Minnesota Football: Loss to Wisconsin... What we thought we knew, What we found out

We've been doing this pretty much every week all season. It's getting to the point that I could probably just say "The Gophers are who we thought they were..." every single week. Let's face it, we pretty much know what we're getting with this group each week, right?

What we thought we knew:

We knew that the Gophers wanted to commit to the run, but after having said the same thing last year, we weren't ready to believe it until we saw it.

What we found out:

Through 6 games the Gophers are averaging 41 rushes/game, 154 yards/game, and 3.7 yards/carry. But for comparison sake, let's take out the MTSU game because the rushing results in that game appear to be a statistical anomaly: 67 rushes for 281 yards.

2010 Gopher rushing (w/out MTSU stats):
35 carries/game
129 yards/game
3.7 yards/carry.

2009 Gopher rushing (through 6 games):
32 carries/game
115 yards/game
3.6 yards/carry

So, statistically speaking, what has our commitment to the run produced? 3 more carries/game, which has resulted in 14 more yards/game, and .1 more yard/carry.

What we thought we knew:

Coming into 2010, we thought we had a pretty talented defense, but we were a little nervous about how that talent was going to come together.

What we found out:

The Badgers are incredibly efficient on offense. They are well-balanced and they get yards in chunks. The Badgers don't necessarily need a porous defense to be able to rack up yards, but we gave them one anyway. They averaged nearly 5.5 yards/carry, and continued to do what both USC and NIU were able to do very well against us: run up the middle.

Our defense might have a ton of raw talent, but it's either not being used correctly or it is so raw that it's not producing any results.

What we thought we knew:

We thought Adam Weber would be more comfortable, and therefore more productive, in Jeff Horton's simplifed offensive scheme.

What we found out:

Weber continues to not be anywhere near a problem on this team as he again had a fairly productive day 11 completions for 249 yards and 3 TD's without any interceptions. The only issue that I had with Weber was his accuracy. He again was showing a tendency to overthrow receivers, which is concerning. His 11 completions required 25 attempts, meaning that Weber completed just 44% of his passes.

What we thought we knew:

We thought Duane Bennett would be back at full speed and be a much more complete back after a difficult 2009 in which he was still slowed by 2008's knee injury.

What we found out:

Bennett had 3 carries... Three. Something is clearly physically wrong with him or he's sitting in Brewster or Horton's dog-house because his production and touches have both dropped SIGNIFICANTLY. Bennett did have one catch for 34 yards where he put on some nice moves, but other than that, he was nearly non-existent.

What we thought we knew:

We thought that Tim Brewster might finally win a rivalry game and we thought that the Gophers would keep things close against the Badgers.

What we found out:

Okay, to be fair, we didn't really think that Brewster was going to win this game, rivalry or not. It's just become so clear that he is in over his head. But we DID think that the Gophers would keep it close in this game. On paper the Gophers lost the game by 18 points. In reality, there was a 22 point spread on this game and based on how much better the Badgers played compared to the Gophers, Wisconsin should have covered that and then some. (But they didn't, and for that, thank you Gophers... I'm just sayin'.)

The fact is that the Badgers outclassed us in every facet of the game. They did everything better than us and they deserved every ounce of the easy victory they got en route to hanging onto the Axe.

And that's really the problem isn't it? We're running out of moral victories. Punky Brewster was fond of telling us that the team could be 5-0, but he finally had to realize that his team was beat handily in every sense of the word on Saturday, and there is no moral victory there.

This year feels different... and not in a good way.

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