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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Ponder the starter for Sunday night

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Pierce County Herald
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder was named the starter for the Vikings this week. Last week's starter, Josh Freeman, is out after one game because of a concussion. The Vikings are 1-5 and riding a two-game losing streak in which they've been outscored 58-17. Minnesota welcomes the Packers for "Sunday Night Football" at the Metrodome.

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Vikings safety Harrison Smith said yesterday he hopes to avoid surgery for his turf toe injury and instead rest the foot. Smith suffered the injury on his left foot in a loss to Carolina on October 13th. Surgery would end Smith's season because full recovery takes at least four months.

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Golden Gopher acting head coach Tracy Claeys says his team will have to come up with a good approach in trying to contain the speed of Nebraska's skill players on offense. Claeys says Nebraska will likely have more speed than any team on the Minnesota schedule this year. The Cornhuskers have talented and fast players at wide receiver, running back, and quarterback, according to Claeys. Claeys says the Gophers need to make sure they keep the "play in front of them" and not let the Huskers make a lot of big plays. Nebraska visits TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday for an 11 a.m. game.

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The seventh-ranked Golden Gopher volleyball team lost at No 16 Wisconsin last night in four sets. Minnesota took the opening set, then lost three straight, tight sets. The Gophers are now 18-and-4 on the year and 6-and-3 in the Big Ten. The Badgers are 17-and-4 overall and also now 6-and-3 in the league. Minnesota hosts Northwestern on Sunday.

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The Timberwolves beat the Sixers in an NBA preseason game in Philadelphia last night, 125-102. J.J. Barea came off the bench to lead Minnesota with 22 points, while Kevin Love added 19 points. The Wolves shot 15-for-29 from three-point range in the win. Two Twin Cities natives played for the Sixers. Royce White scored five points and grabbed six rebounds, while Rodney Williams scored two points for Philly. Minnesota is at Detroit to wrap up the preseason tonight. The regular season opens next Wednesday when Orlando visits Minnesota.

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The Minnesota Wild welcome the Hurricanes into Xcel Energy Center tonight. The Wild defense has been impressive thus far yielding just two goals against this season, good for fourth in the league, but have mustered only a 4-3-and-3 record. The team will without standout defenseman Jonas Brodin because of a broken cheek bone. The 20-year-old Brodin has three goals and three assists in 10 games this season. He had two goals and nine assists in 45 games last season. The teams face-off at 7 p.m.

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 
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