Gophers Star WR Eric Decker Done for the Year

Zeke FuhrmanAnalyst IIIOctober 28, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 08:  Eric Decker #7 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers celebrates his touchdown reception in the first overtime period against the Miami of Ohio Redhawks as Minnesota defeated Miami of Ohio 41-35 in triple overtime at the Metrodome on September 8, 2007 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Despite opening a state-of-the-art stadium this season, life hasn't been easy for Gopher fans this season.

After starting the season a promising 2-0, the Gophers have lost four of their last six games and have seen their offense sputter as of late.

The Gophers scored 20 or more points in five of their first six games but have scored only seven in their last two.

And it is only going to get worse.

The University of Minnesota announced today that Eric Decker, the two-time Biletnikoff Award nominee, will miss the rest of the season with a sprained foot. Decker suffered the injury against Ohio State on Saturday late in the first quarter.

Decker was on crutches for the rest of the game and may have to undergo surgery, according to head coach Tim Brewster. Decker says that he will play in the season finale vs. No. 7 Iowa in what will be his final college game.

It doesn't get any better for Minnesota. They play four more conference games (Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana, and No. 7 Iowa) and South Dakota State for their homecoming.

Decker's injury is one of many things to go wrong during Tim Brewster's tenure as coach. Brewster was 1-11 in 2007, his first year with the Gophers. His lone win came in triple overtime against Miami (OH) in Week Two. The Gophers lost their next 10 games but only played two ranked opponents.

The Gophers started 7-1 in 2008, with their only loss coming at the hands of No. 13 Ohio State, and Brewster won his first conference game with a win against Indiana. The Gophers would eventually be ranked No. 20 in the country before losing their next five games, including a 55-0 loss to Iowa and a 45-21 loss to Kansas in the Insight Bowl.

Now, at 4-4 and in year three of a four-year contract, fans can't help but wonder if the former Denver Broncos TE coach is the right fit for the team.

Decker is the school's all-time leader in receptions and is among the top three receivers in the NCAA along with Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant and Georgia's A.J. Green. He has been projected as a late first round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Decker has also been drafted by the Minnesota Twins as an OF (Decker hit .328 with three home runs and 28 RBI in 2008), so he will have to choose between playing pro football or pro baseball.

Fun fact: Twins C Joe Mauer was offered a scholarship at Florida State to be a quarterback and probably could have gone pro but elected to play baseball in Minnesota.

Minnesota has a track record of bringing in Minnesota-grown players (Mauer, Kent Hrbek, Glen Perkins, Michael Restovich, Pat Neshek, Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, Terry Steinbach, Jack Morris, and Tom Kelly).