Marilyn Indahl-US PRESSWIRE
Miss you already, big guy.
First things first: The high ankle sprain that is shelving MarQueis Gray for the next few weeks is beyond disappointing, and hopefully Minnesota's dual-threat man will be back on the field before too much of the Big Ten season is in the books.
That being said, Minnesota's actually pretty well prepared for Gray's injury since he split time with QB Max Shortell last season. Shortell stepped into Gray's absence against Western Michigan and threw three touchdowns in relief, and all was well.
Now, some of this probably has to do with the light level of competition Minnesota has faced, and that's not an insignificant aspect of the Gophers' 3-0 mark, but that defense is actually looking pretty strong. The Gophers' pass efficiency defense is best in the conference, and only Michigan gives up fewer passing yards altogether (about five fewer per game, to be exact).
Whether that holds up in conference play is another thing altogether, of course, but bad defenses tend to make their presence known long before they face good offenses.
So keep an eye on this team. It could go south in a hurry, especially in a deep division like the Legends, or we could definitely see a Gopher resurgence here in Year 2 of the Jerry Kill era.