University of Minnesota defensive coordinator Joe Rossi is a nominee for the Broyles Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Rossi oversees a defense that is ranked No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense (13.1 points) and No. 8 in the nation in total defense (274.0). Minnesota is also ranked No. 2 in the nation in 3rd down conversion defense (25.4%), No. 7 in the nation in first downs defense (141), No. 7 in team passing efficiency defense (107.29) and No. 13 in rushing defense (106.8).

Minnesota defense that has recorded two shutouts and held 7 of 10 opponents to 13 points or less this year. Minnesota’s shutouts were 38-0 against New Mexico State and 31-0 against Rutgers. The Gophers have recorded two shutouts in a season for the first time since 2006. Georgia and Kansas State are the only other programs with two shutouts this season, but each had one against FCS foe, making Minnesota the only team to shutout two FBS teams this year. The shutout of Rutgers was the Gophers’ first Big Ten shutout victory since a 45-0 win versus Illinois on Oct. 23, 2004.

Minnesota has had one of the best defenses in the nation since Rossi was named defensive coordinator late in the 2018 season. Since 2019 (Rossi’s first season as DC), Minnesota has ranked in the Top 26 in the nation in 16 different defensive categories and the Gophers are 33-14 overall with Rossi as defensive coordinator and 30-10 in the last four full seasons.

Rossi’s defense returns to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday at home against Iowa.


(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)


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