Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Gopher Football - Reason for Optimism?

         With the advent of Fall, our attention turns to football and the joy of speculating. The media is all over the Vikings but it is the Gopher’s that may produce the most pleasant surprises. First of all, with the exception of Illinois, there is parity in our western division. Hence, victory will likely go to the teams that are consistent and balanced. In that regard, I like Northwestern, Iowa, and Minnesota. These three resemble the teams of the old Big Ten - not flashy but good at pounding the ball and being successful with the short passing game. Nebraska and Purdue have some highly skilled players and are dependent on the long ball and big plays. This produces some big upsets but those kind of teams tend not to be sufficiently steady.

        Wisconsin is the enigma. They have the best running back in the Big Ten and potential strength at quarterback. But I question their ability to put put together consistent performances.

         That is why I like the Gophers. They have a solid offensive line with some real heft that will be determinative in tight spots and an array of experienced running backs that know how to get the job done. They have the ability to grind it out like the old Ohio State teams. The are weak in the long passing game but have an array of talented receivers who know how to get open and a second year QB who is sufficiently experienced to make that short range offense produce.

            The real question mark is in the defense. The management adjustments last year worked exceedingly well producing some excellent results against good offensive powers like Purdue, Wisconsin, and Georgia Tech. There is no reason to believe that will not continue. 

             Whether or not our kicking game is solid remains to be seen and that could be a key factor in some close games. But, overall, the Gophers have the ability to stay with any team including power houses like Penn State. And I like their attitude - they know they are underrated and are determined to show the prognosticators that they are wrong. I agree and see the Gophers going out with a 9-3 record and possibly 10-2.

                 See you at the Big Bowl!





3 comments:

  1. I agree! The BIG West Division is really the "Wild, Wild West", and should be exciting and interesting. The Gophers Offensive Line may be their key to success with their solid stable of running backs. Interestingly, the Gophers are viewed by outsiders as demonstrating steady and continued improvement in recruitment of players and game performance, even with their youthful roster. I like what is happening in Dinkytown, and the West is more of a toss-up than many suggest.

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Gopher Football - Reason for Optimism?

          With the advent of Fall, our attention turns to football and the joy of speculating. The media is all over the Vikings but it is t...