Monday, October 5, 2009

How many feet do we have to shoot?

First of all, absolutely fantastic take by Jeff on this game... as usual he is spot on. 

The final score of this game was 31-28, but in no way is that score indicative of the true story of this game. 

Before I dig into some numbers, let me be very clear about something... I am STILL not that impressed with Wisconsin.  This was a very beatable team, but the Gophers didn't do anything to help themselves win this game.  Once again we were in the game in-spite of our offense, not because of them.  Bret Bielema should be sending a thank you card to Coach Brewster and the Gophers for this one.

Like Jeff, I agree that the conservative play-calling in the second half was a huge disservice to the level of talent that this team has.  Where was the creativity and aggressiveness that we saw the last two weeks?  Not only was it a disservice to the offensive talent, but it was also a huge disservice to a defensive unit that has kept the offense in games all year.  The offense's inability to do... well, ANYTHING in the second half lead to this stat...

Game Time of Possesion:
Wisconsin: 34:41
Minnesota: 25:19

Wait, it gets worse...
2nd Half Time of Possesion:
Wisconsin: 20:05
Minnesota: 8:55

Let that sink in for a moment... and consider this: our defense spent over 2/3 of the second half on the field. 

In the second half Wisconsin had 5 drives... EVERY one of them was over 3 minutes, and one of them was over 6 minutes.  The Gophers also had 5 drives... only one of them was over 3 minutes, and the rest were all under 2 minutes.

Let's talk about shooting ourselves in the foot shall we?

Opening kick-off: Stoudemirre returns the ball to about mid-field... oops, wait, holding penalty.  -10 yards

Opening drive: 2nd & 19, Duane Bennett rushes for 20 yards and another Golden Gopher FIRST DOW... oops, fumble... Wisconsin capitalizes with a TD.

Our first drive of the 2nd Quarter: 2nd & 10: penalty, -5 yards.  We then run on 2nd & Long, throw on 3rd & Long, and then punt.

8 minutes left in the half, game tied 10-10:  the offense puts together a great, time-consuming drive all the way down to Wisky's 1 yard line!  It's 1st & Goal from the 1 yard line... oops, penalty, an illegal block for 15 yards.  Instead of getting a TD on this drive, we settle for a FG. 

(We're running out of feet here.)

Last drive of the second half.  We had just made Wisky go 3 & Out.  We get the ball back deep in our own territory, but with 1:13 left on the clock, and 3 timeouts.  We also have the most dangerous receiver in the Big Ten on our side of the ball... HERE WE GO!!!  Oooops... instead of using those timeouts, let's just go into halftime happy to be winning by 3.  I cannot believe this decision.  Who is coaching this team, Denny Green?  Glen Mason? INEXPLICABLE!!! 

(Now look, I'm not saying we would have scored a TD on that drive, or that we would have scored at all, anything is possible... but consider this fact: if not for the penalty that killed the prior drive, and if not for curling up into the fetal position on the last drive before halftime, the Gophers had a very legitimate shot at going into the locker room at halftime of this game up 24-10 on our biggest rival.  Instead, 13-10.)

Wisconsin gets the ball to start the 2nd half... FUMBLE!!!   Time for the Gophs to capitalize!!!  3rd & 2 from Wisky's 18 yard line... oops, penalty. 3rd & 12 from Wisky's 28.  Weber's going to throw... interception.  Superb.

(At this point I could use some whiskey, but I was already three deep on the Schell's Amber, so switching to the diesel would have been a poor choice. )

Oh, by the way, our penalties: 9 of them, for 75 yards.  Additionally one could argue (if one wanted to bother and if one was given enough pain-go-bye-bye-juice), that these penalties cost us two touchdowns.

I've already told you what happened the rest of the second half as John Clay made the worn-out Gopher defense his Charlie Biatch... except for the play when Bielema decided to pull Clay and instead just have Zach Brown hand us the ball.  Thanks for that false sense of hope Bret!  And I thought I couldn't hate you any more than I already did.

Last week I was interviewed by Bucky's 5th Quarter as part of their weekly internet radio hour.  The question was posed to me: What scares you the most about Wisconsin?  My answer: the Badgers running game. 

While this answer was slightly prophetic, my answer perhaps should have been something like: Nothing about Wisconsin scares me nearly as much as the Gophers uncannily great aim at their own feet scares me.


LC said...

I'm sorry but this sounds like sour grapes! I'm a big Gophers fan and what I think we need is better players and better coaching. Brew is not the answer

LC said...

I'm sorry, I'm a huge Gophers fan, but this just sounds like sour grapes! They won, whether you like it or not. We need better players and better coaching

Jeremy said...

"I'm sorry but this sounds like sour grapes."

Call it what you want, I was disappointed in our play and our many mistakes. We are a better football team than we showed on Saturday, and Wisconsin was a very beatable team.

Gopher Bandanna Guy said...

Those TOP #s are the most telling, and damning. Bottom line here, Wisconsin capitalized on our turnovers more than we did on theirs...