Five things we learned from the Gophers upset loss to Purdue

Iceland12

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1. Mohamed Ibrahim makes this offense run
Ibrahim established himself as one of college football's best running backs during the 2020 season, and his absence from Saturday's game because of an ankle injury was a major blow to the Gophers. Minnesota's offense clearly missed Ibrahim's ability to break tackles – his 388 yards after contact this season led all FBS running backs entering the game.

2. The offensive line needs to be a lot better

Bryce Williams (11 carries, 35 yards) and Trey Potts (nine carries, 13 yards) filled in for Ibrahim, and had a tough afternoon behind an offensive line that struggled against Purdue's front seven..

3. Purdue made the Gophers play lefthanded

Minnesota's formula for winning relies on a ball-control offense that mixes in the passing game and keeps the defense off the field. Problem is, when the opponent short-circuits that plan by getting a lead and controlling the ball, that forces the Gophers into obvious passing situations, which isn't their strength. Tanner Morgan acknowledged he needs to play better after completing 18 of 33 passes for 257 yards and no touchdowns with three interceptions.

4. Mistake after mistake after mistake

The Gophers made more than their share of mistakes on Saturday, and three big ones led to a 13-point swing in the game...

5. All is not lost for the Gophers

The Gophers earned the loss to Purdue with a subpar performance, but that doesn't mean the season is shot. The goal of winning the Big Ten West Division still is in front of them, and a glance at the standings shows a wide-open race. The Gophers are one of six teams tied for the West lead with a 1-1 conference record. Wisconsin, the preseason pick to win the West, sits in last at 0-2.


 


Mr. 131

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1. Mohamed Ibrahim makes this offense run
Ibrahim established himself as one of college football's best running backs during the 2020 season, and his absence from Saturday's game because of an ankle injury was a major blow to the Gophers. Minnesota's offense clearly missed Ibrahim's ability to break tackles – his 388 yards after contact this season led all FBS running backs entering the game.

2. The offensive line needs to be a lot better

Bryce Williams (11 carries, 35 yards) and Trey Potts (nine carries, 13 yards) filled in for Ibrahim, and had a tough afternoon behind an offensive line that struggled against Purdue's front seven..

3. Purdue made the Gophers play lefthanded

Minnesota's formula for winning relies on a ball-control offense that mixes in the passing game and keeps the defense off the field. Problem is, when the opponent short-circuits that plan by getting a lead and controlling the ball, that forces the Gophers into obvious passing situations, which isn't their strength. Tanner Morgan acknowledged he needs to play better after completing 18 of 33 passes for 257 yards and no touchdowns with three interceptions.

4. Mistake after mistake after mistake

The Gophers made more than their share of mistakes on Saturday, and three big ones led to a 13-point swing in the game...

5. All is not lost for the Gophers

The Gophers earned the loss to Purdue with a subpar performance, but that doesn't mean the season is shot. The goal of winning the Big Ten West Division still is in front of them, and a glance at the standings shows a wide-open race. The Gophers are one of six teams tied for the West lead with a 1-1 conference record. Wisconsin, the preseason pick to win the West, sits in last at 0-2.



I'm just freaked out about this Illinois game, baby! We gotta take care of business. If they take care of Illinois I think we all start to feel some of our swagger again.

Look, I'm rowing till my arms fall off, but dangit we gotta respond in this next game. No flatness...come out punching like your life depends on it boys.
 

Mr. 131

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6. PJ looks like sloganless Glen Mason. Good but not elite.

He has come through in some big games though. Auburn, Penn St. the Axe. I'm sure I'm missing a few.

I really feel like that Auburn win was massive for the program and I don't think Mason has a victory on par with that - but I'm totally open to being corrected.

I would def put him ahead of Mason at this point - but it's not a steep difference.
 

MNVCGUY

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Tough to disagree with any of the items they listed.
 




Go Gophs

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I think everyone agreed after the MSU game that we could beat anyone on our present schedule, but I think the Purdue game showed we can also LOSE to anyone on our schedule, too.
Correct, and we are also learning, that MSU quite possibly is a bottom 3 team in the Big Ten. That win doesn't look as pretty now as it did last week.
 

forever a gopher

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6. PJ looks like sloganless Glen Mason. Good but not elite.
Mason conference record after 5 years: 14-26 (.350)
PJ: 21-22 (.488)

PJ has warts, certainly. But to say the two are similar is asinine.

Unless this team totally implodes, it's likely they finish the season 5-4 at worst in B1G play this year, which would put PJ at a .500 conference winning percentage. If that occurs, he would be the first Gopher coach to be at or above .500 in the conference since Murray Warmath. No, he and Mason are not the same.

How many more losses will it take before we have the dreaded "if Tracy Claeys hadn't been fired..." debate. One? Man, people are fickle.
 



USAF

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Mason conference record after 5 years: 14-26 (.350)
PJ: 21-22 (.488)

PJ has warts, certainly. But to say the two are similar is asinine.

Unless this team totally implodes, it's likely they finish the season 5-4 at worst in B1G play this year, which would put PJ at a .500 conference winning percentage. If that occurs, he would be the first Gopher coach to be at or above .500 in the conference since Murray Warmath. No, he and Mason are not the same.

How many more losses will it take before we have the dreaded "if Tracy Claeys hadn't been fired..." debate. One? Man, people are fickle.
NObody wants Claeys back. NObody.
 

Breakin' The Plane

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Mason conference record after 5 years: 14-26 (.350)
PJ: 21-22 (.488)

PJ has warts, certainly. But to say the two are similar is asinine.

Unless this team totally implodes, it's likely they finish the season 5-4 at worst in B1G play this year, which would put PJ at a .500 conference winning percentage. If that occurs, he would be the first Gopher coach to be at or above .500 in the conference since Murray Warmath. No, he and Mason are not the same.

How many more losses will it take before we have the dreaded "if Tracy Claeys hadn't been fired..." debate. One? Man, people are fickle.
The conference is a little different now than it was during Mason's tenure.
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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I think everyone agreed after the MSU game that we could beat anyone on our present schedule, but I think the Purdue game showed we can also LOSE to anyone on our schedule, too.

What we learned is this team isn't good enough to just "show up" and beat anybody in the B1G schedule. Offensive execution was horrendous, the OL was terrible, and Morgan was less than stellar.

Considering KC calls the offensive shots, it would be pretty hard to lay blame in any order other than 1) Gophers offense, 2) KC in the booth, and probably PJ about 8th down on the list. Going for it on 4th down was stupid though, I'll give him that, but the rest is execution by the players on the field, or lack thereof.
 




WorkingMyTailOff

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I fully thought the Gophers would continue to execute but knew the receivers would probably never catch the ball as well as they did at MSU. It really felt like they were on another level for CrAB or something. I hope they can bounce back for the rest of the year.
 

hungan1

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Illinois will be a challenge. They neutralized the Gophers and set the blueprint for stopping the Gophers' run game and RPO last season.

Dylan Wright is not Rashod Bateman. Chris Autman Bell being out for the season is a huge blow. Somebody has to step up quickly. Tanner Morgan and KC need to figure out how to get quick short-passing plays intermixed with longer ones to set up the run.

The Defense has been on vacation during the first four games. They were not spending enough time on the field. They joined Mark Crawford in sipping Pina Coladas. Rossi needs them to get off the veranda.
 

Great Plains Gopher

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All good points. After thumping Wisconsin, Illinois will be tough at home; conversely, because of the loss and firing of Chryst, the Badgers will want to win the last home game for their coach-in-exile. Penn State, of course, will be an uphill battle and Nebraska will be out to end their losing streak to us (in front of a mad crowd of 85,000). Tough row to hoe for the Gophers.
 


Pompous Elitist

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Everything that could go wrong did go wrong (almost). Terrible game all around from players and coach but it was still competitive to the last minute. Wake up call. Now it’s Illinois that may get complacent. My main takeaway is this team and offense probably isn’t the unstoppable force it looked like early but still good enough to beat anyone if balls bounce the right way and guesses are right rather than wrong…and Mo makes it the rest of the way.
 

MGGopher

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Everything that could go wrong did go wrong (almost). Terrible game all around from players and coach but it was still competitive to the last minute. Wake up call. Now it’s Illinois that may get complacent. My main takeaway is this team and offense probably isn’t the unstoppable force it looked like early but still good enough to beat anyone if balls bounce the right way and guesses are right rather than wrong…and Mo makes it the rest of the way.
Yup, this pretty much sums it up for me. The first 4 games were not a mirage. This team is REALLY good when it's executing and healthy. We saw what happens when that's not the case. One advantage over past years it that the defense is good enough to keep it close every week. Gonna be many more heartburn inducing games, I'm afraid...so keep the rolaids close, lol!
 

SeaBee_Gopher

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I haven't been overly impressed with our receivers and losing our best one, CrAB, hurt a lot. Won't teams just load the box from now on and dare us to win contested catches because I don't think any of them will get a lot of separation. I hope PJ can convince some more talented receivers to come here in the future given that's his background and he's not exactly competing against offensive juggernauts in the Big Ten West...besides Purdue. Who wouldn't want a head coach that specializes in your position? I think he's shown that when he has high end talent at the position he'll throw more (like a few years ago). I'm afraid the rest of this year will be very challenging offensively.

In any case, I'm glad PJ has made us a good, competitive team. Fun to watch! I even use some of his slogans with my teenage sons!
 




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