Freshman recruits see some snaps

Junior defensive tackle Garrett Brown chases down Bowling Green running back Willie Geter during Saturday’s win in Ohio.

Ali Haupt

Junior defensive tackle Garrett Brown chases down Bowling Green running back Willie Geter during Saturday’s win in Ohio.

Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster kept reiterating last week that he planned to give more of his freshmen recruits snaps in SaturdayâÄôs game, and he kept his promise. Though most entered the game when it was no longer in question, seven of the GophersâÄô true freshmen saw their first collegiate action. Wide receivers DaâÄôJon McKnight, Xzavian Brandon, Brodrick Smith, Johnny Johnson and Brandon Green all made their debuts, as did defensive back Tim Dandridge and running back Shady Salamon. Junior wide receiver Eric Decker talked briefly about the young receivers after the game. âÄúIt was good to see them get some experience,âÄù he said. âÄúIâÄôm excited about what they can do; they have all the potential in the world, itâÄôs just about getting that comfort level, getting that confidence in themselves.âÄù Salamon actually led the team in rushing with 12 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown. He came on in place of sophomore running back Duane Bennett, who injured what appeared to be his left leg early in the fourth quarter. And when he got his chance, Salamon wasnâÄôt about to disappoint. âÄúIâÄôve been working really hard in the offseason, so when the opportunity came I just really wanted to do everything I could,âÄù he said. âÄúWe were inside the red zone and they called my number and I was just trying to find the end zone as fast as I could.âÄù After he found it, however, he couldnâÄôt keep the ball. âÄúI hung onto [the ball] for awhile, but I ended up giving it back,âÄù he said. Banged-up Gophers Though none seemed to be particularly serious, several key contributors left the game with injuries Saturday and did not return. Junior right guard Ned Tavale was shaken up in the third quarter and replaced by redshirt freshman Chris Bunders. Then, in the fourth, Bennett and junior center Jeff Tow-Arnett went down on the same play. Brewster said he doesnâÄôt know the extent or the type of injury any of the players suffered. âÄúIâÄôll learn more on the way home on the plane,âÄù Brewster said. Promo gone wrong Bowling GreenâÄôs event staff may want to think a little bit harder about its next giveaway. On Saturday, fans arriving early enough received a complimentary seat cushion, which, as it turns out, make for pretty good frisbees. It took students a little while to hammer out their technique, but by the fourth quarter, FalconsâÄô fans were launching the cushions a few yards onto the field from at least 20 rows up. Perhaps this was in protest to the fact that their football team was slipping away, or maybe they were just bored. Either way, donâÄôt expect to see seat cushion giveaways at a Gophers game anytime soon.