Campbell, Lawrence and Triplett were key to the Gophers' perfect start. This week, they're the team's best hope for upsetting the Bears.
By KENT YOUNGBLOOD
In Week 1, in a steamy dome on the Syracuse campus, Lee Campbell was everywhere. From one sideline to another, stout between the tackles. The Gophers senior had one of the best games coach Tim Brewster had ever seen out of a middle linebacker: 13 tackles -- 11 solo -- half a sack and a total of 1 1/2 tackles for loss. Oh, and he broke up a pass. In Week 2, on a warm evening in which the Gophers returned to campus with the opening of TCF Bank Stadium, Nate Triplett did just about everything while winning Walter Camp Foundation defensive player of the week honors.
Triplett had a career-high 12 tackles by halftime, and he finished with 17 -- 12 solo. It was the most tackles for a Gophers player since 2002, and it got him declared co-defensive player of the week by the Big Ten. He made a key stop on fourth-and-1 that ended an Air Force drive at the Gophers 9-yard line. He broke up a pass and managed to return a fourth-quarter fumble 52 yards for the go-ahead score in the 20-13 victory.