Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
5. DE Theiren Cockran
Cockran’s four sacks tied for the team lead last season, and he had 7.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2013. The Gophers did not sack TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin at all in last year’s game, and putting pressure on one of the better dual threats in the country will be critical on Thursday night. Cockran will have to lead that charge, as one of two returning starters along Minnesota’s defensive line.