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Minnesota Golden Gophers And Ohio State Buckeyes Preview And Final

Click Gopher Football for all of the posts, most recent first.



Before getting into this weeks game there is another Coach Mason quote worth talking about. At the North Dakota State post game press conference he said:

"This is the kind of game that puts a smile on your face. When you're out coached and outplayed and still win."

It’s just not worth getting a rant over other than to say this, maybe we do need to reconsider his employment.


It’s been a while since I have said this and mostly because I have been bitter with the coaching staff. I believe before every season we are going to the Rose Bowl and each Saturday we will win the game, or at least have a chance.


This week is an exception.


I heard that some players were using the analogy that if the Bison were able to keep it close with the Gophers that the Gophers can keep it close with the Buckeyes?


Huh? What? Speechless…


Coach Mason heads back to his alma mater. For those that do not know our wide receivers coach Luke Tressel is Ohio State football Head Coach Jim Tressel’s son.


Here is my hope for the game today, that our team plays respectable football. We have 18 some players from the state of Ohio on our team and most of them would like to have been given an invitation to play in Columbus.


We played well at the Metrodome last year and ran up a lot of yards on the then #1 defense on the country


With guys like Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez and James Laurinaitis (another Minnesota kid that got away) my feeling is that Ohio State could take on the worst team in the NFL and stick with them for the 1st half. After that the size and speed of the NFL team would do them in.


Matt Spaeth has suffered a severe shoulder injury and could be out for the season. He will be replaced with Jack Simmons.


Ohio State Football Blogs:

Men of the Scarlet and Gray

Around the Oval

Buckeye Commentary


Big Ten Predictions

Last weeks results 5-1 (14-4)


I thought I was going to have my first 6-0 weekend but Northwestern surrendered the largest comeback in Division I-A history. The positive side is that the Minnesota and Ohio State game of 1989 comes off the record books as tied for the largest comeback.


Ohio State over Minnesota

Michigan over Northwestern

Wisconsin over Illinois

Indiana over Michigan State

Iowa over Northern Illinois

Purdue over Penn State



Minnesota Golden Gophers 0 and Ohio State Buckeyes 44


My gut reaction to this one is a little sarcastic and yes I know Ohio State is #1 in the country. Here goes…


MEDIC!!! We need a medic over here. They have at best a faint pulse and shallow breathing. Where did our offense go? Has anyone seen them? OK, I feel better now.


Today I was reminded why even though we do not have the greatest team I like our team. I like their character on and off the field. I like them as students and people. I like that they played hard.


I hope that for all of those who said bad things about Dominic Jones after the fumble in the Penn State game saw his play yesterday. He came to play. He had a couple of nice plays on Ted Ginn and he had an awesome hit on Ray Small.


After knocking Small on his back Jones celebrated with his teammates until he saw that Small was not just down, he was out. Jones settled himself and took off his helmet and looked on as the Buckeye trainers took care of Small. Once Small sat up Jones went over too him and offered him a hand in respect. Dominic Jones, class act.


Now having seen Ohio State, Michigan, and Cal and watching most if not all of the highly ranked teams on TV there is no doubt in my mind Ohio State is #1.




Amir Pinnix, 46 yards



Jack Simmons, 48 yards



Bryan Cupito, 13-25 for 120 yards and 3 interceptions, sacked 2 times



Steve Davis, 1 sack

Laurence Maroney Comments On Gopher Football

Click Gopher Football for all of the posts, most recent first.


Laurence Maroney and the New England Patriots play the Minnesota Vikings this week. Maroney was asked some questions about returning to the Metrodome and about the Gopher football program.


From the Star Tribune article Maroney says Mason can utilize talent better and Mercury News article Former Gopher Maroney appears to have his doubts about Mason:

Asked if he had heard about the "Fire Mason" chants during recent home games, former Gophers running back Laurence Maroney, a rookie first-round draft pick of the New England Patriots, said, "I'm not going to get up on that because it's none of my business. But we [Minnesota] got a great group of guys that can play.


"Sometimes, I feel like Mason doesn't realize the talent that he does have. He overlooks a lot of people. I don't know for what reason, but he overlooks a lot of people. He doesn't give them a chance. They have a great receiving corps, a great running back corps, and he just doesn't know how to use what he has sometimes."


During his first two seasons at Minnesota, Maroney teamed with Marion Barber III, now a key member of the Dallas Cowboys' backfield.


"Even though I did play a lot, there was a lot more than me and Marion," Maroney said.


"We had great receivers. We had [Aaron] Hosack and a lot of other receivers.


"I don't think [Mason] knew how much talent he really had on the team. I think he got so far caught up into how good we were running the ball. If we wanted to, we could have spread the field effectively.


"But it's been like that for awhile," Maroney added. "They've been stuck in this running mentality that they really don't know what type of receivers they have. So they really haven't given them a chance."


Mason didn't seem upset by Maroney's comments when contacted Wednesday evening.


"I believe in freedom of speech," Mason said. "I've always had a great relationship with Laurence. He never expressed anything like that to me."


Maroney said Mason's coaching wasn't a factor in him leaving school early for the NFL. He leads the Patriots and all NFL rookies in rushing with 361 yards on 86 carries (a 4.2-yard average) with three touchdowns.


"I rushed for 1,000 yards every year in college. What else was there to prove?" he said.


"Did I want to take my next 200 or 300 hits in college or the NFL?"


Maroney emphasized that he feels Mason should keep his job.


"I don't think they need a new coach," he said. "I just think he needs to open his eyes and look at his team."

I completely agree with Maroney’s take on Coach Mason. That and the need of PR help. By the way, I am also still waiting on the opening up of the offense and some passing of the ball.

Gopher Football Game From The Students Perspective

Click Gopher Football for all of the posts, most recent first.


Last week Coach Mason suggested that the drunkenness, more like his perception of it, be looked at by Fox 9 News. The same station that did it’s “investigative” report on underage drinking by the Gopher men’s hockey team last year.


Looks like the Star Tribune took him up on it with this, Students' sobering reality rings through loud and clear. A reporter was in the student section for the North Dakota State game.


In part:

Seivert wasn't drunk. A lengthy tailgater chased by some of those $6 Metrodome beers might have made the game easier to take, but the senior chose to suffer sober. He did not do so quietly, and neither did most of his fellow students.


As they watched the Gophers stumble to a 10-9 victory over Division I-AA North Dakota State, several students took issue with Mason's remarks last week. Those with beers in their hands and those without refuted Mason's contention that alcohol fueled some of their unhappiness with this rapidly unraveling season. And in case he still believed their boos were meant for the players, they sprinkled in enough "Fire Mason" chants to clear up any confusion.


As another "Fire Mason" chant rippled through the student section, the band quickly struck up a tune that drowned it out. The musicians were roundly booed.


In case there was any doubt left, the students quashed it at the game's end. When the Gophers blocked Shawn Bibeau's 42-yard field-goal attempt with one second remaining, their supporters leaped and hugged wildly, screamed with joy and cheered the players off the field.


Then, when Mason trotted toward the tunnel, they stopped clapping, cupped their hands around their mouths and booed until he disappeared.


Ashford Kroll, a fifth-year student, said the fact that she and so many other students continue to show up proves that they support the team. The coach is a different matter. "I'm a fan, no matter what," she said. "I think this team is still developing. But I do think Mason's time is over."


By the way, she wasn't drunk, either. "I'm too cheap," she explained. "Do you know what they charge for a beer at this place?"

Hopefully that puts an end to who the students are booing and the amount of alcohol that is (or is not) being consumed.

Minnesota Golden Gophers And North Dakota State Bison Preview And Final

Click Gopher Football for all of the posts, most recent first.



In order to have bought a ticket to the Iowa game one had to buy a ticket to the North Dakota State Bison football game. From a ticket sales viewpoint that makes sense. Milk the Hawkeyes for some more cash besides what they will spend at the Mall of America.


But how “green” will the Dome be on Saturday? My brother has decided not to drive from Alexandria for fear of running into a North Dakota traffic jam on Interstate 94. While I am thinking about it this is a public service message for those from North Dakota. The left lane is a passing lane. Not a cruising lane. Not a lane to drive at various speeds while on your cell phone.


Thank you.


A lot of people have been saying this is a no win situation for the Gophers. Win big, no one cares. Lose, and those living in the maroon and gold world will implode.


The Bison are ranked in the top 10, 6 I think, in 1-AA. They have a good team and quite a few of their players could see playing if they played for Minnesota and other large schools.


My concern is the hangover or now funk we seem to be in will carry into this week or worse yet completely over looking this game and to Ohio State.


The Gophers will be wearing 1960’s era jerseys. Lets hope we play that way Saturday and the rest of the season.


Trumaine Banks is out for the season after breaking his arm against Wisconsin. Dominic Jones will be moved from Strong Safety to Cornerback with Duran Cooley taking Banks spot.


North Dakota State Football Blogs

None that I could find


Big Ten Predictions

Last weeks results 4-2 (9-3)


Minnesota over North Dakota State

Ohio State over Indiana

Michigan over Iowa

Wisconsin over Purdue

Northwestern over Michigan State

Penn State over Illinois



Minnesota Golden Gophers 10 And North Dakota State 9


A disclaimer. In 1982 when the Gophers moved to the Dome my father purchased 2 season tickets. I have seen many, many odd games (Wisconsin, Purdue, and Ohio State are the usual suspects) over the years. I have seen the Gophers be blown out (Oklahoma and Nebraska come to mind) and give it to others.


In all of this time I have missed only 10 games all due to being sick with one thing or another and this years Temple game for the funeral of my grandma. I have missed a few weddings of family members but made it the receptions. My family and friends know where my commitment is on Saturdays in the fall when the Gophers play at home.


I did not attend the game against North Dakota State for no reason other than I did not want to. I was behind in work, had not slept much during the week, and frankly did not care about the game. I did make sure I gave my tickets to a friend and his son and yes they are Gopher fans. I would never give my tickets to someone not wearing the maroon and gold.


As for the game itself (I did watch it on TV) worse than winning big or losing is what happened. Gopherland in celebration after a blocking a Bison field goal to not lose the game just does not look or feel good.


As the Gophers made their way off the field the students made a point to cheer for their peers but as the coaching staff made their way to the tunnel the boo’s were heard again. Maybe now Coach Mason understand who the fans are frustrated with and who they think should be held accountable for the season.


I understand that during the game when the student section started the “Fire Mason” chant the U of M Marching band would start playing to drown out the students. Hmmm, I would like to know who came up with that plan.


62,845 was the paid attendance and from what I saw on TV and heard from those at the game, at least half were cheering for the Bison. I hate to say this but I feel bad for the Bison. They were the better team.




Amir Pinnix, 97 yards and 1 TD



Matt Spaeth, 49 yards



Bryan Cupito, 10-24 for 150 yards and sacked 2 times



Willie VanDeSteeg, 1 sack

Todd Meisel, 1 sack

Neel Allen, 1 sack

Jamal Harris, 1 interception

Coach Glen Mason Comments

Click Gopher Football for all of my posts (most recent first)


Updated January 2, 2007 at 2:00 am:

Since this post Coach Glen Mason has been fired.


Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Search And Possible Candidates

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers 41 and Texas Red Raiders 44, Review

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Glen Mason Has Been Fired

Link for my reaction after the game Fire Coach Glen Mason?

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview


Original Post:

As if we needed any more controversy around the coach and his staff, Coach Mason decided he wanted to get some things off of his chest.


Or as I would call it, he decided to stick his foot in his mouth.


I do not think Coach Mason should be fired but I do think he needs to get a public relations person and work on his people skills. When John Gutekunst and Jim Wacker were fired people felt bad they were leaving. They made a connection with the fans, university and media.


Not Coach Mason.


Here is what he had to say at his Tuesday, October 17 press conference:

“If you're mad at the coach, whatever, but those kids are your team,' Mason said. 'What I really like to say is, fine, if you don't like me that's one thing. But do you love the Gophers? Are you really a Gopher fan? Now ask yourself that question. Because you can't be doing some of the things if you are. You can't because those are kids out there. You ought to be supporting those kids. Even though you might not be yelling their name it affects them negatively. I don't think that's very smart.”


"We serve alcohol in that stadium. Not many college stadiums do that. I was at one game, looking up there, I thought, 'Where's Fox News? There's a lot of underage drinking out there because I know that guy ain't 21."

HEY COACH!!! Most of the people booing were season ticket holders and they were booing you and your coaching staff. Any person with common sense, including your players, knows whom they were booing. The students were not chanting, “Fire Our Players”, they were chanting “Fire Mason”.


Hey buddy, that’s you.


You might not want to throw your players under the bus like that unless you want an "accidental" football dinging you off the side of your head in practice.


Coach Mason, you are making it hard for us devout followers of the Gopher football program to support it. I am tired of taking crap for being a fan.


To the drinking of students, now you are showing how out of touch you are. Do the demographics and you would know that most of the students are not 21. The Metrodome does a good job asking for ID’s.


And how the heck can most college students afford $6 a beer?


Are some drinking before the game? I would bet they are. But you make it seem like the kids are crazy out of control. Only with you Coach are they getting that way.


Either you do not understand the community in which you live and coach or you do not care. Either way, shame on you.


Someone get Coach Mason some PR help and quick.

Minnesota Golden Gophers And Wisconsin Badgers Preview And Final

Click Gopher Football for all of the posts, most recent first.



Oh how I have a bad feeling about this one. Sort of like waking up the day after drinking Leinenkugel’s and sausage filled with cheese. Not that I have ever consumed anything like that, the beer yes the sausage/cheese no. But in keeping with the Wisconsin Badger football theme…


I have an emotional hangover from last week. Seems like most Gopher fans do too. And here we go to “Mad Town” where we seem to not do so well.


As a side note I am growing tired of watching native Minnesotans play football for other teams. This week we get to see John Stocco (Holy Angels) for the last time. He has looked good wearing the red and having Bucky Badger “high five” him all the time. If I remember correctly he was not recruited by Minnesota.


And how about that Wisconsin band? On probation including hazing allegations. Very nice. Maybe they should do a take off of Girls Gone Wild. Maybe, Badgers In The Wild.


Minnesota and Wisconsin play for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. This is the 116th meeting between the schools and the longest continuous rivalry in NCAA I-A football. I think Lehigh and Lafayette have played 1 or 2 years longer in I-AA.


While fishing on Lake Minnetonka my buddy Brian took my by this house:




I hate to say this but I think Wisconsin will win easily but hopefully not in a blow out.


Wisconsin Football Blogs:

Badger Sports

Bucky Blog

Cute Sports


Big Ten Predictions

Last week’s results 5-1, my Gophers let me down but the Hoosiers helped out.


Wisconsin over Minnesota

Michigan over Penn State

Ohio State over Michigan State

Northwestern over Purdue

Indiana over Iowa

Illinois over Ohio



Minnesota Golden Gophers 12 and Wisconsin Badgers 48


Wow, that was a lot of fun to watch. This game became so bad that the game announcers had a split screen with the in studio guys and talking about other things while showing Gophers and Badgers playing. To make it worse for us Gophers fans, or more like taking us out of our misery, they switched to another game.


For as many points as Wisconsin put on us the stat sheet, 400 total yards, was not that glamorous.


I have very little to comment on except for the Mario Reese celebration. So we blocked a kick and returned it for 2 points. He dove in the end zone a la Reggie Bush. I like enthusiasm. I like having energy. Dude, we were getting our Gopher tail kicked up and down the field. The celebration was not necessary.




Amir Pinnix, 97 yards and 1 TD



Matt Spaeth, 42 yards

Eric Decker, 26 yards



Bryan Cupito, 13-28 for 94 yards, 1 Interception and sacked 3 times



Steve Davis, 1 sack

Todd Meisel, 1 sack




Minnesota Golden Gophers and Penn State Nittany Lions Preview And Final

Click Gopher Football for all of the posts, most recent first.



Let me start by saying that I believe the Gophers can and will win this game. Why? If the Gophers can play this week (without the usual big game loss hangover that they seem to be plagued with) like they did against Michigan they will win.


Besides a fair performance by the Gophers I do not think that Penn State football is that good this year, at least not at this point in the season.


As a team they are not that big or athletic as in years past. Their QB seems a bit above average but nothing to get excited about. Their offensive line is thin in terms of available players and their secondary is not that good.


The Gophers should pass early to set up the run. Plain and simple. After all this is what we were promised at the beginning of the season.


Minnesota and Penn State play for the Governor’s Victory Bell, which started in 1993 when Penn State was admitted to the Big Ten. Minnesota is 4-5 against Penn State



Minnesota by 10.


Penn State Football Blogs:

Penn State, like Michigan, has no shortage in the number of bloggers supporting their university and college teams. Here are the ones I like the best:


50-Yard line

Inside PA Sports

Black Shoe Diaries

The Nittany Notebook

There Is No Name On My Jersey


Big Ten Predictions

A disclaimer, I am way more a fan than a Las Vegas odds maker and I do little if any research. This is what I think, nothing more and nothing less. Well, maybe some bias.


Minnesota over Penn State

Ohio State over Bowling Green

Wisconsin over Northwestern

Michigan over Michigan State

Indiana over Illinois

Iowa over Purdue



I am not sure how to express my frustration with this loss.


I am upset with the official for calling the pass interference call on Trumaine Banks. I wonder if the one who threw the flag has been one of the many that Coach Joe Paterno has chased down over the years. Remember, I have stated that I have a lot of respect for Jo Pa but this smells of payback for calls gone against them over the years. Two wrongs do not make a right.


There is no way you throw a flag from the backside. There is no way he had an angle on that play to make the call. And note that the official closest to the play did not flag the play.


Besides the pass interference call there are a few situations that stick out as major moments in this game and not one of them went our way. Yes, our players made some mistakes but our coaches contributed or to go so far as to say they helped create the situation.


The first is the Dominic Jones fumbled punt near the goal line. While I do not understand how something like that happens I never played football. I never had guys running down the field running as fast as they could wanting to take my head off as I was standing there all by myself waiting for the ball to come back to earth.


I do take issue with the coaches for putting him in that position to begin with. We had a 4th down and less than a yard around our own 45-yard line. The crowd was in the game. Momentum was up for grabs. And once again Coach Mason goes conservative. I am growing tired of his line that goes something like, “It’s more fun to coach and play to win than not to lose.”


Really? When was the last time we made an aggressive play to win decision?


So we punted, as did Penn State, which is how we got to the fumble.


How about the lame attempt at running out the clock at the end of the first half? Once again we go conservative. (I am still looking for the coaching to win attitude). Now I grant that Amir Pinnix running out of bounds and stopping the clock was a mistake but three running plays and the punt is not being aggressive.


While the three run plays were going on there were a few fans that started booing. After the punt a small chant started in the student section, “Fire Mason”. After the Penn State touchdown to make it Nittany Lions 14-7 and the end of the half the chant came back very loud accompanied by a chorus of boos.


In the second half Trumaine Banks was hurt and had to sit out a play. His replacement was a little used young guy. Now if there was ever a time to play that soft zone, it was then. Nope, we go man to man and gave up the big play.


Three coaching decisions made as much an impact as one blown call by the referee.


Then there was the missed extra point in OT by Jason Giannini. Speechless. I was then and I am now.


After all of that the game was in hand except for the call from one referee who was out of position.


How many more games will Gopher fans have to endure like this one?



-Matt Spaeth moves in front of Ben Utecht in all time tight end receptions and moves to 11th regardless of position.




-Amir Pinnix, 76 yards and 2 TD’s



-Matt Spaeth, 99 yards and 1 TD

-Logan Payne, 94 yards

-Eric Decker, 66 yards and 1 TD



-Bryan Cupito, 25-36 for 347 yards, 2 TD’s, sacked 3 times



-John Shevlin, 1 Interception

-Will VanDeSteeg, 1 Sack


I am a big fan of Joe Paterno:





And there goes The Bell:


IT Volunteer Opportunities With NonProfits

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