I almost ripped this whole thing up. That ending. How do you lose it on that ending? How do you let the clock run down there? If you run the sneak, how do you not do it right away after the review? Why don't you kick it? If you don't kick it why do you run sneak when our offensive line has struggled with push all season? So many why's and what if's.
Ok, let's go read the thing I wrote before it all went to hell.
Just a ton of emotion in the stands and from the players. And you gotta love that. Minnesota played a solid game in all three phases. Not perfect by any means, but solid. Minnesota's offense put up points and the most yards the #1 ranked Michigan defense has allowed all year. The defense came up with multiple big stops in the second half. The group that had the most trouble was special teams, who gave up big 40 plus yard kick and punt returns to Jabril Peppers that led to Michigan touchdowns. The latter also cost the Gophers punter Peter Mortell, who was injured tackling Peppers. That in turn led to Ryan Santoso having to kick a crucial punt from the end zone that was too short, leading to a Michigan go-ahead score with just under 5 minutes to play in the 4th. It wasn't all bad for Santoso, as he was 4-4 on field goals.
In the end, though, it definitely wasn't enough.
Here are some quick thoughts:
HATS OFF to everyone's energy
Yes, the loss sucked. But the players, coaches, fans...you all made this a great game to watch. It was a lot of fun and even though I was about 500 miles away I could feel the anticipation.
Winning the turnover battle made this a game
This game wouldn't have been nearly the same if Minnesota hadn't picked up multiple turnovers. Even better, the Minnesota offense capitalized when it was given chances. Neither of those are things that the Gophers had done much of this fall.
Conservative play-calling happened
I'm not overly upset by it, but right before the end of the first half and early in the 4th quarter the Gophers clearly played for field goals. It's easy to say the game would have been different had we gone for touchdowns but the Gophers were also in it (and winning it) late because of the field goals those possessions netted.
And then we suddenly tossed it out the window for that sneak. Sigh...
Jabril Peppers man
That guy is good. I don't like that guy.
This was fun until it wasn't
The return of Halloween Weird, the Moose got loose, those passes to Maye and Woli on the final drive. So much excitement. And then it went full Minnesota.