Every Wednesday, FOX Sports North takes a look at which athletes' stock is trending up and whose is trending down.
In other words, who is making a meteoric rise âlike the Mike Zimmer-led Minnesota Vikings -- and who is plummeting. With that in mind, let's "take stock" of the current sports scene in Minnesota, shall we?
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Terence Newman, Vikings CB
Newman, 37, seemingly turned back time last Sunday, in the Vikings' 30-14 win over the Raiders. The two-time Pro Bowler intercepted a pair of passes, including a key, late-game pick in the end zone. Newman became the first Viking with multiple interceptions in a game since Jamarca Sanford did so in a 2011 contest. Newman, who was the fifth overall choice in the 2003 NFL Draft by Dallas, now has three career games with two or more interceptions.
Thomas Vanek, Wild LW
With star Zach Parise ailing, the veteran Vanek has stepped up his game. The 31-year-old former Gophers standout had a goal last Thursday night, as the Wild outlasted Carolina, 3-2 in overtime. The native Austrian is now tied with Parise for the team lead in goals, with seven. Vanek, who had an assist in Tuesday's narrow loss to Pittsburgh, also has 14 total points this season -- a key reason why the Wild are off to one of the best starts in franchise history.
The third-ranked University of Minnesota volleyball squad posted a noteworthy win over the weekend, sweeping top-ranked Penn State in three sets. With the win, Minnesota improved its match win streak to 14 straight. Sarah Wilhite led the Gophers with 12 kills. Daly Santana added 11 kills and teammate Hannah Tapp added a team-high five blocks.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings TE
The 7-2 Vikings looked like a first-place outfit virtually all day in Oakland last Sunday -- except for late in the first quarter, when Rudolph dropped a wide-open lob pass in the end zone. That was the lowlight in another game in which Rudolph was a non-factor, ending with one catch for seven yards on four targets. The 26-year-old former Pro Bowler has 23 receptions for 182 yards and three TDs this season and hasn't reeled in more than two receptions in a game since Week 2.
The Gophers' run defense
The Gophers played unbeaten Iowa to a draw in several respects in last Saturday's eventual, 40-35 loss. Minnesota's run defense, however, was not up to the task. Tracy Claeys' squad surrendered 195 rushing yards to Iowa standout LeShun Daniels and 272 overall on the ground. The Hawkeyes averaged 5.7 yards per carry. If the Gophers' run defense weren't so leaky, an upset may have been in order.
Ricky Rubio, Wolves PG
The 25-year-old point guard missed four straight games recently due to a hamstring ailment. Then, when Rubio returned on Tuesday at Miami, he had more fouls (five) than assists (three), to go along with seven points on 1-for-7 shooting, in 27 minutes. Rubio entered the week averaging nine assists per night, though, and if he can stay healthy, the Wolves could have an intriguing backcourt on their hands, with Rubio pairing with the ascending Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.
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