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NCAA Football Big 10 FootballMinnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota Golden Gophers Season Preview: Offense

Donnell Kirkwood Minnesota Golden Gophers

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers football team had another lackluster season in 2012, finishing only 6-7 overall and only 2-6 in the Big 10 conference.

Going into his fourth season as the Gophers’ head coach, Jerry Kill has only managed a 9-16 record overall and only four wins in the Big 10 conference, so the pressure is on for Kill to turn this program around and start producing wins.

A lot of the blame can be thrown upon the offense of the Gophers, which struggled throughout the course of 2012.

Statistically, the Gophers were in the bottom half of the conference in all major offensive categories. The Gophers were 11th in scoring offense, only managing 17.1 points per game on the season. The Gophers also finished 11th in total offense, only putting up 273.2 yards per game on the season. These numbers have to improve if the Gophers want to be competitive in the conference.

Phillip Nelson returns for the Gophers at quarterback after being in the rotation with MarQueis Gray and Max Shortell. The quarterback play all around for the Gophers was shaky last season, so it is crucial they get better production to improve offensive efficiency.

The Gophers do have a major bright spot returning on the offense. Running back Donnell Kirkwood has the potential to be one of the best in the Big 10 for 2013. After a solid sophomore season, Minnesota fans are expecting big things out of Kirkwood.

The Gophers also return some experience at the wide receiver and offensive line positions, but all around improvement is needed for the Gophers to be competitive.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.