Football is played in three phases; offense, defense and special teams. In a bold move, the Gophers left their offense and special teams in Minneapolis, then played the game against jNW with just their defense. Unfortunately this strategy backfired in a big way. It was a bold strategy. Credit to the coaching staff for trying something new and creative. However, they may want to try another strategy when they travel to Purdue next weekend. The defense did their best to make it a game, however they eventually ran out of gas after playing the entire game and jNW pulled away at the end.
I don't really know what's left to be said that hasn't already been said 100 times this season. I went into this game thinking this wasn't a must win game. I was thinking a loss would only shrink their margin for error. Then I watched the game and my opinion changed in a hurry. This was a bad loss my friends. As bad as a loss as we've seen in a couple of years. Credit where credit is due, jNW is pretty darn good and they deserved to win the game. But the Gophers never even showed up offensively or on special teams.
While reflecting on the game I keep coming back to the chicken or egg question. No matter how you slice it, this comes back to the coaching staff and the decisions they have made. Is the offense as vanilla, unimaginative, boring and predictable as it is because the coaching staff can't come up with something better? Or is the offense this vanilla, unimaginative, boring and predictable because the coaching staff has zero faith in the players to execute a more creative offense? If that's the case, it comes back to the coaching staff again because in Year 5, these are players they brought to campus. We can't blame this on Brewster anymore. Either way, this is a systematic failure. The staff needs to take a good long look in the mirror.
With that said, I still believe in this coaching staff. I still believe in what they are building. However, I do think it is fair to start asking questions and to start applying pressure on some of the coaches. So where do we go from here? That I don't know. Part of me still believes they can right this ship. Get a win next week against a beatable Purdue, come home and beat an all of a sudden very vulnerable Nebraska, get healthy during the bye week, then it's game on for Michigan. Yet, another part of me says blow the thing up and build for next year. Go full on youth movement offensively. Basically play nothing but the young kids. Let them take their lumps and grow together. I don't know what the correct way to go is.
What do I think will happen? I think it will be a mixture of both. I believe they will stick with Mitch as the starter but they will rotate Croft in with Croft potentially/eventually taking over the reigns full time as the season goes on. I believe we will also see Moore's RS burned and most likely Oseland's as well since the line is so beat up. No matter what, something has to change.
There was so much hostility, negativity, anger and so many #HOTTAEKS in Twitterland that I really don't want to share any of the Tweets that are out there. I typically try to share 9-10 Tweets per post, but this week there will only be a couple. I hope you all understand why. So lets take a brief Stroll Through Twitterland.
@BenjaminJDawson reminds us we've sadly been here before.
On this day in 1998 the Gophers lost to Purdue 56-21.That kinds sucked too.— Ben Dawson (@BenjaminJDawson) October 3, 2015
@BenjaminJDawson continues with the history lesson. It also showed me as bad as yesterday was, it could have been much, much worse.
In the 10/3/98 loss to Purdue, the Gophers got some kid named Drew Brees drafted by letting him go 31 of 36 for 522 yards and 6 TDs.— Ben Dawson (@BenjaminJDawson) October 3, 2015
@HaloKitty343 provides an interesting map of jNW. I'll let you decide what you see. I know what I see.
@JoeCStrib breaks the news a lot of people were waiting for.
Here comes true freshman QB Demry Croft for his #Gophers debut.— JoeChristensen (@JoeCStrib) October 3, 2015
As bad as things seem right now, @Lost Letterman let's us know, at least we're not Texas.
Charlie Strong's halftime speech: pic.twitter.com/1HMScCGExm— Lost Lettermen (@LostLettermen) October 3, 2015
What were your favorite Tweets this week? Do you think they can right the ship? Which direction would you go offensively?