STrib: Gophers football: From 4-0 and ranked No. 21 to meh — what happened?

BleedGopher

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Per Randy:

A combination of factors turned what was looking to be a great season into "meh'' — aside from the brilliant season of running back Mohamed Ibrahim. The 4-0 start was fool's gold, especially with Michigan State, now 5-6, proving more fraudulent than formidable. The Gophers offense became one-dimensional, as Autman-Bell's absence became a bigger factor than it initially appeared. Minnesota's defense, mostly stout, faltered at key times. The kicking game had a couple of bad moments. And some important coaching decisions backfired.

It's added up to a 7-4 overall record and 4-4 Big Ten mark entering Saturday's game at Camp Randall Stadium, where Minnesota will try to retain Paul Bunyan's Axe against Wisconsin (6-5, 4-4).

"There are some things that when we look back, and you're always gonna circle one or two plays,'' Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said, dissecting last week's 13-10 loss to Iowa. "But none of us wanted it to happen the way it happened.''

Things started to go south for the Gophers in the third quarter at Michigan State when Ibrahim suffered an ankle injury, spent time in the medical tent and returned to finish with 103 yards on 22 carries. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but the injury kept Ibrahim from playing the next week against Purdue.


Go Gophers!!
 



Live in the now

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This is the first year in a long time the gophers have lost literally every close game.

If we were Nebraska we would declare ourselves national champs
Lol. Yea that has to be considered. They didn’t get any breaks at all this year it seemed.
 

Gopher 461

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Execution. As GHer RememberMurray so often states, it's execution that determines who wins and who loses tight games. Who blocks, and who tackles on critical plays with the game on the line. Who catches the pass, and who doesn't when the yardage is needed? Who kicks the field goal in a tight game, who doesn't? Whose punter helps the field position game? Yes, key people can make a difference because of their unique skills, but the coaches have to figure out what to do when that skill is not available for a game and change the game plan accordingly. Also, coaches are the ones to make adjustments during the game and expect the players to execute the changes.
 


MGGopher

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Execution. As GHer RememberMurray so often states, it's execution that determines who wins and who loses tight games. Who blocks, and who tackles on critical plays with the game on the line. Who catches the pass, and who doesn't when the yardage is needed? Who kicks the field goal in a tight game, who doesn't? Whose punter helps the field position game? Yes, key people can make a difference because of their unique skills, but the coaches have to figure out what to do when that skill is not available for a game and change the game plan accordingly. Also, coaches are the ones to make adjustments during the game and expect the players to execute the changes.
Yup, this is really it. Minnesota could EASILY be 9-2 right now...but they could also easily be 6-5. In the Nebraska game, Minnesota made the plays in the 2nd half. Trickett nailed two tricky FGs, Wright made a great catch on 50/50 ball, Athan some great plays w/ his legs, offense didn't turn it over, etc. Result was they won a close game. Against Purdue and Iowa, Minnesota didn't make the critical plays. Trickett missed a FG in each, offense turned it over in the red zone, WRs dropped critical passes, QBs missed open WRs, etc.

An argument CAN be made that Fleck's style on offense and STs should be adjusted because it requires almost absolute perfection, but the fact remains that players had plenty of chances to make the plays above and have MN sitting pretty right now.
 

gopherbadgerman

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This is the first year in a long time the gophers have lost literally every close game.

If we were Nebraska we would declare ourselves national champs
Are we 1-1 in games under 10 points?
 





Some guy

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Nebraska score?
The gophers beat Nebraska 20-13
That was in the 7-0 when 18 or more.


I am talking about gophers.


Iowa 1-2 when 10 or less
5-0 when 18 or more

Nebraska 0-2 when 10 or less
2-3 when 18 or more

I don’t understand the question
 

gopherbadgerman

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The gophers beat Nebraska 20-13
That was in the 7-0 when 18 or more.


I am talking about gophers.


Iowa 1-2 when 10 or less
5-0 when 18 or more

Nebraska 0-2 when 10 or less
2-3 when 18 or more

I don’t understand the questionI thought you were saying gophers were 0-2 in games under 10 point differential. I misunderstood your post
 

COS Gopherfan

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Execution. As GHer RememberMurray so often states, it's execution that determines who wins and who loses tight games. Who blocks, and who tackles on critical plays with the game on the line. Who catches the pass, and who doesn't when the yardage is needed? Who kicks the field goal in a tight game, who doesn't? Whose punter helps the field position game? Yes, key people can make a difference because of their unique skills, but the coaches have to figure out what to do when that skill is not available for a game and change the game plan accordingly. Also, coaches are the ones to make adjustments during the game and expect the players to execute the changes.
Or when your defense drops INTs that are right in their hands... I LOVE this defense but that's been the knock on them for the last 2 years..dropping INTs and not scoring DEF touchdowns!
 

COS Gopherfan

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Yup, this is really it. Minnesota could EASILY be 9-2 right now...but they could also easily be 6-5. In the Nebraska game, Minnesota made the plays in the 2nd half. Trickett nailed two tricky FGs, Wright made a great catch on 50/50 ball, Athan some great plays w/ his legs, offense didn't turn it over, etc. Result was they won a close game. Against Purdue and Iowa, Minnesota didn't make the critical plays. Trickett missed a FG in each, offense turned it over in the red zone, WRs dropped critical passes, QBs missed open WRs, etc.

An argument CAN be made that Fleck's style on offense and STs should be adjusted because it requires almost absolute perfection, but the fact remains that players had plenty of chances to make the plays above and have MN sitting pretty right now.
You make a great point...Fleck's run only style leaves no margin for error bc he can't or won't make adjustments. Good example... they are incapable of running a 2 min offense...why? Bc they can't throw!!
 



cjbfbp

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This is the first year in a long time the gophers have lost literally every close game.

If we were Nebraska we would declare ourselves national champs

They lost two close games: Iowa and Purdue (until the end anyway). Penn State certainly wasn't close and the Illinois game was a two score game that wasn't as close as the score.
 

cjbfbp

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An argument CAN be made that Fleck's style on offense and STs should be adjusted because it requires almost absolute perfection, but the fact remains that players had plenty of chances to make the plays above and have MN sitting pretty right now.

When it comes to the passing game, it does. I think that's why a lot of us have complained over some of these games but especially against Iowa. If you don't let the QB throw until it's 3rd and 8 you're forcing the QB and receivers to get it right every time. If getting 312 rushing yards and losing 10 to 13 doesn't tell us that we need a semblance of a passing game against good teams, then I don't know what else can deliver that message.
 




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