Gophers fall 37-34 at NW, blow 21 point 4th Q lead. Not much to say. #RowTheBoat #BoatIsSinking
The Minnesota Gophers have looked really questionable this season, I just didn't think a game like this was going to happen. The Gophers took a 31-10 lead into the 4th Quarter, only to allow 3 touchdowns in the 4th to force OT. Minnesota was held to a FG, while NW scored a TD to win in OT. Long-time Gopher fans are used to big meltdowns and bad losses, but this was a combination of both. I really don't know what to say about this game, it's just embarrassing. Northwestern is one of the worst teams in college football, and they just pulled off a historic come-back. The Gophers offense didn't even have any turnovers! I don't even understand what happened. Yuck.
SHOUT OUT TO FRESHMAN RB DARIUS TAYLOR
Darius Taylor shouldn't be unknown anymore. He leads the FBS in rushing yards per game with 133 (He is actually leading with 176.3 ypg in 3 games. He only had 1 rush for 3 yards in the opening game.). The four star freshman broke out with 193 yards in week 2 against Eastern Michigan and hasn't slowed down since. With a 198 yard effort on Saturday against Northwestern, Taylor became the first True Freshman, Power 5 running back since Adrian Peterson (2004, and yes... "All-Day") to run for at least 530 yards across his first 4 games. By the way, Taylor only earned 1 carry in Minnesota's opener against Nebraska. So almost all his 532 yards and 4 TDs have come the last 3 weeks. We need to keep feeding him the ball.
The fact that these terrible losses continue to happen, don't be surprised if we start hearing reports of Fleck on the hot seat. I have been one of the biggest supporters of Fleck over the years, but you can't keep having dud losses every single season. I also said it was going to be an issue coming into this season with Co-Offensive Coordinators. No legitimate football teams at any level do this. At some point, you need to take the program a step further. His best season as head coach was the 2019 season where over half of the players weren't even his recruits (Winfield, Coughlin, Cashman, Ibrahim, Smith, Brooks, Johnson, etc.). On top of this, the Big Ten is about to get much more difficult with the additions of USC, Oregon, Washington, and UCLA. This week, Fleck came out and was complaining that the NIL is too hard and that unless more money starts coming in, the Gophers are going to become a "Triple-A farm team" for other schools. Fleck has never been able to even win the Big Ten West under its current format. At some point we need to start evaluating how we want things to go moving forward. Fleck has gotten this program to a level that we haven't seen in over 60 years, but have we hit a ceiling with Fleck? He is also one of the worst in-game coaches I have ever seen. Something to consider for sure. I want him to stay here because I do think he is passionate and truly wants to create a legacy at Minnesota. If he can get the NIL situation figured out, I do think things will settle down.
The next game for the Gophers will be hosting the Louisiana Rajin' Cajuns for Homecoming. You're not gonna like this prediction, so be prepared. The Gophers SHOULD win this game and they are currently 11-point favorites, but this team is just so sad to watch. The Gophers have embarrassed the home fans the last 2 Homecomings...losing to Bowling Green in 2021 as 31-point favorites and then losing pathetically to Purdue in 2022, also as favorites. I promised myself last year that I would never predict another Gopher Homecoming win until they actually show they can win and not play hungover. I predict a 24-16 Rajin' Cajun win on Saturday, leading to an increase of people questioning the direction of the Minnesota Football Program. Go Gophers, prove me and the rest of the state wrong. And give the ball to Darius Taylor...don't overthink this.