The Battle of the Backups was everything you could have dreamed of. Tons of runs. Interceptions. False starts. Fumbles. Missed field goals. Muffed punts. Prefer to see the summary in GIF form?
There you go.
On the plus side, Maryland had the more costly miscues as the threw an early interception and muffed a punt in the red zone that Minnesota recovered and turned into 7 points.
Time for some bullet point thoughts:
- Minnesota’s offensive line is struggling. The running backs are having to make guys miss in the backfield way too much. Rodney Smith’s spin move on his TD run was pretty, but it only happened because of another missed block. And that 3rd and 2 late in the 2nd quarter where the DL ran in unblocked to stuff the run before it could even begin? No. The fact that Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks are averaging 4.3 and 5.0 yards per carry is a testament to their skills on a day like today.
- The defense was pretty good. KiAnte Hardin’s interception was pretty. And the Gophers have created some pressure. But they’ve struggled with contain and arm tackled too often. Backup QB Piggy Pigrome’s legs are a more worrisome weapon when that’s the case.
- OH LOOK BIG TEN REFS CAN CALL HOLDING! I mean, not against Penn State or Iowa, but they can do it.
- Seriously though, enough presnap penalties if you’re Minnesota. Stop it with the false starts and illegal formations please. You got called for one on a PAT for goodness sakes.
- Loved that screen call. The second TD just happened and I am pleased by it.
- A lead is a lead. Minnesota is winning by two touchdowns. Can’t complain about that.