Gophers Miss OT Extra Point; Fall to Terrible Terrapins

If you watched the Minnesota Gophers football game tonight vs the Maryland Terrapins, I hope you skipped the first quarter and the end of the game, totally.

Maryland put up three touchdowns in their first three drives and were busting chunk play after chunk play on their defense. Most of the damage was being done by Taulia Tagovailoa’s legs. He broke a run on the first drive that went for 24 yards and then another on the Terps’ second drive that went for 39 and a TD.

After fronting them 14 points, Minnesota finally got on the board with a Mohamed Ibrahim touchdown, just to give up a one-play, 70-yard touchdown drive right after. The flashbacks to Michigan in week 1 were real…

But then, the Gophers scored again to bring the game within a touchdown (21-14) before the defense finally made a play.

The Interception That Almost Changed Everything

That interception seemed to change our defense. Were they perfect the rest of the half? Absolutely not. They weren’t even “good”… but they were definitely better. Changing their best was good enough to force a punt and field goal in the Terrapins final two drives of the half, after they scored touchdowns in the three possessions leading up to that INT.

Minnesota still lacked pressure on Taulia throughout the game, and struggled to close running gaps when he decided to take off. Chunk plays continued to haunt them.

Mo Mo Mo

I knew Mo Ibrahim was sitting on a big tonight and a big 2020, overall. He delivered, tying the Minnesota Gophers record for single game touchdown runs with FOUR. Ibrahim also finished with over 200 yards rushing and over 40 carries. He also topped 2000 yards on his Gopher career.

Mo is always falling forward and seems nearly impossible to bring down at times. His low center of gravity is a defender’s worst enemy and he uses it unlike almost any running back I’ve seen. It’s so impressive that it’s difficult to think of his comp at the next level…

Chris Autman Bell

I am happy we got Chris Autman-Bell more involved in this game. The dude is hungry and has some amazing ball skills. Nearly all of his catches in 2020 have needed great adjustments, and he’s made them look easy.

He outplayed Rashod Bateman in this game by a large margin. Bateman looked hesitant and seems like he is avoiding contact during games. I don’t know if that’s the look you want while hoping to be a 1st round draft pick.

Going forward, I expect CRAB to be much more involved in the pass game. His rise should help Rashod see easier coverages too.

Not Enough

For awhile there in the 2nd half, it looked like the Minnesota Gophers were about to run away with the game, like they were expected to from the beginning. Unfortunately, PJ Fleck got soft on his playcalling and started playing “not to lose” in the 4th quarter. It cost them the game.

Bateman went missing and the Terrapins caught onto our run game in the 4th quarter. Over the last three drives, the Minnesota offense posted TWO 3-and-outs and one drive where they ran five plays. Those drives totalled just 7-minutes of game action.

Minnesota took 7-minutes off the clock in one possession, earlier in the 2nd half. After regulation ended in a tie game, we went to overtime. Both teams scored a touchdown…. and then this happened.

Fuck 2020. Never believe my predictions again.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan