Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brewster Suspends Two

As you've probably heard by now, Gophers head coach Tim Brewster has suspended two defensive players for two games for violating unspecified team rules. Senior defensive end Cedrick McKinley and sophomore safety Tim Dandridge are both big losses in their own way. McKinly is going to be a big, big loss as he was starting to become the force off the edge we'd hope he'd become. The last two weeks we've seen the Gophs go more to a 3-4 look (four starting linebackers instead of three), and with the suspension of McKinley I'd expect that to continue. Getting linebacker Keanon Cooper on the field is going to be a better option than any of the backup linemen we'd see in McKinley's place if the D goes back to a 4-3. Regardless, we're going to have to get REALLY creative in finding ways to pressure Badgers QB Scott Tolzien, as I doubt any of our backup ends are going to be able to create pressure on their own.

Losing Danridge might not seem like much at first, as he recorded just one tackle in four games. But when you realize just how thin we are at safety, well, if either of the starters go down we're probably looking at a true fresman to replace them instead of the experienced Dandridge. Or could we see Colado moved back to safety and push freshman Michael Carter into the nickel back roll? Probably just wishful thinking on my part.

I applaud Coach Brew for disciplining his players, but it's going to make things even tougher on the defense for the next two weeks. Let's hope the replacements step up.

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