Let me begin this season’s second installment of The
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Perspective with a brief look back at the non-conference schedule.
The first week of the 2017 season wasn’t exactly an inspiring opener. Minnesota struggled with a Buffalo team that is really not very good. The defense was pretty good outside of 2 plays but the offense was vanilla with nothing to excited Gopher Nation outside of Tyler Johnson’s 61-yard touchdown. But as previously published, I wasn’t terribly concerned because this is all a process, even if it wasn’t exactly an inspiring first game.
Week 2 was against a team from a Power 5 conference who appears to be a very weak team from a Power 5 conference. But this was a road game and the Gophers did exactly what they were supposed to do. The defense dominated and the offense did as well. The areas of greatest concern (offensive line and defensive secondary) both improved from week 1 to week 2.
And finally they wrapped up the non-conference portion of the schedule by totally dominating a Middle Tennessee State squad who had just taken down Syracuse, but was without their starting quarterback. The offensive line looked a bit better once again and due to a couple injuries it was Kobe McCrary who carried the load rushing for over 100 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The story of the non-conference games and the early start to the PJ Fleck era? Season one is all part of the process and while the results don’t matter as much, so far they are still very good.
Personally, I really don’t plan on getting too worked up this year if things don’t go well at times, cause there will be those times. But over the course of the first three weeks I have become increasingly optimistic about the 2017. The Gophers, so far, have done exactly what they were supposed to do. They dominated poor or depleted teams by executing to our strengths and they executed flawlessly (or rather close).
We have heard over and over from Coach Fleck that this isn’t about the results, it is about the process. This year isn’t really about wins or losses, it is about getting everyone on the same page in terms of expectations before they get their program set up with a solid foundation that they want. Jerry Kill build his program’s foundation brick by brick. Now PJ Fleck is building his, he just had a better foundation with which to begin.
But it has to be built his way. So far...the process is producing great results. I think it is great to be excited about what we can achieve this year. But this process is in place to build towards accomplishing things this program hasn’t achieved in decades. It may not happen, but that’s the goal. This is why the process is the most important thing. The process matters more than the results this year, do not lose sight of that.
I’m excited about winning some more games and getting to a bowl game. But I’m buying Gopher Football Futures right now. Enjoy the process, Gopher fans.