It’s finally here. Minnesota week! You’ve probably been following along since Rutgers week and thinking, out of habit, “Ok, it’s time for Minnesota now.” But no. As we approach the end, it’s time at last for your B1G West Co-Champions.
And we’re not having a season. So...perfect, right? Yup.
So. Minnesota pissed themselves in Iowa City and had a poor gameplan against wisconsin. That means the entire season was shit, right? Ummmm....
Non-conference was a slog, The Gophers trailed against South Dakota State, Fresno State, and Georgia Southern in the 4th quarter, but were able to overcome themselves and win all 3. Following that ominous start that featured boring offensive playcalling and janky execution, things started to click into place. Tanner Morgan’s 21 of 22 for 4 TD in West Lafayette was a harbinger of things to come, as the Gophers would dominate the dredges of the conference over the next month (including what should have been Nebraska’s first shutout since 1996) by a combination of a stingy defense, excellent balanced offense, and the fact that the Gophers played Illinois, Nebraska, Rutgers, and Maryland. But then we got this:
I’ve had some great times (and even more less-than-great times) at Gopher football games, but this was the damn best. I still get goosebumps every time I watch that Rashod Bateman TD.
And then...then things got out of control. Following the Penn State game PJ Fleck spent the week making every damn media appearance possible, and there are a few people who wonder if that had an impact on the flat showing against Iowa. Things just weren’t clicking at times.
The Gophers bounced back to smother Northwestern in Evanston in front of MNW, LPW, and a bunch of Gopher fans to earn a share of the West, but the right to get pummeled about the head and body by Ohio State would be determined by the axe game. Gameday finally came to Minneapolis (read: We finally had a team and a game worthy of Gameday) and that was an electric environment, but...then we had to wait. And the crowd just didn’t have the same feel of the Penn State game. After the Gophers punted at the 3:30 mark of the 1st quarter instead of going for it on 4th & 2 from the 35 yard line, the air just got taken out of the stadium and those things from the east just did their thing. **sigh**
The season was capped off by a trip to the Outback Bowl against #12 Auburn, and the Gophers once again defeated a team from the state of Alabama in a bowl game. I’ve said many times that my 2020 has gone as follows: I woke up in Tampa, watched the Gophers destroy Auburn, and then everything went to shit.
The 2019 Gophers went 11-2 and finished ranked #10 in both polls. 2019 was a great season for Gopher football.
Rashod Bateman already declared his intentions to forego the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL. It’s a smart decision, since we’re not going to have a football season.
Coming and Going
Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson leave the best WR corps in school history a shadow of its former self, with Chris Autman-Bell and true FR Douglas Emilien looking to try to replace them.. Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks depart a RB group that may be more productive with Mo Ibrahim as the bellcow whenever we get to play football again because everyone has both knees.
Defensively, Carter Coughlin and Antoine Winfield Jr. are gone. They’ve both been awesome throughout their careers and will be nearly impossible to replace both on and off the field. While Fleck’s recruiting has been the best at the University of Minnesota since desegregation, we’re going to find out how good the staff is at developing the young studs.
|9/5||at Michigan State|
|12/5||B1G Championship Game|
None of that matters because people have been idiotic shitbags who are incapable of empathy or understanding that their individual actions have an impact on what is supposed to be a society. Wear a damn mask you selfish pricks.
At the Tailgate:
Don’t talk about:
Iowa’s voodoo, wisconsin, how wearing a mask violates your freedom.
Do talk about:
Finishing top 10 in 2019, how much fun that PSU game was, Rashod Bateman, Grain Belt and all of its wonderful varieties, how much you’re looking forward to college football returning in spring 2021.