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Minnesota Football Week 2: 3 Stars, 4 Quarters, 5 Thoughts

A numerical summation of Minnesota's second game of the season against the Indiana State Sycamores

NCAA Football: Indiana State at Minnesota Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings Gopher Faithful! Week two is in the books! It was a relatively easy affair against an FCS-opponent. Let’s get to it...

3 Stars

#2 Kobe McCrary (Junior - RB)

The JUCO transfer had a field day against a over matched ISU defense, running for 176 yards on 17 carries for a whooping 10.4 yards per rush. He tacked on two touchdowns and it looks like the backfield will be loaded with three fully capable backs once Shannon Brooks returns from injury. No need to rush back with the bye week and Colorado State coming up Shannon!

#7 Mitch Leidner (RS. Senior - QB)

Would have had even more outrageous numbers if not for a few egregious drops. I liked how he stepped up nimbly in the pocket a few times to set his feet and throw as oppose to just taking off down field and getting hit after gaining some yards. He appeared to have a more mature approach when it came to this scenario than past years. He completed 67% of his passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns. Good day against an opponent that couldn’t contain the Gopher passing game.

#82 Drew Wolitarsky (Senior - WR)

I’ll just leave this here.

4 Quarters

I’m going to kind of cheat on the section this week because we played an FCS opponent, dominated said opponent for a majority of the game (as we should have), and we’re now moving on. So just like the team having a bye week, I’m going to take a break from summarizing the quarters because in general, the Gophers had their way on the offensive side of the ball and dominated at times on the defensive side of the ball. I personally thought the 28 points ISU scored was misleading and not nearly as big of a deal as others thought. But I suppose I should save that for the next section...

5 Thoughts

First Thought

Thus far, the Gophers have played two bad opponents. They have also won both games. No parades needed. It wasn’t always pretty but they took care of business. Get to the bye, regroup, get ready for Colorado State (and then the conference slate). Period.

Second Thought

Having three more than capable running backs should be a boon to the offense, especially if we encounter anymore injury adversity at the position. McCrary, Smith, and Brooks are all talented backs that should be able to do some things behind the offensive line if it is able to stay healthy.

Third Thought

The connection between Leidner and Wolitarsky is going to be essential to the passing game’s success during the time that Lingen and Still are rehabilitating their respective clavicle injuries. Wozniak has had some trouble holding onto the ball and Carter hasn’t quite yet emerged. It would be nice if Wolitarsky just decided he’s going to be the guy to carry a banged up receiving core.

Fourth Thought

The Penn State game in three weeks still appears to be extremely winnable even though it comes away from the confines of TCF Bank Stadium. I understand that it will be the first away game of the season and Happy Valley is a difficult place to play but I’ve watched several quarters of Penn State this season and they have yet to “scare” me (with the notable exception of Saquon Barkley).

Fifth Thought

Use this bye week to get healthy, learn some offensive wrinkles, and shore up the secondary. Get ready for Colorado State. Take care of business and let’s hit the ground running going into the conference schedule.

As previously mentioned, welcome to the bye week. There will be no Gopher football this Saturday, which is terribly depressing. However, there are a decent slate of other NCAA football games including Ohio State visiting the Sooners in Norman, Ole Miss trying to knock off Alabama (again!), and conference counterparts Michigan State and Nebraska taking on challenging opponents Notre Dame and Oregon, respectively. Plenty of good action to get your college football fix while wondering whether Mitch Leidner is better than Adam Weber or not...

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