(Closed Circuit to Adrian... see, I'm writing this week.)
Well hey, a W is a W, right?
Without digging into specific numbers of tonight's game, here are some thoughts on what I saw from section 207.
We knew the defense was going to be trouble this year again. The calling card of the Gophers defense over the past decade has been giving up big plays on 3rd & long, and that certainly didn't change tonight.
If the Gophers are going to win the 5 games that I have predicted they would win, they are going to need to play the ball control game on offense. Coach Brewster should use the first drive of the game (over 90 yards, over 8 minutes, and a TD) as a blue-print for the season. Every second that this team can keep the defense off of the field is going to be a bonus.
Speaking of ball control, the Gophers are going to need to get a bigger contribution from the running game if we are going to be competitive at all. Bennett's 61 yard TD run was roughly half of the teams entire rushing output, which is pathetic. The short dink-&-dunk passes are great, and those types of completions help control the clock, which is huge. But the run game is going to have to step up. Personally, I'd like to see Jay Thomas get some carries in this offense.
Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I wasn't overly impressed with Weber's effort tonight. His numbers turned out to look pretty good, but I was disappointed to see him still throwing into tight coverages. In addition, his accuracy needs to improve. He missed a number of open recievers tonight, and usually he was throwing short, which is alarming. Lastly, it doesn't look like he's checking down his throwing options very well. The majority of the time he seems to take the snap, and while he is back-peddling he is looking to one reciever, who he ends up throwing to, without looking at other options. If Weber is going to be effective in the spread, he is going to need to work on this.
Overall, I think this was a very important victory for the Gophers. They found a way to win, which is something they clearly couldn't do last year.
Nice game fellas!!! Let's get after it next week too!