Head coach Jerry Kill said Wednesday that Cobb, who hasn't practiced this week after straining his left hamstring in last week's win over Nebraska, is "big-time questionable" for Saturday's game. The winner will secure the Big Ten West Division championship and earn a berth in the Big Ten championship game vs. Ohio State on Dec. 6.
“He’s going to have to practice; he’s going to have to do some things,” Kill said. “You just can’t throw somebody in that hasn’t practiced in a week. We’ve got to know if he can move. I mean, you just can’t go on Saturday and go, ‘OK, getting ready to go.’ That’s not smart.
“The guy’s not going to get miracle healed in one day.”
Cobb leads the Gophers with 269 carries for 1,430 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. That yardage total makes him the Big Ten's third leading rusher behind Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and Indiana's Tevin Coleman. Those 269 carries also lead the conference.
Kill said that Cobb is spending "every waking moment" that he's not in class in the training room, trying to continue healing the injury. The senior rushed 15 times for 80 yards and a touchdown in the 28-24 win over Nebraska, also adding two receptions for 29 yards.
Kill also said the team has consulted two or three "external medicine experts" for advice on how to best treat the injury. If Cobb is unable to play, the Gophers will turn to some combination of senior Donnell Kirkwood, junior Rodrick Williams and redshirt freshman Berkley Edwards. All three have rushed at least 22 times this season.
Aside from the Big Ten conference ramifications, Saturday's game at Camp Randall Stadium is the annual rivalry matchup for Paul Bunyan's Axe. Wisconsin has won the last 10 games vs. Minnesota dating back to 2004.
- Mike Fiammetta