The Gophers have their biggest football game in years on Saturday, but the availability of their biggest weapon on offense is still very much up in the air.
The Gophers and Wisconsin Badgers not only play for Paul Bunyan's Axe on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium, but they are also playing for the Big Ten West Division Championship.
The problem for Minnesota is that running back David Cobb remains "very questionable," according to coach Jerry Kill during a Tuesday conference call.
Cobb strained his hamstring on a 17-yard touchdown run in Minnesota's upset of Nebraska last week.
Currently he ranks ninth in the nation with 1,430 yards and needs just 35 more to break Laurence Maroney's single-season school record, set in 2005.
According to NFL.com, Cobb has accounted for 57 percent of Minnesota's rushing yards and 39 percent of Minnesota's total yards.
"That's a great attitude because ... if you're down and negative and all that, sometimes you don't heal up as quick," Kill told reporters on Tuesday. "So I'm glad he's positive. And hey, if he's ready to go, we're going to play him. There's no doubt about that."
According to the Pioneer Press, if Cobb is unable to go the Gophers will go to Donnell Kirkwood and Roderick Williams. The two have combined for just 48 carries this season, but Kill said nothing will change without Cobb.
"We have good backs," said Kill to reporters. "We proved that on Saturday.
Kirkwood carried the ball seven times for 32 yards last week against Nebraska, while Williams ran it three times for 22 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter. But even Kirkwood thinks Cobb will be back.
If Cobb is able to go on Saturday, College Football Talk notes that it would set the stage for a matchup between two of the nation's top 10 rushers. Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon leads the country in rushing.