EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 05: Le'Veon Bell #24 of the Michigan State Spartans rushes with the football while pursued by Aaron Hill #57 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers on a play in the third quarter of the game at Spartan Stadium on November 5, 2011 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Gophers 31-24. (Photo by Mark A. Cunningham/Getty Images)

Minnesota Golden Gophers Football Preparing For Start Of Season

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are currently doing two-a-day practices in preparation of their season-opener in Las Vegas at the end of the month.

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15 Total Updates since August 17, 2012
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Golden Gophers Starting Kicker Still Not Decided

The Minnesota Golden plan to release their depth chart for the season opener on Saturday. There won't be anyone penciled in as the starting kicker, however, because that job is still too close to call.

Chris Hawthorne and Jordan Wettstein have been in an intense battle in camp after splitting duties latest season. Hawthorne was originally the starter, but a torn quadriceps allowed Wettstein -- a walk-on -- to play the final six games of the season.

They both played pretty well last year and it's apparently carried over into this fall as head coach Jerry Kill said he won't be ready to decide who should start until next Tuesday.

"We put (Hawthorne and Wettstein) in two pressure situations the other day," Kill said. "They both succeeded, which is a good problem. They both have good strengths. If we have one that's a better kickoff guy and one's a better field goal (guy), you can do that also."

The starting kicker obviously isn't the most important position, but it's never a bad thing when there are two players that can contribute at a starting level.

Head over to The Daily Gopher for more Minnesota football coverage, and be sure to check out SB Nation's college football hub for more news from around the country.

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Gophers Football: Starting Running Back Will Likely Be Donnell Kirkwood

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are about one week from opening the new college football season and, despite not having released their depth chart quite yet, it sounds as though Donnell Kirkwood has been penciled in as the starting running back.

Kirkwood isn't guaranteed anything yet, of course, but the redshirt sophomore continues to be spoken about positively when head coach Jerry Kill is asked about his position. The latest example came Friday -- as transcribed by the Pioneer Press.

"Donnell Kirkwood has had an excellent camp because he's stayed healthy through camp," Kill said Thursday, Aug. 23. "He's worked tremendously hard in the weight room to prepare himself. This is the first time Donnell has been healthy since I've been here. So I think he is certainly worthy of a guy who has stepped forward and that's been here that I'm very excited about."

There are a slew of running backs in line for touches out of the backfield including James Gillum, David Cobb, Devon Wright and K.J. Maye, but it sounds as though Kirkwood is in the driver's seat as of right now.

Head over to The Daily Gopher for more Minnesota football coverage, and be sure to check out SB Nation's college football hub for more news from around the country.

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