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Gophers will need depth in hot, humid game against UNLV


They're called the Runnin' Rebels for a reason.

When the Gophers open the 2013 college football season Thursday night at TCF Bank Stadium, they'll be up against UNLV's hurry-up offense, and temperatures near 90 degrees. The combination makes it ultra-important that Minnesota is capable of defending with depth.

“Depth will be important; I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” head coach Jerry Kill told the Star Tribune. “What did Vince Lombardi say? ‘Fatigue makes cowards out of all of us.’ We’ve worked hard at building depth on defense.”

The high heat and humidity will likely force Coach Kill to take it easy on his players during practice this week.

"We'll have to be real careful Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday -- those three days -- in what we do, because you don't want your kids worn out before they play," Kill told ESPN radio. "We'll have to go deep into the lineup on Thursday, both teams will."

The Gophers' starting middle linebacker will likely be junior college transfer, Damien Wilson, according to the Pioneer Press.

Wilson will be surrounded by outside linebackers, James Manuel and Aaron Hill.

The Star Tribune reports that redshirt freshman Jack Lynn will also see a lot of playing time at middle linebacker.

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