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Minnesota Football vs Fresno State: Postgame Exit Survey

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Taking stock of the Gophers’ late night double overtime victory over the Bulldogs

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Fresno State Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we’re all caught up on sleep, we can look upon the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ 38-35 double overtime victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs with fresh eyes.

What is your Tweet-length (280 characters or less) summary of the Gophers’ 38-35 overtime victory over Fresno State?

GoAUpher: HAIKUUUUUUUUUUU

Holy s**t again

Walk off interceptions rock

Winfield still da gawd

gopherguy05: Oops he did it again. He stomped on your dreams. He done broke your heart, oh AW baby!

IowaGopher: Antoine Winfield Jr. 2, Fresno State 0.

Ustreet: Never in doubt.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Well that worked, I guess.

mowe0018: Just win baby!!!

To borrow a Fleck-ism, who is your pick for “Nekton of the Week” from the game?

GoAUpher: In keeping with Street’s wise opinion from GTLF, Antoine Winfield Jr. is in his own category. I will not bring him down to the level of mere Nektons. For that, I will turn to Chris Autman-Bell for the crabby grab. Also to John Legend for being John Legend while saying, “Row The Boat.”

gopherguy05: It sounds like I’m not allowed to cop out and say Winfield. So I’ll go Rashad Bateman. Another 100 yards + a touchdown game for him. I love Tyler Johnson, but RB is rapidly becoming the most important wide receiver on this team.

IowaGopher: Rashod Bateman. As gopherguy05 alluded to, Tyler Johnson has been kept in check through the first two games of the season — seven receptions for 95 yards — and Bateman has reaped the benefits. Saturday night was no different.

Ustreet: Listen to Great Takes this week.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Kamal Martin came back from his little vacation and sniffed out 13 tackles in the win. It’s pretty impressive to be able to step in and immediately be that productive.

mowe0018: I’ll go with Tanner Morgan. I know he had three fumbles (one lost) and two almost interceptions but he completed nearly 70% of his passes, didn’t have an actual interception, and contributed to the team being 9-for-15 on third down conversions, which is a very good number. Game manager he may be but he did it pretty well Saturday night.

Which interception was better: 2018 Antoine Winfield Jr. vs Fresno State or 2019 Antoine Winfield Jr. vs Fresno State? Interpret what I mean by “better” as you see fit.

GoAUpher: This one because recency bias and because... Wait. How can I choose? I love them both!

gopherguy05: Last season’s was better from an athleticism standpoint. This season’s was better from a saving-the-season-expectations standpoint.

IowaGopher: 2019 because a game-winning touchdown in 2019 would have been more devastating than a game-tying touchdown in 2018.

Ustreet: 2018 was better because it was a more athletic play.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: 2018 because it had a bit of everything. Drama. Comedy. Run support. And pass coverage.

mowe0018: I’ll go with 2019 because it was a “perfect” play. In 2018, the reason the play looked so spectacular was because of the initial misdiagnosis of the play by AWJ. This year, he made the perfect read and it was literally do-or-die. Make it and win. Don’t make it and lose. Stakes were higher.

It was an up and down night, to say the least, for quarterback Tanner Morgan. How would you grade his performance?

GoAUpher: This is hard. I want to say solid B, but I feel like that’s grading a bit on a curve because of the CAB throw. So... I’l say C+. While I do think that while there is PLENTY for him to continue to improve on, I feel like it’s a really good sign that we can have the up and down conversation without having to talk about his completion percentage, which remains strong right now.

gopherguy05: I’ll go with a C. His base stats were OK, but he is like the kid who slacks off for like 23 of the classes and makes some stupid mistakes (the fumbles) before putting it all together to ace the final and save a reasonable grade.

IowaGopher: B for me. He was certainly frustrating at times — I’m thinking specifically of the fumbles and a couple ill-advised throws — but he stepped up and made plays when it mattered most. It was overall a mixed bag for Morgan.

Ustreet: B-. He completed a high percentage and had some absolute dimes. He also fumbled multiple times and was lucky to get away with two throws that should have been picked. Seeing as the Gophers won, round up.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: I’ll give him a B+. 16-for-23 is just about 70%, and that’s with a couple balls that were thrown away. 2-0 is pretty good, and he only had a couple “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!” balls, including the one that should have been six for them. All in all, he really is the best quarterback we’ve seen in at least a decade even with his limitations.

mowe0018: Since he was my Nekton, it would be foolish to give him too low of a grade so I’ll go B+. A lot of ball security issues but he made some very clutch plays down the stretch and some of his mishaps could have been due to shoddy protection.

Was the Minnesota offensive line better, worse, or about on par with last week’s performance in the season opener?

GoAUpher: 100% better. Without question. I’ll fight anyone who disagrees.

gopherguy05: Better but still a far cry from where we expected it to be and where we will need to to be come Big Ten time.

IowaGopher: Better, with more work to be done. But Saturday night was a step in the right direction.

Ustreet: Clearly better.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Better but still not good enough. Fortunately we still have a few more tune-ups before the tough games start.

mowe0018: Better but still plenty of room for improvement.

I’m in awe of the number of dumb mistakes the Gophers were able to make and still win. Does it say something about this team that they were able to overcome them or is this a house of cards?

GoAUpher: I think it says more about the team. There’s a lot of ways to give up or collapse when you’re screwing up this much. That they didn’t is a good thing. That said, there is really a gray area between those answers which is essentially that this has to get cleaned up or they will start losing games.

gopherguy05: They do have a resiliency to them which can come up huge later in the season, but man it sure feels like they are playing with fire and getting closer and closer to getting majorly hurt rather than just singeing off some arm hair.

IowaGopher: I couldn’t help but have flashbacks to the 2015 Colorado State game, when the Gophers hit the road to face another Mountain West team coming off a double-digit win total the previous year. Minnesota needed a miraculous touchdown late in regulation to help take the game to overtime, where the Gophers used a turnover to come out on top. Minnesota finished that regular season 5-7. I’m hopeful this team is different, and that the resolve on display in these ugly first two games is a positive sign. But if they can’t get out of their own and keep shooting themselves in the foot, the house of cards will come down.

Ustreet: The former if those are the only two options.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Yes, and what it says is that they’re making dumb mistakes and need to stop doing that shit before it costs them a very winnable game.

mowe0018: I think that fact that they were able to beat one of the best Group of 5 teams on the road after repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot shows that they are a good team that has yet to play to their potential in the incredibly small sample size that is the 2019 season thus far.