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Gopher Football 2-0

I was really uptight on Saturday. I saw the scoreboard, saw the statistics during the game, and yet felt like we looked bad during the game. Some of what I saw in the paper and on TV supported that perception.

After the game players and coaches were talking about the need to make fewer mistakes, be more consistent, greater intensity.

Then they, and I, looked at the stats:

-Minnesota had 545 yards of total offense, 350 on the ground 190 by air.

-Laurence Maroney had 2 TD’s and 133 yards on 26 carries.

-Blocked punt for a TD.

-Turnover ratio, +2.

-2 Sacks by our Defense.

-Colorado State gained 59 yards on 25 carries and 362 on 21-42 passing.

This last statistic, passing, was bothering me. Then I realized much of that was at the end of the game, well after it was decided. There were a couple of blown coverages earlier with one leading to a TD. Maybe it’s because we are used to looking at the passing defense through a microscope that during a game the issue seems larger than it is.

Then again, maybe some of the Big Ten receivers are going to have a big day. I guess we wait and see.

Some more bits of information:

-The Gophers currently have a streak of four games in which an individual opponent has not rushed for 100 yards - Iowa, Alabama, Tulsa and Colorado State.

- Minnesota has now amassed more than 300 yards of total offense in a school-record 29 straight games dating back to the 2002 season.

What does this all mean? I made up my mind in the 3rd quarter that the issue was not with the team but my expectations of the team. We are going to be stingy on defense against the run and porous through the air.

That our air game should be just good enough and with 8 players in the box knowing that Laurence Maroney and company are going to run over teams. That does not mean we will always have the big exciting play for a long run but over the whole game it will certainly take its toll on a defense.

P.S. How the Big Ten last weekend? Iowa? Michigan? Ohio State, although that was not much of an upset. How about Wisconsin the week before against Bowling Green? Sure the QB at Bowling Green is a star but oh man the Wisconsin defense looked bad.

25 days to Michigan.


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