The Gophers celebrated Senior Day on Saturday, which saw 15 players and their families attend the pregame ceremony at Huntington Bank Stadium. Fourteen certainly won’t return or exhaust her college eligibility this season, capping her home career with a 13-10 loss to Iowa.
The only player still eligible to play but who attended the ceremony is safe Tyler Nubin, the leader of the interceptions team and a player who has to make a decision about the NFL. A regular in the lineup since 2019, Nubin is considered one of the best defensive backs in the Big Ten. Coach PJ Fleck has admitted Nubin could go to the NFL draft, but added, “We’ll leave a light on for him.”
Another player with one year of eligibility left who could attract NFL interest is on the verge Brevyn Spann-Ford, who did not attend the ceremony. When asked on Wednesday if he was considering returning for the 2023 season, Spann-Ford said: “We’ll see. That’s all I really have to say.”
Others who attended the ceremony were linebackers Josh Auneguard Chuck Filiagawide receiver Clay Gearysecurity Jordan Howdenback race Mohammed Ibrahimback race Preston Jelenquarterback Tanner Morgantight end Samuel Pickerignguard Axel Ruschmeyerdefensive end Thomas Rushcenter John Michael Schmitzcorner kick Terell Smithlinebacker Mariano Sori-Marinlong snapper Austin Sullivan and foosball Matthew Trickett.
It was an emotional aftermath for this group of gophers who have never beaten Iowa in their careers.
“That’s what we wanted to achieve, but obviously you don’t like the result we got,” Rush said [locker] space and you can just be proud of how we played. … You just have to think about the guys here and how close you got to them.”
Fleck, who has gushed all season about how connected this team is, hailed the seniors for what they have meant to the program.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our seniors, couldn’t be prouder of their courage, their heart, their fight,” he said.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis made his third start of the season. Morgan, who missed last week’s game against Northwestern with an upper-body injury, didn’t put on any padding for the game. On October 15, Morgan suffered a concussion in Illinois. He returned to start the Oct. 29 win against Rutgers but left the game Nov. 5 in Nebraska after suffering a hard knock late in the second quarter.
Kaliakmanis was forced to leave the game for a couple of plays in the second quarter on Saturday for a check after the independent medical observer saw he received a hit to the head. He returned to bond with him Daniel Jackson for a 29-yard gain and Le’Meke Brockington for 12 yards and set up the Gophers’ only touchdown. Cabbage Kramer came into play when Kaliakmanis was checked.
- The kick-off temperature for Saturday’s game was 17 degrees, making it the second coldest Gophers game at the stadium. The coldest was against Ohio State in 2014 when the kick-off temperature was 15.
- Wisconsin linebacker Nick Herbig, who leads the Big Ten with 11 sacks, received a aimed penalty and was thrown out of the Badgers’ game in Nebraska in the second half. The penalty will see him miss next week’s first half against the Gophers.