Whatdyasay we start with something positive on a Monday morning?
Congratulations to Don Lucia who won his 600th game as a college head hockey coach on Saturday night with a 3-2 win over Michigan Tech! From the PiPress article:
Lucia, 54, has a 600-329-83 record in 26 seasons at Minnesota, Colorado College and Alaska Fairbanks. He is the 10th NCAA Division I coach to reach 600 career wins.
If you're into self-loathing you can read any number of recaps of the game here, here, and here.
So clearly heading into Saturday the big news was that Philip Nelson would be starting under center, burning his redshirt year. Nelson performed admirably and, at least in my opinion, was an upgrade from Shortell in the sense that at least Nelson can do some things with his legs. Here's what some other's thought:
Dane Mizutani: He looked poised at times in the first star of his career, but seemed to wear down by the end of the game.
Samuel Gordon: Nelson appears to have the skill set needed to effectively run Minnesota's zone-read option offense, and at times Saturday, he looked very good passing and running the football.
In several instances, however, Nelson and his receivers were way out of sync. He said the problem will solve itself with time.
"We'll be able to build some team chemistry between me, the offensive line and the receivers," Nelson said. "It'll make things go smoothly next year."
Phil Miller (during halftime): Nelson's debut, meanwhile, has been impressive. The 19-year-old from Mankato has showed poise, patiently waiting to find receivers and several times eluding sacks.
Also from Miller: Among them (the good things going on) is the promise of his freshman quarterback, Philip Nelson, who handled everything the veteran Badgers threw at him defensively. There were mistakes, Kill said, but Nelson remained confident and poised throughout the game.Michael Rand: The opinion of some Gophers football fans, meanwhile, is that Minnesota should have preserved Philip Nelson's redshirt and made him the quarterback starting in 2013.
He'll start again Saturday against Purdue, and MarQueis Gray will line up at wide receiver.
This is nonsense. A combination of ineffectiveness and injuries made a muddled mess of the team's QB situation. Nelson gives them the best chance to win right now, and he will also gain invaluable experience for the future by playing six Big Ten games. He wasn't perfect Saturday, but the game hardly looked too big for him.
Marcus Fuller: Nelson didn't get sacked, he kept the offense's negative yardage to a minimum and he showed he could improvise.
The best example was when the Gophers had a fourth-and-short play late in the first half that called for Gray to get the ball on a slant. After Gray broke his route off to the outside, Nelson avoided pressure and still dumped the ball to him for a first down.
You've probably heard by now about Gopher assistant bball coach Saul Smith's arrest on suspicion of DUI. It's funny when they call it suspicion, but then go on to explain the exact details of the situation. Speeding on 394? Driving on the shoulder? Blowing at 0.18? My yes, those do sound like suspicious details.
Smith was immediately put on indefinite leave from his coaching duties in light of the situation, prompting the following HILARIOUS tweet:
Back to football. Despite all of the negativity right now, Jerry Kill is looking for the positives.