Well Gopher fans, how does this Monday feel compared to last week? None of the fine writers here at TDG had or took the time to wrap things up following Saturday's game so let's start off the Nugz with what went great for the Gophers in their big win over Michigan State.
- Offensive Playcalling - this was the most dynamic game plan we have seen in a long time. It begs the question why did we not throw the ball down field in the first 8 games of the season? Especially with Eric Decker as a known and feared commodity, why not throw the ball down field to your other playmakers? Regardless, I loved the game plan and the way we attacked the Spartan defense. This is the first game that I can point to in the Brewster era where I believe we won the coaching battle and it was against a quality coaching staff on the other sideline.
- Offensive Line play - It wasn't perfect and there were a number of penalties (i.e. back to back false starts by Wills), BUT this was the best the OL has played all year. Weber racked up yards and had time to throw several deep balls. Why? Because he had the time to do so. The run game weak, with only 89 total yards, but Michigan State is very good against the run. But with all of the accolades coming in for the offense, let's not forget how well the OL played.
- Adam Weber - after a couple bad games on top of a mediocre and inconsistent season, Adam Weber finally returned. 19/31, 416 yards, 5 TDs and 1 pick (where his receiver was literally tackled). Not much else needs to be said but what was most impressive to me was the 4th quarter drive after Michigan State had taken their first lead of the night. Adam Weber has typically been at his worst when the pressure is notched up and his team absolutely needed a big drive (see Cal and Wisconsin 4th quarters). But this time he goes 2/3, 55 yards and the game winning TD. Included in this short drive was a 7 yard scramble for a first down on 3rd and 3. I wasn't sure that we'd be able to overcome the momentum that Michigan State clearly had entering the 4 quarter but we did.
The glaring black spot on the game was of course the incredible amount of penalties. Brewster and "not comment on Big Ten officiating" all he wants but his team committed 17 penalties for 157 yards!!! Some were mistakes, some where stupid and some were just guys playing football but you can't blame 17 penalties on the refs. Even if they got a few wrong you are still a dozen or more. That is unacceptable.
- Adam Weber was the Big Ten's Offensive player of the week. This really shouldn't be a surprise as he racked up over 400 yards in the air and 5 TDs.
- What is a bit of a surprise is Garret Brown winning the Big Ten's co-defensive player of the week. He doesn't usually get much press but Brown is one of my favorites on the Gopher squad. He is a really bright and personable kid.
- More to come, but Trevor Mbakwe will officially not be allowed to play. This is disappointing news but I have no qualms with Maturi's decision. Things like this need to be resolved before something like playing basketball is allowed. You have the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, but basketball is not a right it is a privilege. I like the message this sends that playing athletics at the U of Minn is a privilege and you should treat it as such. I hope he is innocent and that his name gets cleared of this, but at that time he should be allowed to play basketball for the Gophers.
- MGO has their Big Ten recruiting rankings and currently the Gophers sit at 8th in the Big Ten (9th in his rankings because they include Notre Dame). Adding 4-star RB, Josh Huff will make a big difference but as it stands this is not shaping up to be an outstanding class on paper. Until we land Seantrel of course.
- Hassan Mead won the Big Ten Cross Country Championship. The team finished 3rd and this was Mead's second individual Big Ten CC Championship.
- Finally, be sure to check out the Daily Norseman to get your coverage on the huge Vikings win at Lambeau yesterday. Or check out Acme Packing Co. to read Packer fans jumping off the same cliff Gopher fans were jumping off last week.