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Holiday Bowl Recap: Minnesota beats Washington State 17-12

That was not what anyone expected.

NCAA Football: Holiday Bowl-Minnesota vs Washington State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Well then.

It wasn’t always pretty, but that was still a much better game than I had anticipated. Thats a muted reaction to a win, but I’m honestly still surprised by the quality of the Minnesota defense tonight.

The offense struggled mightily with false starts but got it done in the end (plus an assist to that stupidly enjoyable TD). But that defense. All of the credit to the defense tonight.

Notable Things

  • Damn Jay Sawvel. That was a really nice defensive gameplan. Minnesota pulled out a ton of looks, weird formations, you name it. There were times where they had only 1 down lineman, 4 linebackers, and 6 defensive backs. The Gophers got home on pressure throughout the game, including while rushing only 3 guys. Wazzu averaged over 40 ppg. They scored 6.
  • A tale of two Leidners. First half Mitch Leidner was pretty bad to horrid. Second half Mitch Leidner was pretty good. Before the game I would have told you this meant a loss. But with the way the defense was playing it was enough. Good on ya Mitch.
  • Hats off to Adekunle Ayinde. The INT sealed it. Gopher fans were understandably hard on Kunle early in the season, but that’s a really nice way to end it.
  • Duke. McGhee. Knock. It. Off. Dude, you need to learn how not to hit high. That was definitely targeting and it was unneeded.
  • That TD tho.

As I said on Twitter, stupid is usually associated with much worse plays by Minnesota. I consider it a compliment for this play.

  • That was the longest 4th down conversion series ever. I mean, FFS everyone.

So yea, Gophers win. Your thoughts?