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Shortell needs protection to shine

Freshman QB Max Shortell didn't look very comfortable in last week's 58-0 loss at Michigan. That's because he didn't have any time to throw the ball. If he plays this Saturday at Purdue, protecting him better will be the number one priority.
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Freshman QB Max Shortell didn't look very comfortable in last week's 58-0 loss at Michigan. That's because he didn't have any time to throw the ball. If he plays this Saturday at Purdue, protecting him better will be the number one priority.

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Kill to start Shortell if Gray isn't healthy

Gophers football coach Jerry Kill says he expects freshman Max Shortell to be the starting quarterback for Saturday's game against the Purdue Boilermakers. Junior MarQueis Gray is still recovering from a toe injury, and won't get the start unless he's completely healthy.

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With MarQueis Gray sidelined for up to a month with a high ankle sprain the Gophers are hoping sophomore Max Shortell can do more of what he did Saturday against Western Michigan -- lead the team into the endzone, and into victory lane.

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Gophers coach Jerry Kill says he wouldn’t pull a red shirt off a freshman quarterback if he wasn’t going to play. That means Philip Nelson is your likely starter Saturday against Purdue. Kill also said Max Shortell was capable of playing against Wisconsin, but was comfortable with playing Nelson instead.

Shortell likely to start for Gophers

Jerry Kill is "cautiously optimistic" that MarQueis Gray will play Saturday when the Gophers host Northwestern for a homecoming game at TCF Bank Stadium. However, Fox Sports North reports it's highly likely that Max Shortell gets a third straight start.

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MarQueis Gray was originally supposed to miss 2-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain, but there's a chance that he'll be ready to backup Max Shortell this Saturday when the Gophers host Syracuse.