A win is a win is a win. After losing consecutive games they should have won, the Gophers got back in the win coloumn on the road against Maryland. It was a nice win, though I’m not sure if there were really any takeaways from this game. The defense is starting to gel and were a quarter away from pitching a shutout, which was nice. A week after essentially abandoning the run offensively, they more or less just turned around and handed the ball off all game and let their stud running backs do their thing. Kind of makes one wonder if the Iowa game would have turned out differently if they relied on their running backs more, but I digress. As I said, a win is a win is a win and it sure beats the alternative.
I’m going to be completely honest with you. This game bored me to tears. Maybe it was the fact I was still feeling let down from the previous two weeks. Maybe it was the fact they were starting Conor Rhoda and I didn’t really have any expectations. Maybe it was the fact they were playing Maryland (side note, I actually like the addition of Maryland to the B1G, unlike the Gophers next opponent). Maybe it was the fact the stadium looked 3⁄4 empty and there was zero atmosphere. Maybe it was the fact the Gophers were basically in control the entire game. Most likely though, it was the fact there was zero creativity anywhere in the game. Both teams had quarterbacks making their first career starts and it was painfully obvious at times throughout the game. It was just kind of a ho-hum game. That said, it was an important first step for the Gophers if they are going to get themselves back into West contention.
Here are my thoughts and observations from the game:
Conor Rhoda - You played a game manager role in this one. You didn’t make any costly mistakes. You threw your first touchdown pass. But you also didn’t do anything to make people question whether Mitch Leidner should return as the starter when healthy. I do feel this was a good stepping stone for you if Mitch has to miss more time.
Speaking of - Sorry #BlameLeidner crowd, Rhoda wasn’t the savior you were all hoping for.
Wide Receivers - They need help. They get zero separation. I don’t know if that is on the players or if that falls onto coaching, though I have my suspicions of which, but something needs to change. They have to give whomever is at QB more help than they currently are.
Smith/Brooks - What else can be said about the two of you? You both make it look easy, yet you have both created a lot of the yards on your own. Rodney Smith, take a bow. You have been so close to breaking one and you finally did. It was nice to see you get rewarded.
Screenpass - Oh how I have missed you the past five years under Limegrover.
Defense - The defense we have seen the past two weeks was the defense I think most of us expected to see. I fully understand the suspensions hurt the defense but they have looked like a completely different. Everyone is starting to fly around and make plays.
Jonathan Celestin - Where the heck have you come from the past two weeks?!? You have been a one man wrecking crew out there. Loved the push-ups as well, though that was a pick-6 you dropped.
Antoine Winfield Jr. - I’m drooling over your potential the next three years. You have star potential! Congrats on the pick-6.
Emmit Carpenter - You were bound to miss at some point. Thankfully it wasn’t a costly miss.
Penalties - Broken record here. Sorry, but this falls on coaching in my opinion. There’s no excuse for this garbage at this point.
Ok, onto what really matters, the Stroll Through Twitterland:
The main hashtags for this were:
Great summation by the great @JoeCStrib
#Gophers have done a lot of things well today, but still too many pre-snap penalties and that kick-catch interference.— JoeChristensen (@JoeCStrib) October 15, 2016
@isabellet08 is hoping the Gophers can build on this win and get some momentum going.
S/O to the Gophs for earning B1G win #1 of the season, lets carry this into Homecoming week❤️ 〽️❤️ 〽️ #SkiUMah— Isabelle Tonsfeldt (@isabellet08) October 15, 2016
Head Coach of the Gophers Women’s Soccer team @MNCoachGolan cheering on the football team.
Kind of felt like there were more Gopher fans in attendance than Terp fans and Gophers Director of Recruiting @BillyGlasscock4 took notice.
@brettasaurusMN also noticed the large Gopher contigent in the stands.
@reese993 taking the positive outlook from this victory.
@BigTenNetwork highlighting Winfield’s pick-6.
And just because...
Buckeyes take down the Badgers in OT.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 16, 2016
No. 2 Ohio State stops No. 8 Wisconsin on 4th & goal, winning its 5th consecutive matchup against UW. pic.twitter.com/XrzhuMY9Px
There you have it, this weeks’ stroll. What are your thoughts and observations from the game? Did you find the game as boring as I did? Did you take anything away from this victory? What do you suggest to put an end to these stupid-self inflicted penalties?