Joe Rossi is the defensive coordinator / linebackers coach for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. This season, Minnesota has record two shutouts and held 7 of 10 opponents to 13 points or less, 8 of 10 opponents to 20 points or less and 9 of 10 opponents to 26 points or less. Minnesota has two shutouts on the season, a 38-0 win over New Mexico State and a 31-0 victory against Rutgers. Minnesota has recorded two shutouts in a season for the first time since 2006 and second since 1977. Georgia and Kansas State are the only other programs with two shutouts this season, but each had one against FCS foe, making Minnesota the only team to shutout two FBS teams this year. The shutout of Rutgers was the Gophers’ first Big Ten shutout victory since a 45-0 win versus Illinois on Oct. 23, 2004. Joe Rossi’s bio can be found here.
Minnesota has had one of the best defenses in the nation since Rossi was named defensive coordinator late in the 2018 season. Since 2019, Rossi’s first full-time season as defensive coordinator, Minnesota has fielded one of the best defenses in the nation despite having a plethora of All-Big Ten performers. Minnesota is 33-14 overall with Rossi as defensive coordinator and 30-10 in the last four full seasons. Since 2019 (Rossi’s first season as DC), Minnesota has ranked in the Top 26 in the nation in 16 different defensive categories. Please See Page 7 of Game Notes for a complete breakdown of Minnesota’s unheralded family room defense.
As of Nov. 13, Rossi oversees a defense that is ranked No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense (13.1 points) and No. 8 in the nation in total defense (274.0). Minnesota is also ranked No. 2 in the nation in 3rd down conversion defense (0.254), No. 7 in the nation in first downs defense (141), No. 7 in team passing efficiency defense (107.29) and No. 13 in rushing defense (106.8). Minnesota’s complete team defensive stats can be found here.
Linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin leads he Minnesota defense with 69.0 tackles and is tied for the team lead with 4.5 tackles for loss. Safety Tyler Nubin is second on the team with 47 tackles and leads the Gophers with four interceptions. Linebacker Cody Lindenberg has blossomed under Rossi and is third on the team with 45 tackles, while safety Jordan Howden is fourth with 41 tackles. Minnesota’s complete defensive stats can be found here.