So that game was something. As we are all being honest with ourselves, the Gophers got lucky on Thursday night. A win is a win is a win, but they should all feel very fortunate that they escaped week one’s date with FCS South Dakota State with that win.
For me there is one last bit to talk about and then it is time to move on.
Fleck has preached that it is about the process not the result. When his teams have lost but you can begin to see things getting incrementally better, it was about the process. Thursday night was the complete opposite. That was a prime example of seeing lackluster play in a number of key areas and arguably regression in some, while they were able to still secure a positive result.
As we look back at the game we have three options. We can ignore it, we can assume this is what we can expect for the rest of the year or we can extend a little patience and allow the staff/team to make the necessary adjustments moving forward. The latter of those three is essentially a “show me” attitude.
Clearly, if you’ve ever read a Monday Perspective, you know what course I’m going to suggest.
Ignoring what we saw last week would be foolish. Easy enough to chalk a horrendous game up to the team overlooking what they perceived to be an inferior opponent coupled with a vanilla game plan. No big deal, nothing to see here. And next week you’ll see something totally different. Right? No, that would be foolish.
On the flip side one could make the assumption that this team is going to be a disaster. If we play like that we will be lucky to win any games this year. While that last sentence is true, I hope that last year we learned how one game does not necessarily indicate anything about the remaining games on your schedule. Getting your ass kicked by Illinois doesn’t mean that you can’t fix things and come up with a great game plan to beat Wisconsin on the road.
But the key to all of this is getting things fixed. It is just game number one and the good news is that there are a lot of things on tape that the staff and players have to be evaluated upon. Am I freaking out about the remaining 11 games? No. Am I beaming with confidence? Nope.
But I’m in “Show Me” mode. You want me to believe this is a good team, capable of competing in the West? Then show me. Show me your offensive line can protect and open holes. Show me the defensive line can stop the run. Show me that special teams is going to be much better. I could go on, but the Gophers get 2 more weeks to show me.
To be honest, I’m not all that worried, but we will revisit my level of worry in a couple weeks.