Gophers coach Fleck stresses defensive output has to improve

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In the wake of losing by 25 points to Michigan on Saturday night, Gophers coach P.J. Fleck has gone back to the drawing board defensively trying to find a way to stop an opponent from piling up nearly 500 yards of total offense.

"We’re a developmental program. We had four guys drafted on the defensive side of the ball last year and we’ve got a lot of new faces there. There’s a lot of question marks on defense, very talented players. They just need experience to get better and better," said Fleck at his Monday news conference.

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Gophers wide receiver Rashod Bateman had a solid game with nine catches for 101 yards. But now Fleck would like to see other players step up and add to the team’s offensive output.

"We’ll keep bringing that core along, more guys will emerge moving forward. Tight ends are more involved than they ever have been," Fleck added.

The Gophers play at Maryland on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Central.