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Chris Autman-Bell shows his importance to Gophers offense

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Chris Autman-Bell shows his importance to Gophers offense

Gophers fans were reminded of what it’s like to have a No. 1 possession/big play receiver in Minnesota’s 30-23 win over Nebraska on Saturday at Huntington Bank Stadium.

Chris Autman-Bell has dealt with ankle ailments since August and looked as fresh as he has all season with a career-high 11 receptions for 103 yards.

The “CrAB” nickname fit when he snared Tanner Morgan’s pinpoint pass for a 7-yard touchdown, while overcoming pass interference from the Cornhuskers defensive back and managing to get down in bounds.

“I’m grateful to have the trust from Tanner to throw it up every time no matter the play,” Autman-Bell said. “It’s just having a mindset to come down the ball, knowing I got to come down with it every time.”

Autman-Bell watched the highlight clip a couple times before his news conference, and his commentary was an understatement: “It was actually a cool catch.”

Meanwhile, starting receiver Daniel Jackson did not play Saturday. The second-year player started the opening five games and had led the team with 14 receptions for 155 yards and one touchdown.

Autman-Bell had seven receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown in three of five previous games, including limited action against Purdue last week. His 11 grabs was the most since Tyler Johnson had 12 in the 2020 Outback Bowl.

STOP AT THE TOP

Quarterback Adrian Martinez led Nebraska in rushing attempts (88), yards (450) and touchdowns (10) this season. He was averaging 64 yards per game on the ground until Saturday.

Minnesota’s offense held the dynamic dual-threat QB to a career-low minus-17 yards rushing on eight attempts, which includes two sacks. Only two other times has he been held to minus yards in his 36 career games.

“With all that stuff they do, he can hurt you running the ball with the option stuff they do and also pulling it down and scrambling,” said Gophers linebacker Jack Gibbens, who had a team-high eight tackles. “Everybody just doing their job and trying to take away that option stuff.”

NO TREAT ON TRICK PLAY

The Gophers were up 14-3 and had stacked up 42 yards on five runs, but offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. called a funky reverse flea-flicker pass, and Morgan was sacked for a 12-yard loss.

“They checked our check,” Morgan said. “They brought a pressure that made it really hard on us.”

Minnesota couldn’t convert on the ensuing third and 19 and punted, with Nebraska responding with a touchdown to make it 14-9 midway through the second quarter.

Sanford made a great call on the U’s first touchdown on their opening drive. After wildcat quarterback Cole Kramer had three straight rushes, Kramer ran play-action on fourth and 1 from the 5-yard line, Nebraska bit on the fake and Kramer threw his first career touchdown pass to tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford.

PASSING KILL

P.J. Fleck won his 30th game at the U on Saturday, passing Jerry Kill in the process. Fleck is 30-21 (.588 winning percentage), while Kill was 29-29 (.500) from 2011-15.

BRIEFLY

Morgan’s 16 consecutive completions on Saturday set a school record of 14, which was set twice by Mitch Leinder and once by both Adam Weber and Morgan. Morgan’s sweet 16 is the third-most ever in Big Ten play. … Left guard Connor Olson made his 51st start, which moves the Monticello, Minn., native into a tie with former long-snapper Payton Jordahl in 2015-18. … The Gophers honored former statistician Jim Coughlin, who passed away this week. He helped out with football, hockey and basketball programs for more than 40 years.

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One in custody after police chase ends in Granite City, Illinois

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One in custody after police chase ends in Granite City, Illinois

ST. LOUIS — Jacita Massenberg is the executive pastor of Tabernacle Church St. Louis on West Florissant Avenue.  The church is approximately two miles away from the area where two St. Louis Police officers were wounded Wednesday.  

Massenberg said a combination of violence and other tragedies have added up to a noticeable increase in stress and sadness from some community members.   The church is inviting anyone experiencing grief or struggles to attend a hope and healing service.  The new service will launch on Feb. 5 and take place each Saturday at 3 p.m.

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Ask Amy: Dad moved in, now — how to get him out?

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Ask Amy: Offering hope regarding the endless pandemic

Dear Amy: I’m asking a question on behalf of my friend, “Brad,” who is in a sticky situation.

Brad’s dad had surgery several weeks ago and is doing well now.

He stayed with Brad while he recuperated for nearly two months — all through the holidays.

The dad has his own home nearby and is a widower.

He has settled into Brad’s home with absolutely no regard for other family members. Brad’s daughter recently packed her bags and moved out because there is no more privacy at the home.

Brad and I actually took the dad to a medical appointment and then took him to his house to see what shape it was in.

The home is organized, cozy and his own, but he is refusing to leave Brad’s house.

He has no concept of privacy. He took over the entire first floor living room, kitchen, guest bathroom, den, and dining room.

Brad can’t enjoy his own home anymore, and his dad won’t budge!

Do you have any ideas on how to politely and tactfully ask Dad to return to his own home?

Is there a way I can mediate this situation to take some of the burden of Brad?

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University of Minnesota Duluth looks to build academic health care center in downtown medical district

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University of Minnesota Duluth looks to build academic health care center in downtown medical district

DULUTH, Minn. — The University of Minnesota is requesting funding to design and build a new academic health care center affiliated with its Duluth campus and located in downtown’s burgeoning medical district.

The University of Minnesota said in a news release that it’s collaborating with Essentia Health and St. Luke’s to provide a larger health care workforce to “address the needs of Duluth, Greater Minnesota and local Indigenous populations.”

As a part of the university’s 2022 comprehensive legislative request, it is asking for $12 million for the design phase.

“This opportunity is in line with our land-grant mission and our continued commitment to Greater Minnesota and the Duluth region, specifically. We are thankful for the opportunity to discuss how academic medicine, including training and clinical research, can enhance the great care provided to Minnesotans in the region,” said Dr. Jakub Tolar, dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School.

The new building would be built in close proximity to Essentia and St. Luke’s. Mayor Emily Larson said during a Thursday news conference that its exact location is still being determined, but St. Mary’s Medical Center is a potential location. Essentia Health announced last week that St. Mary’s will be demolished once its new $900 million hospital is complete. St. Luke’s is also in the process of redeveloping its entire campus.

“This is proof that we are leaders for health care technology and innovation and proof that people want to be here, and the more opportunity we give them to be here, our population grows, our vision grows bigger, and we can make the best use and purpose of this in the city of Duluth,” Larson said.

If the proposal is approved, design could begin this summer. U President Joan Gabel said in the news release that the goal is to have the new building completed as early as fall 2025.

“The University of Minnesota is committed to expanding our capacity to provide world-class care for Minnesotans in Greater Minnesota,” Gabel said. “Through this important partnership, we are amplifying the university’s impact and contribution to communities by creating new space for classrooms, specialty labs, student life and beyond.”

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