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April 18, 2024

  • Jeanette Winterson for “gAyPRIL”
    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
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Quick Lane Bowl takeaways: Detroit presents “The Replacements” (2023)

Cole+Kramer+and+the+Minnesota+offense+lining+up+for+a+snap+against+BGSUs+defense
Drake Harlett
Cole Kramer and the Minnesota offense lining up for a snap against BGSU’s defense

“He saved Christmas.” 

That’s what Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck said about quarterback Cole Kramer. 

Kramer, a graduate student who spent all five years of his career in maroon and gold as a backup, originally had no interest in playing in the Golden Gophers’ invitation to the Quick Lane Bowl.  

In case you haven’t heard, Kramer is set to be married in about two months, and admittedly said he should be “looking for a real job.”  

With every quarterback on the roster in the transfer portal or graduated, the Gophers were stuck without a quarterback.  

Athan Kaliakmanis, who started every game at quarterback for the Gophers in 2023, entered the portal on day one along with backup Drew Viotto. 

After a phone call, and prayers from both sides, he decided he’d come back and make the 2023 Quick Lane Bowl the final game of his career.  

“He told us he wasn’t going to do it, then was basically heading out to Arizona to help Katie get ready for the wedding. Then, you know, made a few more calls after a few more transfers, ‘Are you sure? Are you really sure?’ and I know he prayed on it, I know his faith is really important to him, and I’m just glad our prayers met somewhere and collided in a good way,” Fleck said. “I told him when I got off the phone, he said, ‘I’m going to really pray about it,’ and I said ‘Well I am too! And I hope my prayer meets your prayer.’ We’re just really thankful for him. He gets to leave a champion and he led the team to a bowl championship; he can always say that. And that’s why I told him to come back.”  

Kramer came in and did exactly what he had to do. He completed 50% of his passes for two touchdowns and one interception and scored one more time on the ground, leading Minnesota to their 30-24 victory over Bowling Green in the Quick Lane Bowl.  

“I told him thanks for coming back, now get ready for your wedding. I thank Katie (Cole’s fiancée) for allowing him to come back, and Katie made it very clear ‘I was the one who told him to come back right away,’ so we know who wears the pants in the family,’ Fleck said with a grin. “What an ending to his career. He’s done everything for his teammates – you talk about being a great husband and a great father one day, he’s going to be an exceptional one because he’s willing to put his own needs aside for someone else’s, and it happened to be our team.” 

Kramer wasn’t the only one though.  

Minnesota’s star safety Tyler Nubin sat out for the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft.  

In his place, freshmen Coleman Bryson and Kerry Brown stepped up big time, each totaling five tackles in the game.  

Freshman linebacker Tyler Stolsky also stepped up in a huge way, leading the team in tackles with six.  

But Minnesota wasn’t the only team that benefitted from their reserves. 

Bowling Green as well got some help from the guys that weren’t normally featured, and got to shine due to missing starters, especially in the offensive backfield. 

With Ta’ron Keith in the transfer portal and Terion Stewart sidelined with a serious lower leg injury, Bowling Green had to turn to three guys who hardly touched the rock all season.  

Jaison Patterson, Jamal Johnson, and PaSean Wimberly were all asked to step up big time in the absence of BG’s leading rusher and biggest X-factor.  

Patterson was a non-factor on the stat sheet, carrying the ball one time for five yards and catching two passes for a combined negative one yard, but the latter two provided sparks when needed.  

Johnson had two carries for 20 yards, including a 17-yard run on the Falcons’ first drive.  

Wimberly didn’t touch the rock until the fourth quarter, but instantly provided a spark. On his very first carry of the night, he ripped off a 42-yard run on the Falcons’ first drive of the fourth quarter, then finished off the drive on an 18-yard end around for a touchdown.  

“Going into that drive, I knew what I was going into, just have to make explosions. Explosion is the biggest thing for our offense, me being a difference maker I wanted to be that kick start for our drive, and obviously I did it,” Wimberly said. “[It] Gave us hope and obviously we had enough time to go back down and score again, just gave us another comfortable set just to have an opportunity to score again.”  

He finished with 63 yards on just three carries. 

Coming into the game, all things considered between the transfer portal and the draft, the consensus feel was going to be whoever’s backups outplayed the other’s backups would win, and Minnesota’s backups shined brighter amongst the bright lights of Detroit. 

Despite the loss, the 2023 season is one to feel good about heading forwards. 7-6 is the program’s best finish since the 2015 season when they finished with 10 wins.   

A step in the right direction for Scot Loeffler and Co.  

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

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