The Gophers have freshman Darius Taylor coming off two straight 100-yard rushing games, but sophomore QB Athan Kaliakmanis needs to find his rhythm.
Third-year sophomore Athan Kaliakmanis struggled last week, and will try to guide the Gophers to a 2-0 Big Ten record Saturday evening in Evanston.
The Gophers, who play at Northwestern on Saturday night, have seen the impact transfers from the FCS level can make, especially on defense.
Even before the alleged hazing scandal, Northwestern football had fallen on hard times. The Gophers' next opponent Saturday has 11 consecutive losses vs. Power Five foes.
"You cannot skip failing," Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said. "I'm not talking about spring-game failing. I'm talking about live game reps. Failing is the only way you grow."
Jaydon Wright, a senior at Bishop McNamara (Ill.), has scored three touchdowns in a game twice this season and has been a standout on defense.
The Gophers have yet to produce a gain of 30 or more yards, and the path toward fixing that starts with sophomore quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck welcomed two of his former leaders back into the fold after each got a taste of the NFL.
The team's black helmet, jersey and pants look, which it wore against Eastern Michigan, didn't sit well with those who prefer the traditional maroon-and-gold colors.
There are six undefeated teams remaining in the Big Ten, a group that no longer includes Minnesota after its loss at North Carolina. But not all of them are ahead of the Gophers.
Gophers Football Insider: Minnesota came within one touchdown in the third quarter but made mistakes that enabled the No. 20 Tar Heels to pull away.
The Big Ten schedule is heating up with two Top 25 matchups and an interesting test for Michigan.
College football insider: Florida State vs. Clemson; Colorado vs. Oregon, Ohio State vs. Notre Dame and Penn State vs. Iowa to name a few.