MN Gophers lose 31-13 to #20 UNC. Gophers (2-1) travel to Northwestern (1-2) for Week 4.
The Gophers defense kept Minnesota in the game as long as they could against the #20 Tar Heels, but the QB play ended up being the difference. Despite the Gophers intercepting Drake Maye twice, he was still was able to go 29/40 with 414 yards and 2 TD. QB Athan Kaliakmanis and the passing offense could never get into any kind of rhythm. Athan end up going 11/29 with 133 yards and 1 INT. He was missing his receivers by huge margins including missing on a couple potential touchdown passes. Freshman RB Darius Taylor continues to show that he is the real deal, rushing 22 times for 138 yards, 1 TD, in addition to a 25 yard reception. I don't really know what is going on with Athan this season. He is missing passes this year that he was completing with ease in big games last season, like throwing for over 300 yards and 2 TDs against Wiscansin. It's nice to know our defense is playing well and our running game has been figured out. Losing a non-conference game early in the season to a ranked team with a QB projected to go top-3 in next year's NFL draft isn't the end of the world. Plus, the Gophers under Fleck have always improved as the seasons have gone on. I will stay optimistic, but I am starting to think 7 or 8 wins in the regular season this year will be a success, considering the difficulty of the schedule.
The Gophers will travel to Northwestern for Week 4 with hopes to improve to 2-0 in Big Ten play. This Northwestern team is not good and are coming off a very tumultuous offseason. Read about it if you aren't aware. Some very disgusting behavior involving decades of hazing. I won't make any prediction about the Gophers passing game until they show improvement, but I expect to see a BIG game from Darius Taylor in the running game (maybe 200+ yards?!) and a very good showing from the defense. I predict the Minnesota Gophers to win 28-13, improving to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten. LET'S GO GOPHERS! (I won't be able to watch this game because I will be attending an Explosions in the Sky concert in Minneapolis on Saturday night!)