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The Daily Gopher Fix 9.17.08

Ted Hutton of the Sun Sentinel, who covers the Florida Atlantic Owls, writes that Tim Brewster went "over the deep end." in praising the Owls. Let's parse Brew's statements. Here's Coach Brewster thanks to a transcript from the UofM communications folks.

"When you look at Florida Atlantic, I think they might be the best 1-2 football team in America. It’s amazing the about of talent that Howard Schnellenberger has accumulated at Florida Atlantic. I just look at them as a very gifted team across the board."

FAU has lost to Texas and Michigan State. So 1-2 is a product of circumstance perhaps.

Their quarterback, Rusty Smith, I think is as good a quarterback as there is in the country. I think the guy throws the ball extremely well – last week, I don’t think [his performance] was indicative at all of his abilities in the downpour against Michigan State. He was 8 out of 35, but the kid can really throw the football and he’s got tremendous confidence.

Brewster has reason to respect FAU's Smith. During FAU's 42-39 win last year over Minnesota, Smith went 27-44 for 463 and 5 touchdowns. I watched pieces of FAU's loss in East Lansing and Smith looked bad. How much of it was a byproducy of the weather? We'll see Saturday in the Dome.

For us to have a chance to win this week against Florida Atlantic, it’s going to take our absolute best effort of the season – they’re just a supremely talented, gifted football team. Don’t let the 1-2 record deceive you at all – we’ve studied them very hard and they are an outstanding football team."

This is Brewster sending a message to his team to take FAU seriously. It felt like they were looking beyond Montana State.

So, while I can see why Hutton suggested Brewster was going over the deep end, I think he had cause to do so, and there was some strategy behind his praise for FAU. Brewster had other comments as well. Check the link for the full scoop.

  • There is no next year for Willie VanDeSteeg, writes the Associated Press. The Gophers need WVDS to apply heat on Smith this weekend.
  • So far, so good for Minnesota in the pursuit of Minneapolis Washburn tight end Ra'Shede Hageman per GI. "Hageman told previously that he wanted to take a wait and see approach with Minnesota based on how they performed this season. So far he has been impressed with the improvements.
    "Right now everything looks good with Minnesota. They are undefeated and have played really well. I also really like the way they are using their tight ends. I really can't find any negatives in Minnesota at all."
  • Totally off topic. I'm intrigued by this new show Fringe. Weird.
  • Jim Tressell apparently has come to the correct conclusion. OSU's offense is Brad Childress like in its ineptitude. It looks like we're going to see a lot more of Terrelle Pryor starting as soon as this Saturday when the Buckeyes face Troy State.
  •  It's not a good time to be the people in charge of putting on the Rose Bowl. Good look here on the struggles of both the Big Ten and Pac Ten. Assuming USC finds its way to a national title game, what sort of Rose Bowl are we looking at here? Will there even be a top 10 team in the mix? (H/T-ESPN's Rittenberg).
  • Finally, we'd love to come up with a fun, perhaps quirky name for this daily column. GN and I both have strenghts. Apparently coming up with a fun name for a daily column of links isn't one of them. Shoot us your ideas in the thread below. Or email us. We'll put a handful in a poll and send the person who comes up with the best name a prize!