Saturday, October 4, 2008

Well That Didn't Take Long

After an 1-11 season last year, I know I should be happy to have 5 wins in the first 6 games. I know I should be pumped that Coach Brewster got his first Big 10 win, and the Gophs defense looked awesome. A win is a win is a win as they say (I think they say it. Somebody says it. I just said it), but boy they don't come much uglier than the Gophs 16-7 win over IU today. I know I SHOULD be excited and optimistic about things, but, well let's just say I'm thinking a lot more about an offense that had a lot of trouble moving the football against Indiana instead of the defense or how close the Gophs are to going bowling (Detroit Rock City here we come baby!!!!) Yikes.

This is just who I am. I'll let Jer break down the game and give you the Expert Opinion, since that's his thing and all, but a couple of negative thoughts of my own while sitting in Section 230 row 18 seat 3 (at least until we moved up a row, and then across the field to much better seats in his uncle's section in 207 in the second half)...

* As far as I can tell, the Gophers have about 5 plays in their playbook:
1) Short pass to Eric Decker
2) Screen pass to Eric Decker (not to be confused with the short pass)
3) Run with Eric Decker
4) Run up the middle with Eskridge for 3 yards (hey it's the Leroy Hoard running game! You need a yard? I'll get you 3. You need 5 yards? I'll give you 3! Well actually 2.63 to be exact.)
5) An incomplete pass on the rare occassion Weber threw to somebody NOT named Eric Decker.

* If you had a staring contest with Adam Weber, and you somehow made the mistake of telling him your name was Eric Decker, you would NOT win that staring contest (really Adam, it's ok to look off your intended target once in awhile. Or look to other options. Really, it is).

* I want to know who told Weber that his scholarship will get taken away if he doesn't look to Decker on every single pass play.

* Even when you take out Weber's 8 carries for -36 yards (why does the NCAA insist on counting sacks towards a quarterback's rushing totals instead of team passing yards like the NFL?) the offense still only rushed for 95 yards on 36 carries. That's 2.6 per carry. Against INDIANA!!! The O-Line, which was always a strength under Mason, is still obviously learning how to run block out of the spread. They need to figure it out here quickly with 5 good teams and Iowa left.

* 3 gigantic plays that went the Gophers way that really turned the tide. If the Hoosiers make any one of these three plays, things could have been much different:
1) Hoosier CB Richard Council flat out dropping a Pick Six (I know, the phrase "Pick Six" has become more overused than "walkoff homer") in the 3rd quarter that would have made it 14-13 IU.
2) The very next series one of IU's DE's dropped another interception on a screen pass that could have very easily gone for 6
3) Kellen Lewis fumbling after converting a huge 3rd down run in the third quarter

So despite all of this and my negativity, the Gophers defense was fierce all afternoon (their only bad play was the blown coverage on Thigpen's TD. That was it), the offense still rolled up 274 yards passing (on what seemed like 479 short passes and screens), and hey don't look now, but the Gophs are 5-1!

Also, apologies about the podcast. We had some techincal issues, and by the time we got them figured out, it was too late to post it. A new and improved podcast starting next week.

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