Bowl game means everything to Minnesota seniors

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The celebration in the Gophers’ locker room following Saturday’s bowl-clinching win over Illinois was an emotional one. Defensive back Michael Carter said he and some other seniors were crying tears of joy. Carter said “it feels great going out bowl eligible.”

The injury issues on the Gophers’ offensive line continue to add up at the center position. Zach Mottla suffered a broken leg against Illinois and Jon Christensen suffered a sprained ankle. If he can’t play this weekend at Nebraska, the starting center will be Zac Epping, who normally plays guard.

The young man taking the snaps from center is true freshman quarterback Philip Nelson. Nelson was recently introduced to one of head coach Jerry Kill’s former starting quarterback at Southern Illinois -- Joel Sambursky. Sambursky gave Nelson advice on how to be a starting QB as a freshman, and become a great leader.

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