Minnesota Gophers quarterback could be sidelined for a month

MarQueis Gray was helped off the field during the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday with a left high-ankle sprain. Coach Jerry Kill tells the Pioneer Press the senior quarterback could be out two to four weeks. Sophomore Max Shortell is expected to start the next game against Syracuse. He replaced Gray against Western Michigan and led the Gophers to a 28-23 victory.
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MarQueis Gray was helped off the field during the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday with a left high-ankle sprain. Coach Jerry Kill tells the Pioneer Press the senior quarterback could be out two to four weeks. Sophomore Max Shortell is expected to start the next game against Syracuse. He replaced Gray against Western Michigan and led the Gophers to a 28-23 victory.

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Gophers rally, but fall to Northwestern 21-13 in bid for homecoming win

University of Minnesota back-up quarterback Max Shortell rallied the Gophers late in the fourth quarter but the team fell short in its loss to Northwestern 21-13 Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. Shortell came in for MarQuies Gray, who got the start for the Gophers but reinjured his ankle in the third quarter.

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University of Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray missed Wednesday's practice with a toe injury and he is questionable for Saturday's Big Ten opener at Michigan. If Gray isn't able to play, true freshman Max Shortell will start in his place.

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Gopher freshman quarterback Philip Nelson will start against the Badgers Saturday. Nelson began the season as a third-string quarterback, but started Marqueis Gray has been bothered by a sprained ankle and back-up Max Shortell hurt his neck last week against Northwestern. Gray will start at wide receiver.

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Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill tells the Star Tribune it is his responsibility to fix the attendance issues at TCF Bank Stadium. "I'm not going to blame anybody. We've got to put a good product out there. That's what I was hired to do a year and a half ago, and that's what we'll do," Kill said. Last Saturday was the lowest-attended game in TCF Bank Stadium's four-year history -- just 41,062 tickets sold.

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Just a few weeks into the 2012 college football season, the Minnesota Gophers already have three wins – the same number they had in each of the last two seasons. On Saturday, backup quarterback Max Shortell had touchdown passes on his first three possessions after starter MarQueis Gray went out with an ankle and knee injury. The team survived a late Western Michigan rally and is now looking forward to Syracuse in a night game next week.