Minnesota suffered a tough blow this week when Head Coach Jerry Kill announced at his press conference today that junior defensive lineman Scott Epke is out for the season. According to the Pioneer Press, the 6-4, 293-pound Epke tore his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the first quarter against Eastern Illinois. Epke had 19 tackles in 13 games as a sophomore in 2013.
How big is this loss? In my opinion, it hurts due to the depth being low and with him being one of their most experienced and talented defensive linemen on the team. What they have done already is move senior Harold Legania over to the defensive line. Expect freshmen defensive linemen Steven Richardson, Gaelin Elmore and Andrew Stelter to get more reps and contribute.
Coaches say one of the hardest places to replace guys is at the offensive line and defensive line, but the Gopher coaching staff will have to figure something out already in the season and patch up that line.