Gophers vs. Boilermakers: Big 10 football preview

Philip Nelson is in the hot seat again Saturday as the true freshman gets his second start at quarterback. But he'll be in front of a friendlier crowd as the Gophers host Purdue at TCF Bank Stadium. Meanwhile, MarQueis Gray is accepting his role as a wide receiver, and a lot of NFL scouts prefer him there, too.
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When the Gophers host Purdue Saturday, true freshman Philip Nelson will be the starting quarterback again -- stepping in for the injured MarQueis Gray and Max Shortell.

Nelson's debut last Saturday against Wisconsin wasn't a disaster, but Minnesota still lost, 38-13. Nevertheless, the Pioneer Press reports Nelson was confident enough to  call audibles at the line of scrimmage.

While losing to the Badgers was somewhat expected, Saturday's tilt against the Boilermakers is extremely winnable, according to columnist Tom Powers, who writes: "A victory and the season remains interesting."

As for Nelson, the Mankato West star remains a cool customer, behind center as well as in front of a TV camera:

MarQueis Gray told reporters Wednesday that he doesn’t like not having the ball in his hands every play, but he’s accepting his role as a wide receiver. The Gophers’ senior also admitted that a lot of scouts have been coming to him saying he might be able to make it in the NFL as a receiver.

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Mankato's Nelson eyes Gophers' starting QB job

Philip Nelson won't be shy. The Mankato West standout is now a University of Minnesota student and expects to compete for the starting quarterback job against senior MarQueis Gray. According to the Pioneer Press, Rivers will either win the job or become a red-shirt freshman.

Gophers start freshman Nelson at QB, Gray at wide receiver

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.