Minn. has big task against Bowling Green offense

Coach Tim Brewster has his team off to a 1-0 start after a last minutes home-opening win last Saturday. He leads his team into Bowling Green for a completely different challenge.

Matt Mead

Coach Tim Brewster has his team off to a 1-0 start after a last minutes home-opening win last Saturday. He leads his team into Bowling Green for a completely different challenge.

Bowling Green quarterback Tyler Sheehan threw 40 passes for 163 yards last week . Nine different players had catches as the Falcons beat No. 25 Pittsburgh 27-17 . That’s 27 points against a Panthers defense that was fifth in the nation last season. Minnesota ranked No. 119 last season. Tim Brewster can do the math. âÄúIf we donâÄôt get around their quarterback and get him out of his rhythm, we probably wonâÄôt be very successful,âÄù the Gophers head coach said. It was Sheehan who, last season, spoiled BrewsterâÄôs debut with the Gophers, throwing for 388 yards and two touchdowns in Bowling GreenâÄôs season-opening upset . One game into the 2008 season, the defense hasnâÄôt shown many signs of improvement against the pass. Last week it gave up almost 400 yards to a 2-12 Northern Illinois team led by a true freshman quarterback starting his first game. âÄúDefensively, we know we have to improve,âÄù Brewster said. Brewster might start by replacing sophomore cornerback Ryan Collado in the secondary. Collado was burned on a pair of touchdowns against Northern Illinois âÄî one for 91 yards and another for 52 . Freshman Troy Stoudermire is âÄúcoming fastâÄù behind Collado on the depth chart, Brewster said, and could get the start Saturday, although Collado is still listed higher on the depth chart as of Tuesday . âÄúTroy has a chance to be an outstanding player,âÄù Brewster added. âÄúHeâÄôs a fearless kid.âÄù Stoudermire, one of the âÄúSkyline FourâÄù that came to the Gophers this season out of Skyline High School in Dallas, played quarterback and wide receiver in high school and returned kicks against Northern Illinois. He returned two kicks for 74 yards , and could also get a chance as a punt returner, Brewster said. âÄúI guess the coaches have seen my progress,âÄù Stoudermire said. Young receivers will play Receiver David Pittman , a junior college transfer, should make his debut this weekend. He was held out of the Northern Illinois game with a hamstring injury , which Brewster said has completely healed. Along with Pittman, freshmen receivers Brandon Randolph , Brandon Green and Brodrick Smith will also likely make their debuts. âÄúYouâÄôre going to have to be thrown in the fire eventually,âÄù quarterback Adam Weber said. âÄúTheyâÄôll learn quick. WeâÄôll find out if they can adjust.âÄù