The Gophers should have had this game in their pocket, going to the locker room at half time. The defense forced 4 turnovers in the first half but they didn’t result in very many points. Even though Shannon Brooks and Rodney smith combined for 145 yards in the 1st half, the Gophers could only muster 14 points. Here are some highlights.
Here is the first touchdown for the Gophers. Who else but Tyler Johnson?
The defense forced 4 turnovers in the first half. This was the only interception.
The running game was rolling in the first half, even though the score didn’t show it. These runs were back-to-back and led to a play-action TD to Brandon Lingen.
Halftime Score: 14-13 Gophers Lead
The only score in the 2nd half, before a 2-hour weather delay, was a field goal by Purdue 2-3 minutes into the 4th quarter. Once that was kicked, the game was delayed and the stands were evacuated due to bad storms on the horizon.
Then, when the game resumed, things went downhill quickly. The Gophers drove down the field and took up most of the 10 minutes that remained after the delay. They couldn’t convert on a 3rd and 4, after rushing 43 times in a row. Everyone knew what they were doing on that 3rd down and it bit them. Purdue brought an extra safety, bringing the total up to 9 in the box.
It was 4th down and the Gophers were forced to kick the field goal. Carpenter hit it, making it 17-16, Gophers’ lead. Unfortunately, they left too much time for the Purdue offense. By the 1:20 mark, the Boilermakers were in the end zone. a 2-point conversion would make it 24-17.
The Gophers drove the field with a steady running game and a nice catch. It almost looked like they might make something happen.
But just when you think the universe might be in your favor…
FINAL: Gophers LOSE 31-17
There is one common denominator with this team. THEY HAVE A BAD QUARTERBACK.
He is terrible. They run the zone-option over and over and over and over and over. He never keeps it for himself, leaving the defense to sell-out on the running back. He can’t pass it because he isn’t very good. He is playing because he is on a team that hasn’t recruited a good quarterback since 1962 (Don’t research that year. It is random.).
There is a reason why Mitch Leidner was able to start on this team for 4 years.
There is one position where it is agreed, among EVERY F**KING PERSON WHO WATCHES/PLAYS/KNOWS FOOTBALL, is the MOST IMPORTANT.
Does anyone want to guess? Anyone?
It is the guy who throws it. The QUARTERBACK! Yet the old coaching staff (Jerry Kill and Company) didn’t think that was important? That was the last position they recruited? This isn’t 1946.
The Gophers have talent at every other skill position. Their Wide Receivers are young and VERY talented. If it weren’t for injuries, they would be near the top half of the Big Ten. Ryan Burns said today on KFAN that the Gophers have 2 of the best 5 running backs in the Big Ten.
Our defense is really good, although they do give up big chunks of yards in stretches. Injuries have killed the Gophers there too.
BUT, again, all of those positions are respectable when compared to the rest of the Big Ten. Conor Rhoda is NOT. He was about to be cut for a reason. I don’t care what Demry Croft did. Throw him in the game next week and lets see if he can be better. He can’t be worse than Rhoda..
In my preview, I said that the two keys were running with success on offense and hitting their QB on defense. I was wrong. Having a QB who has ANY THREAT WHATSOEVER of throwing the football was the most important key.
The Gophers should have won the game for a lot of different reasons and they weren’t all Rhoda’s fault. But, he was the biggest problem, and will continue to be as long as he is in.
Time to cut the cord. Give the ball to the young guys and see what they can do. There are already two losses on the board and this was supposed to be the easy part of the Big Ten schedule. Time to throw in the towel and give the young QB’s some experience, and looks, to see if they have what it takes to be a decent quarterback in the Big Ten.
Because our current starter is not that.
Minnesota Sports Fan @RealMNSportsFan