Minnesota entered the season with two starting quarterbacks. Two games and two wins later, the Golden Gophers now have one starting quarterback.
Head coach P.J. Fleck revealed Monday that redshirt senior Conor Rhoda will be Minnesota’s full-time starter moving forward.
A fifth-year senior, Rhoda had split time with sophomore Demry Croft entering the season. Rhoda hit 12-of-20 passes for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Minnesota’s 17-7 win over Buffalo in Week 1, while Croft connected on 7-of-12 throws for 63 yards with six carries for 32 yards. Rhoda threw every pass in Saturday’s 48-14 blowout of Oregon State, nailing 7-of-8 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown. Croft did run the ball one time for a 64-yard touchdown. He also lost a fumble.
“We didn’t ask him to do a ton in the pass game, but we needed to run the football,’’ Fleck said. “He executed well. He led better than he ever has,” Fleck told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He was managing really well, going up to his offensive linemen, communicating very well. At the end, [he was] draining the clock, milking the clock properly, keeping everybody calm.’’
Rhoda has compiled a 184.49 quarterback rating thus far, good for 13th nationally.
“(Saturday) was the first time I watched Conor Rhoda control a football team,” Fleck told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.
Minnesota hosts Middle Tennessee on Saturday before beginning Big Ten by welcoming Maryland to the Twin Cities.