Gophers Shock ESPN, Upset Auburn; T. Johnson Goes Off; PJ Fleck is a God; Someone Get Me a Cigarette…

Photo: @GopherFootball – Twitter

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Well I woke up this morning to what felt like, “just another day”. I even wrote about it. In what is technically an exhibition game, in which nobody really gave Minnesota a shot (other than @sethtoups), I was admittadly feeling “just happy to be here”. When I decide to fan like a Twins fan, I at least admit what I’m doing and seek help.

I needed the Gophers to give me a classic shot of adrenaline. I knew it wouldn’t take much. They just needed to look competetive and I was standing right next to the bandwagon. And trust me… it didn’t take long. My blood was actually running a little hot to start. Morgan had an ugly interception early, which is out of the ordinary, and the Gophers played really bad special teams, which is pretty normal.

But then, the Gophers got their footing and so did… the tight end????? This Bryce Witham touchdown cannot be completely confirmed because ESPN thought their commercial lineup was more important. It was 4th and goal. But if it did happen, Kirk Ciarrocca is glad he didn’t have to see it.

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After that, it was the Mo Ibrahim opening act, followed by the headliner, Tyler Johnson. Watching this game, you would have thought the Gophers were Buster Douglas and Auburn was Mike Tyson. In fact, I’d like to order an investigation on whether or not the ESPN crew was still hammered after a night of hanging out with the Auburn staff. They had a few notes on Tanner Morgan and Antoine Winfield Jr. but had no idea the Gophers actually had anyone else on their roster.

Luckily, they were able to pull up their phones and find a few facts on Tyler Johnson. We all know how much he loves Rashod Bateman and is proud of all the accolades he is receiving… but clearly the Minneapolis North alum wanted to remind Minnesota who their greatest ever still is, for now. Auburn had no answer, but when someone is making catches like this one in the back of the endzone, well.. there’s no cheat sheet for that test. 

But, he wasn’t done.

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This game was a team effort, though. The defense suffocated Auburn for most of it. Bo Nix is going to be really good. He’s really the only reason why Auburn stuck in this game. He made a lot of plays on 3rd and 4th downs. But for the most part, none of the usual bowl game shenanigans that Gus Malzahn uses were working, no matter how much ESPN tried to wish it into existence.

Every time Auburn would counter, the Gophers would hit them back with a haymaker. The Auburn defense looked lonely and confused by the end of this game. They were tired and dragging every limb on their body. It was fun. It should get Matt Simon his full-time Offensive Coordinator job. Our offense looked better than it has at any point this season.

It was an absolute clinic of what Gopher Football is, and forever will be as long as PJ Fleck is here.. and if you listened to his postgame comments, he doesn’t sound like he wants to go anywhere, anytime soon. I love this man.

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11-2… who woulda thought?

PJ Fleck and Me… that’s about it.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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