Coming into the season everyone thought the Gophers would be 3-0 heading into B1G play and that is exactly where they are. Was it always pretty? No it wasn’t. But the fact is, they are 3-0 heading into a game against a vulnerable Penn State. At the beginning of the season I picked the Gophers to lose to PSU next week. But after seeing PSU and the Gophers play a few games, I’m feeling more confident in the Gophers chances than I did at the beginning of the season.
I have conflicted feelings about the Colorado State game. It never really felt like the Gophers were in any type of danger, yet CSU was in a position late to tie the game. Offensively, the Gophers were efficient, yet I felt they left some plays on the field that would have blown the game open. Defensively, the Gophers had 14 TFL’s, a fumble recovery and an interception, yet the tackling was sloppy, there were blown coverages and wide running lanes. My conflicted thoughts stem from the questions of, is this the team we can expect to see every week? Was this a team working some rust off after the bye week? Was this a team playing a lot of young players who are still learning on the job and will continue to improve?
Here are my thoughts and observations about the game:
Mitch Leidner: Very efficient game going 16-20 for 174 yards passing while adding 50 yards rushing with a rushing touchdown. I know that’s not enough to satisfy some, but I’ll take those stats game in and game out with their running game. Mitch threw his first interception of the season. It was at a bad time in the game and bad place on the field but at the same time let’s give some credit to the CSU defender who made a nice play to step in front of the pass. Big picture, interceptions are going to happen and this interception proved to be harmless as the defense held and CSU missed the field goal.
Collin Hill: You can definitely take a hit! I’m honestly shocked you were able to return after the Devers hit. That said, you can ball and have a very bright future. You throw a great ball, made good reads and showed a lot of poise and moxie for this only being your second career start. Good find by CSU.
Defensively: As I mentioned above, the defense made plays all over the field. But the defense needs to show more consistency if the Gophers are going to make a run at the B1G West.
Rodney Smith: Have yourself a day. You were a much more physical runner this game. Keep that physical aspect up as well as your cut back ability and you’re going to finally break one of these. You’re so close to breaking one that you’re starting to remind me of Troy Stoudemire’s kickoff returns.
Shannon Brooks: Welcome back. Welcome back.
Tai’yon Devers: I watched you hit Collin Hill so hard I think part of my soul died, not just Hill’s. My goodness that was beautiful. What went further Hill’s helmet or the ball?
Now onto what really matters: the Stroll Through Twitterland:
Here are the main hashtags for this week:
Of course this Stroll is going to be all about the reaction from the Devers hit,
The #Gophers nearly killed #CSURams QB #CSUvsMINN https://t.co/2zPZvBMM9L— Sports Degens (@TheSportsDegens) September 24, 2016
I agree, that hurts.
OUCH! https://t.co/haGMHXccyz #CSUvsMINN #CSUrams #Gophers #CFB— Ernst Sports (@ErnstSports) September 24, 2016
It couldn't have felt good.
Taiyon Devers @GopherFootball bringing the hurt @CSUAthletics #CollegeGameDay #CSUvsMINN https://t.co/cJ7TOQhBhf— Alex Mcleman (@TP_AlexMc) September 24, 2016
This is definitely deserving of a Gold Standard sticker.
@GopherFBEquip U guys need to ship in a few more helmet stickers for @TaiyonDevers #BrickByBrick #Gophers 〽️ pic.twitter.com/N8gJe7obgW— Maroon & Golden (@MaroonAndGolden) September 25, 2016
Can't say I disagree.
B1G OTs & QBs going to have nightmares about this guy (@TaiyonDevers) - just a True Freshman... #Gophers #3rdTime https://t.co/1peigqurzZ— John Schaekel (@Shakes_GopherFB) September 24, 2016
Content may be graphic in nature.
Here's #Gophers DE @TaiyonDevers devastating strip sack.— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) September 24, 2016
Warning: Graphic in nature. pic.twitter.com/yYXbGmmXby
That's the way you hit!!! #goldengophers #GopherGameDay #Gophers pic.twitter.com/epiE7cs7F9— chris (@chopperguy05) September 24, 2016
You won't see more impressive sacks than this Tai'yon Devers @GopherFootball sack. https://t.co/nqMp0qxjdH— Minnesota on BTN (@MinnesotaOnBTN) September 25, 2016
Oh my. #Gophers https://t.co/QPQ4aPux3o— Chris H. (@GoAUpher) September 24, 2016
That concludes this week's edtion of the Stroll. What are your thoughts on the game? How did you feel the offense played? How do you feel the defense played? What was your reaction to Devers hit?