The first half of Minnesota’s matchup against Purdue featured beautiful weather and some ugly plays. Minnesota was inconsistent on both sides of the ball, creating a close game at halftime.
Here are some quick thoughts from what we’ve seen so far:
Minnesota’s defense continues to be plagued by big plays
Purdue quarterback David Blough has thrown for 236 yards in the first half. 169 of them were earned on TD throws of 20, 60, and 89 yards. If the Gophers are able to clean this up and make Purdue work for yards instead of giving them up in big chunks, they should be able to pull away in the second half.
The offensive line for Minnesota continues to struggle
The Gophers are getting blown over and blown up far to often. This is not a problem all of time, which is what makes it even more frustrating when it does happen. Despite the struggles, the both Mitch Leidner and Rodney Smith are averaging over 5 ypc.
More bad than good from Mitch
Mitch has connected on several big pass plays and has done a nice job moving the ball with his feet. He’s 8/12 for 162 and 41 yards with a TD on the ground. When he’s been given time, he’s made good throws.
But the misses...ugh. That INT right before the half was pretty bad. It looked like a bad route by Woli, but if you’re Mitch you still have to know you’ve got a guy in the right spot. If you’re going to be aggressive to end the half, you also have to be careful. That wasn’t careful.
Emmit Carpenter deserves his spot on the Groza award list
Carp kicked a career long field goal today. Twice. His first FG of the day was a personal best 52 yarder that would easily have been good from 60. His second was a new career long of 53 yards that was also full of leg. He rounded out the half with a mere 28 yard FG. Nice work Carp!
Take a knee
I like aggressive at the end of a half. That doesn’t feel like the time for aggressive.