Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rout in Happy Valley

The Gopher football squad put up one of its more pathetic offensive performances in recent memory Saturday, managing just 138 total yards, as #14 Penn State cruised to a 20-0 homecoming victory. The conditions at Beaver Stadium were less than ideal for the game, with the six inches of snow which fell on the region prior to the game. However, the Gophers were the only ones who appeared to be caught in the mud.

PSU RB Evan Royster ran 23 times for 137 yards - virtually as much as the entire Gopher squad, and QB Darryl Clark overcame a sluggish start to complete 21 of 32 passes for 287 yards and a TD.

The Penn State defense, ranked sixth in the country going into the game, punished the Gophers all day long, and never allowed them to get anything going. The time of possession bore this out, with the Nittany Lions holding the edge 41:59 to 18:01 for Minnesota.

Penn State also held a stark edge in third down conversions, making good on 11 or 17 attempts. The Gophers, on the other hand, were just 3-11 on third down.

The Gopher defense played pretty well in the first half, despite being on the field almost the entire game. The defense held Penn State to just two field goals, until PSU's long 12-play, 91-yard drive to cap the first half. WR Derek Moye stretched out to catch a Clark pass in the end zone, but was ruled out of bounds by officials. After further review, the Nittany Lions were given credit for a touchdown, as the replay officials ruled that Moye had control of the ball when he got his requisite one foot down. Replay evidence appeared inconclusive at best, and the Lions took a 13-0 lead into halftime instead of a more manageable 9-0, assuming PSU would have converted on the field goal in the waning seconds of the half.

Adam Weber's numbers were pathetic on Saturday, completing just 10 of 22 passes for 101 yards and a pick. To be fair, Weber's protection was suspect all day, as the offensive line play was rather miserable. However, it may be time to consider MarQueis Gray or someone else at the QB spot. A noticeable difference between Weber and other QBs the Gophers have faced this season has been the ability to make plays, especially on third down, which is something Weber has been complete devoid of doing this season.

The Gophers are now 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten. The road gets no easier, as Minnesota travels to Columbus, Ohio next weekend to take on Ohio State. The Buckeyes were shocked by a Purdue team the Gophers dominated one week ago, but the Buckeyes will definitely be up for this one. The Gophers did beat OSU in Columbus in 2000, so there's always a chance. Of course, they beat Penn State in Happy Valley in 1999, too.


  1. Time to run that snake oil salesman out of town!

  2. I know - bring back Murray Warmath. Look, I'm going to post on this in the future, but Tim Brewster is not going to be fired. I repeat, Tim Brewster is not going to be fired. Period. He was brought in three seasons ago to change the way things are done here, and he will get the opportunity to do it. This means he will get more than three years. The powers that be were dissatisfied with Glen Mason's management and wanted a complete change, leading to Brewster's hiring. There was no immediate need to change everything, yet that's what the administration wanted. He's here, so get used to it.

    If he is fired, then Maturi should be as well, since he's all-in with Brewster.