Before we Stroll Through Twitterland, I want to take a Stroll Down Memory Lane to the Glen Mason era. It's hard to believe his tenure ended ten years ago already...boy do I feel old. I'm not looking to rehash the tired debate we've had 800 gazillion billion hundred zillion times. Yes, that is an actual number, I looked it up on my abacus. For those of you too young to know what an abacus is, your favorite search engine can tell you the answer. I'm really ageing myself here aren't I? Sorry, I digress, I'm trying to delay talking about what I witnessed in the Kent State game with the hopes I will wake up shortly and realize it was just a bad dream. What's that you say? That actually took place?!? Sigh...reaches for the bourbon.
Anyway, back to Glen Mason, specifically, time and perspective. Time has a funny way of putting things into perspective. Time provides you the opportunity to reflect and see the bigger picture without being smack in the middle of the situation. As the years have gone by and we've had the debate about Mase, the one general consensus we have all agreed on is Mase had a championship caliber offense with a sub-par defense. Obviously not every year since Minnesota has to rebuild, not restock like some schools. But he definitely had a championship caliber offense with the two-headed monster of MBIII and Maroney. Yet his defenses failed the Gophers time and time again. His sub-par defenses are the reason the Gophers never took that "next step" and remained a Fringe Bowl Team™. Some of those teams just needed an average to above average defense and the Rose Bowl drought would most likely have ended...I can think of one year in particular. Mase himself has even said on the local airwaves if he had a better defense he would most likely still be employed. I don't want to open that can of worms, but there is some truth to the statement.
You are all probably wondering why I am still talking about the Glen Mason era. The real reason I wanted to talk about the Glen Mason era is because the script has been completely flipped under Jerry Kill. Friends, we are watching a defense that will be held in the same regard as the MBIII/Maroney offense is held in. This defense IS a championship caliber defense. I have never seen a Gopher defense this good in my lifetime, see above, I'm not a young kid anymore, even though I still act like I am. If this team had any sort of offensive competency, it would be the front runner for the B1G West title. Yet here we are, once again talking about how porous this offense is.
This is a system wide failure. Mitch is the easy target, but this runs way deeper than that. This is year 5 under this staff and this offense is regressing. This offense isn't just regressing, it's getting worse by the game. I see a team that has zero belief in themselves offensively. I see WRs not getting open, I see WRs dropping way too many passes. I see an Offensive Line getting absolutely destroyed in all facets of the game. I see an Offensive Coordinator that insists on #RUTM #RUTM #RUTM even though there are 48 players stacked in the box..not sure how that is legal but the refs let it go. I see a maddeningly inconsistent quarterback. I see slumped shoulders. I see a team losing faith in their quarterback. I see a team that is just begging for some type of a spark. Yet, I also see a defensive team that steps on the field and knows they own the field. Mostly, I see a team that better figure something out quickly because they are in serious, serious trouble. If the offense that has shown up the past two games continues to show up, there aren't too many wins left on the schedule.
So how did we get here? Where does the blame fall? How do you fix this? At what point do we start to question the staff the way we questioned Mase and his defensive staff? Again, this is year 5, they should be farther along offensively than they are.
Now that I am thoroughly depressed and half #drunj , let's Stroll Through Twitterland. The main hashtags for this game were:
From the PR101 department, the Gophers spoke all week about one of the things Mitch has been excelling at lately, the lack of interceptions. Of course Mitch went and ruined that idea right away as @GoAUpher talks about.
Those Mitch deep balls tho.— Chris H. (@GoAUpher) September 19, 2015
@FrothyGopher asks the question that I think deep down some of us are honestly asking.
What if today was it? What if the Gophers never win another game again?— Frothy (@FrothyGopher) September 20, 2015
On the flip side, @sidneyy25 reminds us that this was an actual win.
Speaking of the Mason era, former Gopher goalie @nooraty41 reminds us what we never had under Mason, outdoor footbawwwwllll.
@KevinZintheTC with the play call, I mean Matt Limegrover with the play call.
Here comes the RUTM— Kevin Z (@KevinZintheTC) September 19, 2015
Sad but true @JFormo , sad but true.
I see what you did there @BenjaminJDawson
Everyone needs to settle down. The Gopher offense was responsible for 17 points and the defense pitched a shutout. All is well.— Ben Dawson (@BenjaminJDawson) September 19, 2015
@MVofDT Speaks the truth.
Last but certainly not least, the #KARMA gawds struck our good friend Bert once again. Some stories you just can't make up. For those of you not following along at home. Our favorite former loudmouth adversary has lost consecutive games to unranked opponents after talking about how tough his schedule is compared to OSU. Don't go changing Bert. Don't go changing. National reporter @slmandel may have had the best dig of them all.
Well the good news for Bielema is he won't be playing many unranked teams the rest of the way. 1-2 against those.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 20, 2015
What were your favorite Tweets this week?
#SkiWhewMah once again.