Gophers DOMINATE Colorado 30-0

Sept. 18, 2021: After traveling to Boulder, Colo for their first road game of the season Golden Gophers left victorious, defeating Colorado ().

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Full Game Recap:

  • Pregame/injuries: The Gophers’ had their healthiest roster of the season for the trip to Colorado, as Chris Autman-Bell, Jordan Howden and Dylan Wright were all back into the lineup. DL Rashad Cheney was the only notable inactive.
  • First-Quarter: Minnesota’s defense came up big in the first half, outgaining Colorado 83-0 in total yards. After a short missed Matthew Trickett field goal, the Gophers had no points to show for it remaining even at 0.
  • Second-Quarter: The Gophers’ offense started to roll after big plays from Chris Autman-Bell (two catches 40 yards) in the passing game and Trey Potts (17 carries, 89 yards two touchdowns) in the running game. A dominant first-half offensive line performance gave the Gophers a 13-0 lead heading into the break.

Second Half:

  • Third-Quarter: It looked like it was going to be the same story, as the Gophers came out of the locker room a bit sluggish once again. After Trickett’s second missed field goal of the day all of the momentum shifted into Colorado’s hands. A forced fumble back Jack Gibbens was the big play Minnesota needed, and Potts added his third touchdown of the day at the end of the quarter, extending its lead to 20-0.
  • Fourth-Quarter: The Gophers’ offensive line continued to dominate to close out the game. Trickett got back on track with a made field goal and redshirt-freshman RB Ky Thomas began to get work in the backfield, with four carries for 49 yards and a touchdown on Minnesota’s final scoring drive.

Instant Reaction & Takeaways:

The Gophers’ offensive line just played like one of the best units in all of college football. They imposed their will on Colorado for 60 minutes of football in one of the most dominant showings of offensive line play that I have seen in quite some time, if not ever from this team.

P.J. Fleck clearly came in with a very common game plan of his; lean on the running game and hope for a good day from the defense. Just that happened. Minnesota absolutely tore through a Colorado rush defense that was allowing the 13th fewest rushing yards per game at 58.5 before today for north of 200 yards on the ground. The Gophers’ have certainly answered their running back question, after a second huge day from Trey Potts, true-freshman Bucky Irving has asserted himself as the clear No. 2 option. In Chris Autman-Bell’s return, the WR group flashed elite potential with big plays all day from CrAB, Daniel Jackson and Dylan Wright. An all-around very complete day from the offense with very few mistakes was very refreshing to see after last week’s disappointing performance against Miami (OH).

Minnesota’s defense had quite the day of its own. A pair of sacks from both Thomas Rush and Boye Mafe led a dominating performance from the Gophers’ defensive line. True freshman Justin Walley made his presence felt in the secondary, while Coney Durr had a great day of his own. You obviously have to take this performance with a grain of salt given, how un-explosive Colorado’s offense looked. If Colorado’s offense stinks or not, this defensive performance will be huge for the Gophers’ confidence going forward.

What is Next?:

I think Gophers fans might finally be able to see a non-conference blowout game next week against Bowling Green. The Falcons have not won a single football game since Nov. of 2019, so if we see another one-score game we might have an issue. A home game against one of the worst teams in the country should be a great tune-up game before the Big Ten play officially begins.

This game didn’t answer all of the Gophers’ questions, but it is a great start to the rest of the season. Minnesota controls its own destiny and there is still zero reason why this team cannot compete for a Big Ten West title.

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