Gophers prepare for Purdue after loss to Maryland

Demry Croft, the co-starting quarterback in the first two games before getting suspended, is back on the depth chart.

Running Back Shannon Brooks runs the ball on Sept. 30, 2017 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Jack Rodgers

Running Back Shannon Brooks runs the ball on Sept. 30, 2017 at TCF Bank Stadium.

by Jack Warrick

Quarterback Demry Croft, who was suspended from the team for disciplinary reasons after the Oregon State game, is back on the depth chart as the third-string quarterback.

“We are going to hold people accountable for their actions,” said head coach P.J. Fleck. “From an injury, you can have your spot back. … When you can control the circumstance and you can control the choice, and you make that choice, when you come back now you’ve got to show why you should be where you were.”

Croft, a redshirt sophomore, was 7-12 with 63 passing yards in two games with the Gophers. His most recent play as a Gophers quarterback was a 63-yard run in the Oregon State game.

After the Oregon State game, Fleck announced Rhoda as the starter. That decision came before Croft was suspended. He is back on the team and is listed in the depth chart behind Seth Green.

Croft has been practicing with the team now and on Tuesday, Fleck said, “I was very impressed with the last few days with him.”

Fleck said the Gophers football program might need to pull freshman Tanner Morgan’s redshirt in case Rhoda gets hurt and the team needs a third-string quarterback.

“With [Morgan] you don’t want to pull [the redshirt],” Fleck said. “We are doing everything we can not to be able to run [Rhoda], as much as I want to be able to, you got to keep him healthy.”

There are 14 true or redshirt freshmen listed on the depth chart for the Gophers this week. 

“They’re going to develop,” Fleck said. “One thing about freshman that’s kind of cool is they’re freshmen one year, most of the time, and then they move on to sophomores, and then one day they become upperclassmen.”

Fleck showed on Saturday that he’s not afraid to pull redshirts.

Ken Handy-Holly, a freshman, has the starting spot this week at the other safety spot after tallying one tackle in his collegiate debut last week after defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. left the game with a hamstring injury. Fleck said he’s leaning towards not playing Winfield Jr. in this week’s game.

Other Notes

– The Gophers will also wear stickers on their helmets at the Purdue game to honor the former Purdue football coach Joe Tiller who died Saturday of natural causes. He is the winningest coach in Purdue history and coached notable NFL players like Drew Brees.