That got fun fast! Let’s be honest, this game was ugly to start. Both offenses looked...well...bad. There was very little for Minnesota fans to be excited about. The first quarter got better as it went on, but things were still too close. Then the second quarter happened. 28 unanswered points will bring out some smiles.
3rd quarter didn’t have the same energy or results, but once your up 4 TD’s I think that can be forgiven. I stopped writing this before the 4th because HOLY CRAP I GOT TO STOP WRITING THIS BEFORE THE 4TH QUARTER. That hasn’t happened in years!
In the end this was only one game against a very bad team (I’ll be shocked if NMSU manages to go bowling again). So we shouldn’t read too much into it. But that’s not going to stop me from enjoying the win!
Things I liked
- Zack Annexstad after the first two drives. Zack looked like a true freshman early. His wide receivers having the drops on well placed balls early on didn’t help. After his bad fumble on a snap lead to a New Mexico State touchdown, it was easy to think things might take a turn for the worse. Instead, Zack settled and was essentially perfect for the rest of the half (finished 6/7 for 132). Was a rougher start to the 2nd half but being up 28 points meant that it was a nice time to struggle a bit. In general I was extremely impressed with how he threw the ball on timing routes. The ball always ended up where it needed to be. If you’d told me he’d be 10/16 (should have been at least 12/16 minus the drops) for 160 and a TD after 1 half I wouldn’t have believed you. TL;DR - Encouraging things from Zack but he’s still a freshman.
- Antoine Winfield. I hated the idea of putting arguably our best defender out on punt returns. Then he does this. Which, ok!
Antoine Winfield Jr's 75 yd punt return TD pic.twitter.com/5d5Jjm5Ii2— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) August 31, 2018
- Special team big plays. The first punt return TD for the #Gophers since 2013 (also against NMSU) and a blocked punt by Same Renner (who you may recall received his scholly at the Spring Game)? All of this is gravy.
- Rodney Smith. Do I actually need to explain this?
- The blitzing. We’re not getting enough pressure from just the front four, but the blitzes looked nice. Blake Cashman especially was straight fire out there.
- It’s amazing how having multiple wide receivers makes things better. There are multiple WR options that looked good tonight, but Tyler Johnson and Rashad Bateman stood out to me. Bateman’s talent level is leaps and bounds beyond any other WR we’ve had in quite some time.
Things I didn’t like
- The offensive line is still a problem. Zack got hit hard a couple of times when he shouldn’t. Multiple times NMSU blew up a lineman in a way that can’t happen later in the year. Obviously it could just be a week 1 thing, but I’ll be watching this unit closely because this could be a painful unit come B1G season.
- Defense was too soft against the pass. A not bad team would have rung up at least 20 points against our D in the first half. I’m not freaking out, but again, this is a trend that will have to change if we don’t want to put our heads in our hands come B1G schedule time.
- So the Seth Green wildcat package came out of nowhere huh? I like it when large athletic human beings are given chances to do good things.
- We have one of those injury tents now.
- If you’re not following TDG on Twitter during the games you should. IowaGopher is good at the Twitters.
Secret secrets are no fun. Secret secrets hurt someone. https://t.co/gzHvGq2fTR— The Daily Gopher (@TheDailyGopher) August 31, 2018
- Anchorman always goes down smooth.
Bettors who took under 48.5 points in Minnesota/New Mexico State and see the 35-10 score... at the end of the first half. pic.twitter.com/NQ2aXvoMj9— SI Gambling (@SIGambling) August 31, 2018
Ok, that’s enough from me. How y’all feeling?