"I, FOR ONE, WELCOME OUR NEW PREVIEW OVERLORDS"
So, a new season is here. And with it comes a new set of previews. While I enjoyed providing everyone my thoughts on our weekly opponents, I felt as though they missed a little snark spark. And who better to offer up the snark than TDG's very own Gopher gnomes?
Every weekly preview will get an assist from one of the ever multiplying number of Gopher gnomes who stop by my cube to talk Gopher sports. The four non-conference games will be previewed by the Gopher gnome bench. They couldn't agree on which individual one of them would help with each non-con game, so instead they'll do all four as a group. Our non-con opponents should be very excited.
The gnomes would like you to know that Bobby Hauck is getting fired. Not might be fired. He will be fired. Why? Because UNLV is...well, not good. Here is something I wrote in last year's preview:
Just remember, as hard as it often is to be a fan of the Gophers, it is actually possible for things to be worse. And fans of UNLV last year were witnesses to that. The Rebels were 2-10, notching home victories over Hawaii and Colorado State. However, their 10 losses included a 41-16 loss to FCS Southern Utah (6-5/4th in their conference) and a loss on the road to 1-11 New Mexico. So, tough year. Especially since the team was 2-10 the year before as well.
Be honest. If I hadn't told you first, would you have even questioned it if I used the preceding paragraph to describe the 2012 UNLV Rebels instead of the 2011 version?
I could spend a lot more time expanding upon all the reasons why UNLV was bad last year, but I don't think it's worth the time. The fact of the matter is that Hauck is on the hot seat and the Gophers will roll in this one. So in the spirit of a picture being worth a thousand words, the gnomes offer you this:
I think it's supposed to represent Kill beating Hauck up with a flaming chair, but the gnomes weren't real specific about the deeper meanings of the imagery.
When and Where:
6pm, TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
TV: Big Ten Network
For the tailgate:
For the postgame party:
2-11 (2-6 Mountain West). Bad to worse in every major statistical category (their best, Pass Defense at 68th, was tempered by a Pass Efficiency D that ranked 90th). Yes, they did push the Gophers to 3OT. But most honest observers also know that the game could have broken open easily with simple execution improvements by the Gophers (especially Marquies Gray).
2013 Season To Date:
Preparing for the inevitable.
General Notes (via GopherSports):
- The Gophers are 1-0 all time against UNLV. You might have some memory of it.
- UNLV is the 2nd Mountain West Conference team to play against the Gophers in TCF Bank Stadium.
- UNLV has not won a road game in over 1,300 days.
- UNLV has not had a winning season in 13 years.
Head Coach: Bobby Hauck (4th season)
In his 3 seasons at UNLV, Bobby Hauck has compiled a 6-32 record. His history suggests that he's not a terrible coach, as led a FCS powerhouse Montana team that won 7 straight Big Sky Conference titles in his 7 years in Missoula. That run, included 3 trips to the FCS national title game.
Offensive Coordinator: Timm Rosenbach (1st season)
Timm Rosenbach was hired as the UNLV OC over the offseason, the team's 3rd in 3 seasons (always a great sign).
Defensive Coordinator: Tim Hauck (1st Season).
Tim Hauck comes to the Rebels from the Cleveland Browns where he was the defensive backs coach (a role he will maintain at UNLV).
Keys to the Game:
- Establish the run and control the clock: This one should look familiar to everyone from last year. Until we know what kind of defense we have, the Gophers need to MOAR GOLDEN-I the heck out of every inferior team they face.
- Win the turnover battle: Always important, but I want to see a big lead here not because it will help us win but because I want to see this game turn into a rout early.
- Show improvement across the board: We all know this Gophers team still has question marks. We've all assumed that they'll be improved, and now is the time to see that improvement.
Completely Worthless Prediction:
I see a solid win, but not a shellacking. Gophers 31, Rebels 10.