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Minnesota loses to Maryland - Final Score 31-24

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Minnesota wasn’t very sharp today and they paid for it.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Missed tackles.

Dropped passes/interceptions.

Bad line play. On both sides of the ball.

Missed opportunities for Minnesota were the story of the today’s 31-24 loss to Maryland. The Gophers looked terrible and yet were in a position to win today. This game was maddening, frustrating, disappointing, and tiring. On the plus side, the uniforms looked nice on TV so we’ve got that.

Quick thoughts:

  • This kind of game from Conor Rhoda isn’t going to cut it for the rest of the season. The looks were often there. Sometimes Conor took advantage, but he missed more oppotunities than he seized. And I wish we knew if he was being coached to keeping handing it off inside or if he was just making that mistake a lot. Either way it’s frustrating because the yards are there.
  • Wide receiver play was also inconsistent. While Conor struggled to deliver great balls, the loss of freshman Demetrius Douglas also showed and multiple receivers couldn’t come up with catchable (if not perfectly delivered) balls.
  • Eric Carter tho. So yea, there was also this.
  • If Antoine Winfield Jr. and/or Duke McGhee are out for any extended period of time the Minnesota defense is going to be hurting. What? You need me to expand on that?
  • Antonio Shenault looked overmatched. I hate to pick on a kid, but it was glaring today.
  • Max Bortenschlager actually wasn’t overly impressive for Maryland. But the Gophers failed to generate any pressure on defense and he was left too much time to work on the depleted secondary.
  • Big plays weren’t the real problem, but they were the deathknell. That last Maryland touchdown is an example of what happens when you don’t execute efficiently on defense against an offense that depends on the big play.

Big takeaway

This game is a great example of the dangers of this year 1 under Coach Fleck. Depth issues in key areas, Fleck’s willingness to hold out starters who aren’t doing what is needed (reportedly the issue with McGhee), shakey line play, and quarterback uncertainty can leave Minnesota in some rough spots. Despite that fact, the Gophers had plenty of chances. In the end though, they weren’t enough.