The Daily Gopher Mailbag: #AskTDG Talks Sportswriters, Explosiveness, and Urban Kilts

Your helping of Friday answers is here.

UPDATE:

GoAUpher: Somehow this went up short a pair of questions so I added them below the Zubaz GIF. My bad everyone!

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A quick note before we get started.  I'll be on the road next Friday so there won't be a mailbag answers post next week.  However, I will get the "Calling All Questions" post up on Monday as usual and of course, you can submit questions by email or on Twitter at any time.  What do I mean by that?  Here's the refresher if you need it:

There are three ways to contact the The Daily Gopher staff with your questions. You can post them in the comments of the "Calling All Questions" post on Monday, you can tweet them at us on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTDG (please use it because then we can search on it and everything becomes easier) or you can email them to DailyGopher (at) gmail.com. If you email it to us we'll use your first name unless you request otherwise, for Twitter/comments we'll use your respective handle or moniker.

Onto the answers!

Is Joe C the best Gopher FB beat writer we've ever had or what? We all owe Joe a beer at TCF Bank Stadium this fall!

Wacker Era Survivor

GoAUpher: I don't know if he's the best we've every had, but that's mostly because I don't think he's been on the beat long enough to get that title. I think what he's done so far has been fantastic though! Some really great in depth pieces.

I was a fan of Phil Miller and I have fond memories of how Chip Scoggins handled the beat as well.

JDMill: I like Joe C a lot but I also liked #TeamBeard a lot. Wait, two Gopher beat writers in a row that are almost universally liked by the football fanbase? Who gave me these drugs?

GopherNation: I really liked Phil Miller, he is very thoughtful in what he writes and I thought was very good. And Amelia is great as well. Fuller is good but I would imagine covering both football and basketball for a major-market newspaper would be challenging.

IMHO explosiveness was the Achilles heel of the offense last year. Who do you think will bring the bang to make this team what we hope it will be?

Ratigaen

GoAUpher Note: The answers to this question were written prior to Edwards getting hurt.

JDMill: This is reason #1 why Edwards will not redshirt. He brings a dimension to the running game, and the overall offense that this team hasn't had in a long time. Additionally, KJ Maye is going to be put in a position to make big explosive plays, and I think we'll see Jones on the field for this reason as a true frosh this year as well.

GopherNation: Berkley Edwards is supposed to be that guy and by all accounts he is really being a student of the offense, is teachable and is doing what it takes on all fronts to be ready to contribute as a true freshman. I'm still very worried about not having any explosiveness at WR. I think we have a couple guys with good speed and a guy or two with good quickness but I don't know that we have "explosiveness."

GoAUpher: All I know is, I really hope Berkley Edwards can bring this to our offense:

Tumblr_mkwo3k7uzn1rvn6njo1_500_medium

I've been dying for a chance to use this GIF.  Thanks Ratigaen!

So what do we do about the Stadium Upgrades if the People's Stadium doesn't get built?

WhiteSpeedReceiver

GoAUpher: We enjoy TCF as much as we do today while giggling as the Vikings rubes melt down over the mess.

GopherNation: It will get built, don't waste your time worrying about it.

In what order would you rank the following movies (best to worst)?
A. Evil Dead (Original)
B. Evil Dead II
C. (Bruce Campbell vs. the) Army of Darkness
D. Evil Dead (Remake)
BTW, the only acceptable answer is C. B. A.......who the heck even saw D.

Norsk_Gopher

GoAUpher: I saw D. My wife made me. As for a ranking, here's where I admit I haven't seen A or B.

Will we ever see Legania get on the field on a regular basis? Is he starting to flash at all as a JR or has he gone the way of the Alipate?

Mike via email

GopherNation: I don't think he is ever going to be a contributor. Too many other good, young players for him to pass on the 2-deep.

What other bar should I go to pre-game in Stadium Village for the UNLV game? Should I go hang with the college crowd and head to Dinkytown?

Fuzzy Rumpton

GoAUpher: I'll be honest, I don't really do up the bars pregame. If you're looking for a more relaxed atmosphere that isn't as crowded, hit up McNamara. We sometimes stop for a quick one on the way over to the stadium from our lot. Otherwise I hear lots of folks speak highly of Campus Pizza. And we all know Stubs is a solid selection. So...Stubs. I've settled on Stubs. Did you know they make these amazing Peking Wings with a peanut sauce? Seriously, love those things.

As for Dinkytown, since I didn't go to the U I'm not as familiar with the bars around there. All my time bar hopping at the U has been in Stadium Village or 7 Corners.

What should the proper first game tailgating beer be? Please take into consideration duration of tailgating, weather conditions, and the fact that I probably do need to at least be semi-competent at work the next
day.

gopherguy05

GoAUpher: Given the drinking habits of the TDG staff, I'd have to say that a bourbon barrel beer seems like the only appropriate response.

JDMill: Why are you working the next day? That's problem #1. You limit yourself incredibly since you have to get up the next day at a reasonable hour. For the guy who didn't take Friday off of work, O'Doul's Amber.

You should be ashamed.

GopherNation: Get yourself a few Zimas, you'll be fine the next day when you put on your skirt and head to work.

What are some good potential food tailgating ideas that are fairly easy to pull off with a tailgate grill? Brats and burgers are good, but looking for potential creative breakthroughs...

gopherguy05

GoAUpher: Given that you run the grill at our tailgates, I applaud your efforts to try new things. But Jobu help you if you stop making those awesome onion burgers. I will create a tailgate mix composed of nothing but country and replace all of the Grain Belt with Miller Light if you refuse to make those delicious meat patties. Ok, so maybe I won't ever do the Miller Light thing. But the REDNECK MEGAMIX is a legit threat.

JDMill: For you, a video.


I believe breakfast foods are highly underrated as tailgating options. You need nothing more than your normal grill and a cast iron skillet to pull off an amazing tailgate breakfast. The key is to cook your bacon and sausage first, using just a dash of a dark flavorful beer for body. Once those are done cooking, you're prepared to cook your eggs. But don't you even think about pouring that beautifully delicious bacon/sausage/beer grease goodness out of the skillet. No sir. You cook your eggs, however you like them, right in the grease.

Also, taco bar.

GopherNation: Get one of these.

Grill_topper_medium

It enhances the traditional tailgate burgers.

Game 1 predictions?
Offense
(1) over-under completions: 15
(2) over-under yards/carry: 4.8
(3) leading receiver in catches
(4) bigger impact by Edwards or Jones
Defense:
(5) over-under turnovers: 2.5
(6) leading tackler
(7) over-under sacks: 2.5
(8) bigger impact by Wilson or Campbell

UpNorthGopherFan

Matt:

1-under
2-over
3-Engel
4-Jones
5-over
6-Wilson
7-over
8-Wilson

GoAUpher:

1-push (yes, I'm being a tool on purpose)
2-over
3-Engel
4-Jones
5-under
6-Vereen
7-over
8-Wilson

GopherNation:

1-over
2-over
3-Maxx Williams
4-Edwards
5-under (2)
6-Vereen
7-over (3)
8-Wilson

Is wearing an Urban Kilt to a game cool?

Ratigaen

GopherNation: Um duh.

GoAUpher: No, the only acceptable pants/lower body item to wear to Gopher Football games is maroon and gold Zubaz.  Anything else is a disgrace to yourself, your family, and the great state of Minnesota.

Gif_zubaz_hypnotize_medium

UPDATE WITH THE ANSWERS I MISSED

One of the themes for this season (and perhaps even the next set of murderer's row schedules) seems to be that the team will most likely be more competitive, but still may not win more than 6 games. If you were Kill & Co. how would you go about marketing the program's progress to fans and media? Is there a strategy other than emphasizing stats like turnover ratio, plays per game, and efficiency ratings that would be more accessible to casual fans and lazy media members?

Gopher_Gorilla

GoAUpher: I think the most accessible way would be to point to closer losses, fewer blowouts, etc (for the purposes of improvement in areas outside the W/L I'm assuming this will be true. You're never going to satisfy any media member on the hunt for #TAKES, so the goal should be to reach fans directly. I think the Brick by Brick series also sets the tone of "we're still building" which is a concept that can help with patience assuming fans buy in.  Also, a win over Wisconsin would be huge.

JDMill: Fans and media who get it and care about college football will see the improved play and understand that something is being built that is sustainable.


Fans and media members who don't get it or don't care about college football have to be seperated. The fans will need to be sold on game-day experience, University pride, "this is Minnesota's team," and be a part of building something great.


Media members who don't get it and don't care about college football probably won't bother to watch most of the games. The only thing they care about is wins and they won't bother hearing the ""building something sustainable"" argument.

GopherNation: This is going to be a challenge. Those who already love the program may understand but the hoards of people who quazi-care are going to remain disinterested unless more wins are amassed. I really think it is unfortunate that next year's team might actually be pretty good but their schedule is brutal. A big win over a really good team (or two) is going to be necessary and then not getting blown out will help as well. But eventually you have to get to that 8,9,10 win mark; even if you are facing really good teams.

Matt: I say we play the games first, then decide how to market the team. As that topic goes -marketing- I think the combined Gopher Gridiron/Gopher Sports/Gopher Creative spots have been outstanding. From what I hear, programs from around the country fly in to Dinkytown to learn about the unique structure behind the Gophers' joint recruiting/marketing department.

I've got a two-part question for your mailbag:

A) Considering the need to balance classes, how many of the incoming freshman do you think Coach Kill is targeting to play this year vs. redshirt?

B) Which of the incoming freshman are most likely to fill those spots and play this year?

WaterBoy

JDMill: I'm a bit skeptical of the coaches considering balancing the classes when it comes to their reshirt decisions. If a guy can help the team win on Saturday's, that guy is going to play regardless of how balanced or unbalanced his particular class is.


The days of college coaches being able to consider something like that are long gone. Coach Kill & his staff know they need to show wins on the field, or some kind of marked improvement in the product that they are putting out in order to keep their very well paid jobs. Additionally, we're talking about some of the most driven and competitive people on the planet. They want to, and need to, win now, and they will play the players that are going to help them do that without any regard for class balance.


Having said that, there are several freshman with a very good chance to make an impact this season. Edwards, Jones, Carter, Streveler, Laster & Wolitarsky look like they've got the best shot to see the field based on the need in those areas (WR: Wolitarsky, Jones, Streveler & LB: Laster) and for big play threat (Edwards, Jones, Streveler).

GopherNation: I don't know that redshirting decisions are going to be made based on balancing out the roster. They will be made based on who is capable of helping the team win now and if not, give them an extra year to develop. It sounds like the the three freshmen most likely to contribute this year are going to be Berkeley Edwards, Eric Carter and Drew Wolitarsky. Hopefully the rest can all redshirt.

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