Three Things The Gophers Did (W)Right

Well after another interesting start Minnesota found its way against the Eagles of Eastern Michigan.  The mediocre start lead way to a score by Darius Taylor, and Dragen Kesich added a field goal for a 10-6 halftime lead, Minnesota pounded away in the second half and secured a workmanlike 25-6 win over a decent MAC Conference opponent.

What Minnesota did (W)right

  • Continued to dominate on defense.

This Gopher defense continues to be the bright spot of this team.  Every time EMU got something going, The Gophers were up to the task.  Kyler Baugh stood out with not one, but two big sacks.  Maverick Baranowski also made his name known as someone we should be watching as the season progresses.  Darius Green, Tre’von Jones and an interception for Devon Williams who returned it for 19 yards also were standouts.  It was nice to see some new names getting after it and they deserve their props.

Also, the Gopher Defense did not allow a first down in the second half.  I don’t care who the opponent is that’s impressive.

  • A star is born?

His name is Darius Taylor and boy did he have a coming out party.  Despite Sean Tyler getting most of the preseason hype (and Tyler rushed for 96 yards himself) it was his running mate who went for 193 yards and one touchdown as Minnesota made a concerted effort to establish the run game.  Darius looked to add his name to the starting mix, his longest run of the night was 22 yards.  Although the Gophers will continue to platoon both backs, Taylor is now on everyone’s radar as Minnesota develops another one, two punch at running back. “Grit” is a word Coach Fleck used to describe the true Freshman, and I see why, Taylor is a worker and he isn’t going anywhere.

  • The Kicking Game

After watching Dragan Kesich last week, and listening to him speak after the Nebraska victory, I noticed that the Minnesota kicker seems to thrive under pressure, and he has a confidence about himself that you love to see in a place kicker.  While he didn’t have any super long kicks against Eastern Michigan, he did make three short attempts after promising drives stalled out.  I made it a point to watch him warm up, he has a BIG LEG, if wind isn’t an issue 55, 60 yards are in play for the Minnesota kicker.  Lets hope he becomes the next big kicker in Gopher history.

Honestly, Minnesota should have won this game 46-6 ,Throwing in three drives that they really showed have scored touchdowns on.  Next week Minnesota heads to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina and their Heisman hopeful Drake Maye. Carolina had to go to double overtime to hold on at home against Appalachian State.  I look for Minnesota’s defense to carry the load and shut down the Tar Heels offense, and the Gopher offense finds a way, and they bring home win number three and defeat North Carolina.

Vince Wright is a GopherHole contributor and host of The Sports Done Wright Podcast

Twitter @thebigsmooth1

Instagram @Sportsdonewright

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