Joe Christensen | Star Tribune
Gophers football reporter | Gophers, Big Ten

Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He's a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker's Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

Well-armed: Pitching gives Gophers chance to repeat as Big Ten champs

The surprising success of the pitching staff has the Gophers in first place in the Big Ten race.

Big Ten football spring report: Michigan State in danger of falling behind in stacked East

Big Ten power Michigan State slipped to 3-9 last year, and the Spartans have had an even worse offseason.

Fleck propels Gophers football recruiting ranking briefly into top 10

When college football fans search for the Gophers in national recruiting rankings, they usually have to scroll past the traditional powers and click "next page."

Gophers notes: Johnson's six receptions catch Fleck's eye

Tyler Johnson led all Gophers receivers with six catches for 64 yards in Saturday's spring game, showing why new coach P.J. Fleck has been raving about the sophomore.

Fleck's new-look Gophers to get 'game' action for the first time

In front of a handful of recruits, Gophers' 2017 potential starters will play in game scenarios at Saturday's spring game.

U walk-on learns of scholarship via team's Easter egg hunt

Gophers coach P.J. Fleck found a unique way to deliver happy news to his team about former Eden Prairie star Blake Cashman.

Fleck has high hopes for Gophers spring game, despite low numbers

Due to injuries and players recovering from surgery, Saturday's Gophers spring game will have limited participation. "It's going to be a game within a bunch of drills," coach P.J. Fleck said.

Gophers' new offensive line coach makes do with depleted numbers

In 20 years of coaching, Ed Warinner has never experienced something like the Gophers going through spring practice with only five healthy offensive linemen.

Gophers have 1-2 punch in running backs Smith, Brooks

Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks have impressed the new staff and have a good relationship on and off field.

Gophers offensive coordinator Ciarrocca has Fleck's full trust

Under Kirk Ciarrocca, Western Michigan's offense culminated a three-year run with the fewest turnovers in the nation last season. Now, he's tasked with doing the same at Minnesota.