For Minnesota the climb to topple Michigan in their opener with be a tough one.

The Gophers will be without their starting kicker Michael Lantz, punter Mark Crawford and their kickoff return specialist Dragan Kesich, putting their special teams unit at a severe advantage against the Wolverines.

But it doesn’t stop there.

The Gophers will also be without multiple key position players as starting right side tackle Daniel Faalele and guard Curtis Dunlap Jr. are not available. On the defensive side, starting linebacker Braelen Oliver and backup defensive back Phillip Howard will not be playing.

Faalele and Dunlap are both impact players on the Gopher line, that returned all five starters from last season’s squad.

Backup kicker Brock Walkers is expected to handle kicks, and drilled three field goals and six PAT’s during last season.