WOW. That...WOW. I'll admit, I was pretty frustrated at halftime. Minnesota's offense hadn't really done that much. The defense had played well overall, but their one bad drive to start the game had given Purdue the chance to be in the game. We'd even missed a field goal. I definitely thought Minnesota could win the game, but it felt like we'd all leave feeling unsatisfied by the end. Instead?
We saw 41 straight Minnesota points.
Shannon Brooks started doing things like this...
Y U keeping trying to tackle Shannon Brooks? https://t.co/u1ifzUXXYK— Chris H. (@GoAUpher) October 10, 2015
Mitch Leidner hit passes like this...
Brandon Lingen with another TD! Great throw by Mitch! https://t.co/ivD2PfNeeN— Chris H. (@GoAUpher) October 10, 2015
And the defense forced turnovers, including a pick six from Jalen Myrick:
Jalen Myrick pick six! https://t.co/MNscWkuRCM— Chris H. (@GoAUpher) October 10, 2015
By the end of the game, I think we all felt like Brandon Lingen. I for one, enjoyed it greatly!
1) The "identity" question: Here's the run pass breakdown for Minnesota:
I'd say running the ball 72.7% of the time means the Gophers got back to their rush focused identity.
2) I love our freshman running backs: Shannon Brooks carried 17 times for 176 yards. That's a 10.4 yards per carry average. That's pretty good. Rodney Smith, who was questionable to play, finished with 13 carries for 52 yards. That's not bad at all when you were a game time decision. Shannon Brooks loves trucking guys, Rodney makes nice cuts, and both are wonderful surprises this season.
3) I see you Minnesota defense: Let's run through Purdue's stat lines...
Passing: 21/49 for 207; 1 TD; 3 INT; 4.5 yards per attempt
Rushing: 28 rushes for 68 yards; 2.4 yards per carry
That's straight domination. Minnesota's defense did all of this while missing many starters and backups. This defense is nasty and that is simply wonderful.
All in all, plenty to like about today. It wasn't perfect, the Gophers aren't suddenly contenders for the B1G West again, but it was a great win for a team that needed one. Great job Gophers!