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

Perhaps it seems strange to actually talk about football at a time like this, but that is what I am going to attempt to do (for a few paragraphs anyway). As with other weeks, here is a look at what we thought we knew about the Gopher football team heading into the game at Purdue, and what we actually found out.

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:

Once again the Gophers found themselves playing from behind all day long against the Boilers, so the run game was again forced to be limited at least to some extent. 25 carries is the lowest number of rushes that the Gophers have had in a game all year, which should tell us two things: 1) The coaches weren't quite as committed to the run in this game (which I'm not saying is a bad thing), and 2) The coaching staff appears to have changed the game plan a bit to adjust earlier than they have in the past 5 games when getting behind early.

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:

Gong show.

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:

Adam Weber was our leading rusher against Purdue. He was also our leader passer against Purdue, but as far as throwing the ball, unfortunately, that's about all the good you can say about Adam Weber on Saturday. Despite being fairly well protected against a very strong Purdue pass rush, Weber completed just 44% of his passes (for the second week in a row) by completing just 20 of 45. His tendency to throw balls low returned against the Boilermakers and Weber did not look comfortable all day.

Weber is most successful when the run game is working, when he is asked to throw the ball less than 25 times/game, and when he can use his great play-action skills to suck in the opposing linebackers.

What we thought we knew:

We thought that if his squad lost to Purdue that Tim Brewster let go by the University of Minnesota, but that he would be allowed to finish the season.

What we found out:

Technically we don't know if Brewster was told he was done, or if he decided himself that he would not finish the season, but Maturi said that he and Brewster decided together that it probably wasn't in Brew's best interest to finish the season. Regardless of how it went down, the fact that Brewster will not be finishing the season on the Gopher's sideline caught me by surprise.

The reality of this situation is not fun. The Gopher Football program is essentially starting over, and whether or not you actually wanted to see Coach Brewster go, the fact of the matter is that if you step away from the emotion of the situation that we as fans feel right now, our football program is in a very precarious spot. There are a lot of very good reasons that this coaching job is an attractive option for the right candidate, but if there is the perception that this job is a coaching career killer, it's going to be very difficult to get a top flight coaching candidate at the University of Minnesota.

Lost in all of this is the players, and if their Twitter accounts are representative of how they feel, Coach Brewster had not lost them as a team. I was checking out a few of the players Twitter accounts yesterday and each of them seemed surprised and hurt, all of them wishing Coach Brewster well. MarQueis Gray (@goldengopherqb5) specifically mentioned that Brew was the guy who brought him in and that he couldn't believe Brewster was leaving. He said it was a sad day. (A few hours later he was tweeting about "Jackass 3D".)

With all of that said, as GN said this morning, it is the dawn of a new era. Maturi mentioned in his presser yesterday that with Big Ten expansion, divisional play and a conference championship game each season on the horizon, now is the time to take the bull by the horns and make Gopher football relevant in the Big Ten. Add to that the very possible lockout of the NFL next fall, and you've got a perfect storm of circumstances for Gopher football to gain some market-share.

Let's hope Joel Maturi doesn't get sold again.

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