Phil Miller takes a look at how the matchup of these two teams is likely going to showcase four quarterbacks on Saturday.
Northwestern will present a similar keep-them-guessing quandary when the 5-1 Wildcats visit TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, because they frequently shift starting quarterback Kain Colter to receiver, using sophomore Trevor Siemian to throw the ball.
The Gophers offer the same two-QB dilemma for Northwestern's defense this week, but for a different reason:
What's frustrating to him is how magnified a run of mistakes in the second quarter became, how the Gophers allowed a competitive game between two fairly even teams, in his estimation, to turn into a blowout. Iowa's first three possessions encompassed 15 plays -- 12 of them gaining fewer than four yards, and six for no gain or a loss of yardage. The second play of the game was a 45-yard completion on a botched coverage, but even then, the Gophers forced the Hawkeyes to settle for a field goal.
"I wasn't disappointed with the way we came out of the gate. They ran a little trick play type of route that we hadn't seen, but we tackled it and held them to a field goal. That's what I'm used to," Claeys said. The Gophers forced Iowa to punt away its next two possessions, and there was no inkling that the game would turn lopsided.
But over the next dozen plays or so, the defense made one awful play, one ugly mistake, after another, turning a three-point tug-of-war into a four-score laugher.
He is not happy about having to wait an extra week to show everyone that his defense is better than that.
- Here is a good article to get to know Kain Colter a bit and to understand his role in the Northwestern offense.
- Another Chicago Tribune piece on Northwestern, this one looks in depth at what happened to the offense at Penn State.
- Tom Powers is tired of hearing about how the Gophers are so young. It is kind of true, Kill does say it over and over at every press conference, but it is also true that we are actually pretty young.
- Gopher basketball is days away from starting practice. Tubby Smith is quoted here talking about the great depth on this team, "The depth on this team is overwhelming. I’m going to play 10-12 guys. This is the deepest team I’ve ever had in my coaching career." I hope this isn't the same as when he said last year was maybe his best shooting team at Minnesota.
- College basketball lists are coming out. SB Nation ranks their top 100 players, Mbkawe and Williams come in at 27 and 76 respectively. CBS Sports has their top 100 with our favorite Gophers at 15th and 93rd. CBS also has Mbakwe on their 3rd team preseason All-American team.