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Minnesota is Shutout by Northwestern

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NCAA Football: Minnesota at Northwestern Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota lost to Northwestern today 39-0. One week after their best performance of the season, Minnesota played their worst game of the season. The team was beat in all three phases, four if you count intangibles like turnover luck.

The team did not deserve to wear Goldy on their helmets.

I’m not really sure what else to write about in this recap. More so than the Michigan game, everything went wrong for the Gophers against a team they were competitive against on paper. A sampling:

  1. Through three quarters Demry Croft was 2/11 with 3 interceptions and his receivers had dropped 4 passes. One of those drops bounced into a Northwestern defender for Croft’s third interception. As a unit, the receivers all received failing grades.
  2. Not that we should excuse Croft’s game. Sure, his offensive line was beat on almost every passing play even after Northwestern stopped sending more than four. Sure, as mentioned above his receivers were so miserable that he rarely had any targets. Even so, the Gophers also had Bad Croft today. He was late on decisions, overthrew several balls, and amazingly underthrew a deep ball with the wind for his second interception.
  3. The defense gave up 215 yards of rushing in three quarters. That number would have been higher if the Northwestern defense had not turned Minnesota five times in a little over three quarters. Actually that last sentence is not entirely accurate. Rodney Smith ran into his own offensive lineman and fumbled the ball.

You may have noticed that this rapid recap does not include any events in the game that happened after the Gophers’ first offensive possession in the fourth quarter. That is because there was nothing worth writing up. Garbage time began with 13 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Don’t take my word for that statement. The BTN announcers started thanking their crew with 11:05 left in the 4th Quarter.

Minnesota next takes on Wisconsin. Perhaps it will be a repeat on 1993.