There is so much to digest from this game I really don’t know where to start. But I guess I’ll start here. After the game I was accused of being way too critical of a 7-2 team and I should just be happy. For the record, I am thrilled they are 7-2, but at the same time, that is why I have been critical of some of the things I have seen. The B1G West crown and a trip to Indy are right there for them. They control their own destiny. Things we haven’t seen around these parts in forever are right there for the taking.
But to achieve that goal, they have to coach and play better, it’s that simple! You want people to buy in 100%? You don’t let a 4-1 call to Purdue late in the game be the difference in the game (more on that call later). You want people to buy in 100%? You don’t need a last second field goal to beat Rutgers. These are the two worst teams in the B1G. They won’t beat Wisconsin coaching and playing like they did in the Purdue game. So I am sorry I am holding this team to some standards. I’m sorry I want to see this team finally take the next step they have been so close to taking over the past 20 years. Three games to go, let’s see if they can do it.
Here are my thoughts and observations from the game:
End of the First Half Sequence - I’m being completely honest when I say I don’t think I have ever seen such a contradictory set of coaching decisions in such a short period of time than the last 4-5 minutes of the first half. Lets recap; 4-2 from the Purdue 40, Claeys decides to punt. Gophers hold, get the ball back, drive to 4-1 from the Purdue 11, Claeys decides to kick the field goal. Both conservative decisions, which is fine. Gophers hold, get the ball back at their own 23 with 15 seconds left, Claeys then decides to get aggressive. What the what?!? The only thing I’ll say about it is why even put your offense into a position to have the type of miscommunication that took place? Those contradictory set of decisions almost cost the Gophers the game.
Rodney Smith - There aren’t words at this point except your touchdown wave celebration is beyond awesome. I hope fans pick up on it and start waving back. You may have started a new Gophers tradition.
Defense - Two bad play calls came back to bite you in a big way. Jay Sawvel owned the poor calls after the game. Those two big plays may have stood out, but Sawvel made adjustments at the half, and Purdue had nothing in the second half.
Purdue 4-1 - Oh Purdue. Way over thought that playcall. You need 3 inches and you come up with that play call, mmmmkaaaay.
Targeting - I gave a lot of thought to doing this entire post on that targting call. There is so much I want to say about it but what’s the point?
Ok, onto what really matters the Stroll Through Twitterland.
The main hashtags for this week were:
It does feel pretty good @MinnesotaonBTN
Ok, I couldn’t help myself. The remainder of the Stroll will be about the targeting call. I’ll let you decide if you think it was a good call or not. I know how I feel.
Good question @RyanBurnsMN
Think Claeys has venmo? Because I would have been happy to help pay his fine if he would have gone off on the call.
Claeys chuckling and carefully choosing his words when asked about targeting call late on Rallis. Says he'll make calls to the league office— Kyle Goblirsch (@GobieMN) November 5, 2016
Coming from a former Gophers player who has dealt with concussions as a result of playing football.
Targeting? Pathetic. This type of bullshit angers me. Coming from someone with concussion issues, this is absolutely terrible for football. pic.twitter.com/LRUmDj62sC— Mr.Thor〽️an (@MrThorman) November 6, 2016
Another former Gopher and brother of Nick rallis chimes in on the targeting call.
@chipscoggins please feel free to dedicate an article to how targeting has become bane to college football.
Targeting? No way— chipscoggins (@chipscoggins) November 5, 2016
Man, I just don't get that call at all.— chipscoggins (@chipscoggins) November 5, 2016
It's ridiculous that Rallis has to miss the first half the Nebraska game because of that call.— chipscoggins (@chipscoggins) November 5, 2016
Last but certainly not least, because I could have included thousands of tweets about this targeting call but I’ll let @JoeCStrib have the final say.
Targeting penalty stands on Nick Rallis, who lowered his head before the hit. I don't get it. Rallis will miss first half of Nebraska game.— JoeChristensen (@JoeCStrib) November 5, 2016