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Minnesota Football: The Monday Perspective is pleased

Not exactly satisfied, but pleased with week 1 results

NCAA Football: New Mexico State at Minnesota Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Please but not satisfied. (kind of like I hope you’re pleased to get a TMP, but not satisfied that it was published so late on Tuesday)

In Thursday night’s opener against New Mexico State, the Gophers did exactly what they were supposed to do. This may not sound like much, but not yet being 12 months removed from watching the 2021 Gophers fall to Bowling Green (a team that finished 2-8 in the MAC), seeing them handle NMSU was a pleasant site.

There were, and still are, many questions facing this 2022 team. It is hard to find any answers when you are facing a team that might be the worst team in all of FBS. While none of the questions were definitively answered, we certainly were able to see the general direction of how they’ll be answered. And all was generally positive.

Did the offensive line generally dominate? Yes, but they will most certainly face more challenging defensive lines in the next 11 games. The defensive notched a couple of sacks, but again, they will face better lines throughout the season. Terell Smith made a great play to get an interception on the Aggie’s one and only threatening drive, but he did finish the game with zero tackles and no other passes defensed.

The good news in all of this is that the Gophers did exactly what they were supposed to do.

New Mexico State had essentially 7 possessions (backing out the 19 seconds they had before halftime). The Gopher defense forced 6 punts and 1 interception. Four of those drives were three-and-outs.

On the flip side, the offense basically had 7 possessions. They scored on 6 of them, five being touchdowns. The team’s single punt of the day was in the 4th quarter with entirely backups in the game.

So how should we be feeling about this game? Pleased. It is ok to be pleased while not at all being satisfied. Getting a game to put things on film, a chance to face someone other than your teammates are ideal for learning and getting better.

I’m very bullish on this team. They will need to get better and there’s no reason to think that they won’t. Pleased with the week 1 performance, not satisfied.