Hahahahahahahahaha. The heck was that. The Minnesota Golden Gophers remain undefeated on the year, but it doesn’t quite feel like it. Today’s 35-32 victory over Georgia Southern was the third underwhelming performance of the year for Minnesota. As the Gophers head into the bye week there are still issues to fix.*
For much of the game, it felt like one of those games where yea, things weren’t ideal but where the Gophers would stretch the lead and we’d have the same sort of discussion we usually do after a win that wasn’t clean. Then Minnesota failed to get point during the 3rd quarter for the third game. And Minnesota continued to shoot themselves in the foot with silly mistakes in the 4th. And then silly mistakes turned into disastrous mistakes, as poor blocking gave Georgia State defensive touchdowns on both a blocked field goal and a forced fumble on a Tanner Morgan pass attempt. The Gophers rallied and delivered a stress filled and difficult game winning drive to rally for the victory but goodness gracious that was unnecessary.
*understatement is understated
Things I think right now as I stress at the end of the game
- Offensive line, still a problem. This is the #1 thing that I’m worrying about right now.
- Running back injuries are not ideal. I don’t think this game goes a ton differently in most ways if Rodney Smith is in the game late instead of in the concussion protocol, but the final GSU touchdown is the big exception. Bryce Williams was the running back in on that play and his completely missed chip block is what allowed the pass rush to force the fumble that was returned for the touchdown. Bye week should hopefully fix that one.
- Tanner Morgan is feast or famine right now and it’s problematic. Honestly, I think he’d be better generally if the o-line wasn’t leaving him out to dry, but even then he’s still staring down receivers too much and that will only get more costly as the Gophers head into Big Ten play.
- The play calling is driving me crazy on offense. We’re running shotgun wildcat into 9 and 10 man boxes from the 6 yard line. Among many other issues. Please start figuring this stuff out Kirk.
- We just kicked the ball out of bounds with 13 seconds left in the game up 3. Consider this as example #2,378 of how the Gophers feel like shooting themselves in the foot this season. It didn’t matter, but c’mon.
- This team has the talent to be better than this, but talent isn’t going to save them in the Big Ten. You won’t win games in the Big Ten this way unless the other team plays ugly too. Right now the Gophers are trying to be Northwestern Wildcats v2018 and frankly that’s not sustainable (I don’t know how the Wildcats managed it last season if I’m honest).
- Positives today are Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson. Maybe Kirk finally decides to craft a game plan that doesn’t require their late heroics for a win.