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Gophers' Nelson plays with 'whatever it takes' mentality

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On Monday we noted that Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson is the team's leading rusher and seventh overall in the Big Ten with 205 yards on the ground.

Not all of the yards have come easy with a jog out-of-bounds or a slide without a tackle.

“As quarterbacks coach [Jim Zebrowski] tells us, we always want to be fighting for the extra yard, we want to play hard,” Nelson explained to the Star Tribune. “To be honest with you, that’s kind of the way I’ve always played actually.”

Nelson was a dual-threat QB at Mankato West High School.

Head coach Jerry Kill says taking hits as a running quarterback is the nature of the read option offense.

“We coach him to do that," Kill said. "It’s no different than [Colin] Kaepernick with the 49ers, or anybody else who’s doing that zone-read option football.”

The style is similar, but Kaepernick is slightly better than Nelson.

Gopher Notes:

Wide receiver Logan Hutton earned a start -- not for his pass-catching ability, but for his blocking, according to the Pioneer Press.

The early odds from the Hilton in Las Vegas has the Gophers favored over Western Illinois by 24 points.

Check out the PDF game notes for this week's game against Western Illinois.

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