Minnesota Gophers DOMINATE Maryland 34-16, Improve to 5-2
The Minnesota Gophers won this game from start to finish and on both sides of the ball. Their rushing attack was as good as it's been all year and the defense just seems to keep improving as the season rolls on. The 2 Freshman RBs, Bucko Irving and Ky Thomas, became the 4th and 5th different 100-yard rushers for Minnesota in only the 7th game of the season as the Gophers were able to gain a monstrous 326 yards on ground which led to the 34-16 victory over Maryland. Here is a look at how the ground attack was distributed throughout the day:
Ky Thomas had 139 yards and 1 TD
Bucko Irving had 133 total yards and 1 TD
Bryce Williams had 48 yards and 1 TD
QB Cole Kramer had 30 yards and 1 TD
QB Tanner Morgan and the receivers had a quiet, yet efficient day. Morgan threw 8-12 for 125 yards and allowed the rushing attack to do its thing. The offense is taking advantage of what it does best and when the running game is hot, there aren't many teams that can stop it. The Gophers offensive line is really starting to click as they are able to not only run out the typical 5 OL set, but they also have certain packages that consist of 7 and even 8 OL at the same time. Those are the times that you just know the Gophers are going to dig in and gain the necessary yards they need on that play to get a first down or a touchdown.
The Gophers defense continues to play with passion and an excitement that is incredibly fun to watch. They have a swarming mentality to the point that if an opposing player does slip a tackle, us as fans are yelling at the tv to just go down because you can see the rest of the defense coming in at full speed to absolutely obliterate the guy. No matter who makes the play, the entire defense is there to congratulate the teammate. This is a sign of a defense that is playing selfless and on another level than most of the defenses in the nation (This might be one of the best defensive lines the Gophers have had in recent memory). Here are some highlights from the defense last Saturday:
1 fumble recovery on Maryland's first drive
5 tackle for losses
2 QB hurries
189 passing yards allowed
79 rushing yards allowed (Gophers now have the 5th fewest rush yards allowed per game at 85.7 yards in the entire nation)
The Gophers have now won 3 straight games and we are starting to get a sense that the team is clicking and coming together at the right time. They will travel to Illinois to face off against the well-coached and reigning Big Ten West Champions, Northwestern Wildcats. The Wildcats are not having the best season and are currently 3-4, but they should not be taken lightly. The Gophers are 7.5 point favorites in this matchup and will need to continue to assert their dominance early and often on both sides of the ball to ensure the Wildcats don't get any belief that they can keep up with us. Let's go Gophers, keep the wins rolling in!