past two games, and with a record of 2-2, some fans in Michigan are hitting the panic button.
Streveler wins Big Ten award
For context on why the Gophers only passed for seven yards on Saturday, one would have to examine the box score to see Minnesota's gaudy rushing statistics. As a team, the Gophers rushed for 380 yards. David Cobb racked up 207 yards to add to his total of 539 yards, good for third in the conference, and quarterback Chris Streveler, who started in the placed of an injured Mitch Leidner, rushed for 161 yards. His performance earned him the Big Ten Freshman of the Week award.