MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota's football program has grown accustomed to setbacks. That also means the Gophers have plenty of experience with learning how to move on.
The departure of leading receiver A.J. Barker, who angrily quit the team on Sunday by an email to coach Jerry Kill that he took public on his personal blog, was a surprise to the players he left behind. As they returned to practice on Tuesday in preparation for their last regular season game, they sounded unfazed by the potential distraction. Those made available to the media expressed confidence anew in Kill's style and leadership.
The Gophers (6-5, 2-5 Big Ten) have already secured a spot in a bowl game, but they'd like to improve their Big Ten standing. They host Michigan State on Saturday, the last home game for 15 seniors.