Minnesota Morning
Fire Coach Glen Mason?

Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, www.gopherfootballblog.com. There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.


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:

Here we go, the Minnesota Golden Gophers against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Insight Bowl.

If you go back about two months ago there were the dreamers, some would say insane people, who said the Gophers could close out with three victories and go to a bowl game. I was a little slow to go along with that but I did buy in after the Indiana game.


I think the Gophers are going to win tonight. Maybe I should say they can win tonight.


Things to know about the Texas Tech Red Raiders:

Yeah, yeah, yeah they pass the ball a lot. They average 363 passing yards a game. They are the #3 passing offense in the country.


QB Graham Harrell has thrown 562 passes, a 66.3 completion percentage, 4,110 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions.


9 of their wide receivers have 20 or more completions.


This is very impressive. Watching a Texas Tech game has been compared to watching a video game.


But they have issues. Texas Tech only put up 3 points on TCU and 6 on a crappy Colorado team.


They are not Ohio State, Michigan, or (cringe) Wisconsin who have balanced passing and rushing teams.


Their defense is not all that great.


There is hope Gopher fans…


Speaking of the Gophers, the defense ranks 115th against the pass giving up 254 yards per game. Most of those yards were given up earlier in the season against a defense that had no identity. Giving up 300 passing yards in this game would like bring the Gophers a victory.


I grant that Indiana, Michigan State, and Iowa do not have the passing game of Texas Tech but in many aspects the teams as a whole are comparable.


We did well on defense forcing turnovers, making big plays, and a pass rush. Most of the entire defense became very physical in their play. They became confidant.


My main concern on defense is we suck on third down. We have a hard time getting off the field.


This is a test for the coaches as much as it is for the players. You have had a month to watch videotape. You have had a month to create a plan. You do not need to shut them down, just slow them down.


On offense we need a balanced attack like we had the last three games of the season.


Some comparison should be given between Harrell and Bryan Cupito. This season Cupito has thrown for 2,556 yards, 19 touchdowns, and a 60% completion rate. That’s not bad for a run first offense.


We have a couple of key injuries in TE Matt Spaeth (should surgery) and OL Steve Shidell (broken leg) but their replacements are adequate. The offensive line shifts around a bit and

Jack Simmons replaces Spaeth. Simmons has seen quite a bit of playing time and while not the same player as the NFL bound Spaeth he is a good tight end.


Just about every defense we have faced in the Big Ten is as good as Texas Tech. We should not see anything new.



We need to score first and it needs to take some time. Coach Mason, if we have a choice PLEASE go on offense first.


Our offense should do well. Our defense has had a month to prepare for the track meet. I am still drinking the Kool-Aid. I have my sweatshirt and lucky maroon and gold beads (the ones from Ann Arbor two years ago) with me. I will be at Joe Senser’s in Bloomington.


We will see a Gopher victory.


Minnesota over Texas Tech.


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