And now we need to go on the road and play better than we’ve played on the road. We head to Minnesota and it will be the first time for any of us on our team to ever have seen the stadium let alone play in it, so that will be exciting for us. And it’s an evening primetime game, and our guys will get excited about that. So now we’ve got to go back to work and understand that we’re facing a veteran quarterback in Adam Weber. We had him in youth camp. I thought he was outstanding then, and 10,000 yards later I think he’s still outstanding. And I think the school career passing record for us is a little over 7,000 and he’s got 10,000, just to put it in perspective what he’s been able to accomplish and he’s a heck of a player. He’s a competitor. He’s a senior. You can just hear in his comments that he doesn’t want to hear about coaching transition or this or that, this is still the 2010 Minnesota Golden Gophers and still the same team it was at the beginning of the year who has a passion to get some good things done, and through his leadership, you can be sure that they’ll never stop, and that’s the kind of leader that you want to have. And he leads a young group of receivers who I think are getting better and better and they’ve done a good job of giving you a lot of different formation looks, a lot of different personnel groupings.
Over on their defensive side, they were very young when they began, now they’re eight or nine games into it and they’re no longer — you no longer talk when you talk about a team of so and so had this many starters returning because that’s irrelevant now because they’re going into this point in the season.
And they seem to have dialed up a little bit more of their pressure package in this last game or so than they did earlier in the year. They did a similar amount against us a year ago, so it’s not like we haven’t seen it. It’s not like it’s anything brand new, but they are bringing good pressure. I think they’re playing a little bit loose and getting just excited to go out and hit somebody and see if they can create turnovers and so forth, so it will be a great challenge for us.
Special teams, we always say, is the key when we go on the road and I think if anyone has an interest in Big Ten football and doesn’t think that the special teams had maybe the biggest impact on last weekend, Wisconsin’s fake punt was probably the turning point in that game. Michigan State’s fake punt was probably the turning point in that game. I think Iowa missed a field goal, which was big, and an extra point, perhaps. The Cleveland Browns, I didn’t see it, but the little reverse pass or whatever they did was huge in their game, and on and on and on. Missouri, I think, didn’t they bring the opening kickoff back?
So special teams is something that we’ll never stop talking about and you’ll never be able to convince me of its relative impact on the emotion of the game, and football is an emotional game. And so we’ve got to make sure that despite the fact that we’ve had to go with a lot of different lineups due to injuries in the linebacker and DB areas, we’ve got to get better at special teams, especially on the road. It’s a huge impact. Purdue found that. Go full circle, Purdue found that out, coming over here, you can’t make two big special teams mistakes and think you’re going to win in someone else’s stadium.
I apologize. It was disguised as a pooch.
I thought the offensive line had a great challenge. It was kind of like one of those you get into a stalemate and you get into it, and you get into it, fortunately by the fourth quarter we won that stalemate. Probably didn’t win it early. Do they feel good about the fact that we didn’t win it throughout? I would hope that the competitor in all of us, we’d all like everything to work all the time, but you could see them on film. They’re a good football team. Especially in the trenches.
I thought they did a nice job of working the safeties down into the box, both run and pass, they tricked us the one time and robbed that little spot route and it was a similar coverage, though, when we threw the corner route behind it for the touchdown, but they got us the first time with it, and that also allowed them to have those extra guys in the box. That has a little bit to do with where the line goes toward where they work up the linebackers and safeties sometimes, but, no, it was — it was a reality, man, that was a tough one.
And now we have a chance to come home, play against an Indiana team that they threw it 64 times last week, 98 plays, you know, those receivers are veterans. The quarterback, of course, is a veteran. Their running back does a nice job in protection, and the amount that they run him, he’s very good at it and he’s a good receiver as well.
Defensively they struggled against a very fast, fast offense that Michigan brought at them. And special teams-wise, their return men, they’ve always done a good job on kickoff return against us and Doss is back there again.
I wish we had more balls. That sounds terrible.
Yesterday I posted a rumor regarding the possibility that Agentgate was about to become much bigger than originally believed. That claim suggested that as many as 30 players, many from the SEC, were likely going to fall under scrutiny for the partying in Miami Florida.
Today the first confirmation of the story was posted by ESPiN. They claim that a May 15th party was held by Frank Gore and that “many college football players attended”, as reported by the Sports Business Journal. Frank Gore claims he paid for his party – implying that no agents were directly involved – but there was a second party later that night at the South Beach nightclub Cameo that apparently many (if not all) of the college players also attended. It is very likely that the second party is going to be the killer, but even the first could hold some evidence of inappropriate dealings with Agents.
Stay tuned as this continues to develop.
Many of you have probably run into discussions of “Agentpalooza”, “Agentgate” or “Agent Orange” as 11W prefers to think of it. For those that haven’t, the NCAA uncovered activities of players from Alabama, UNC, Georgia and South Carolina that suggested they had made illicit contact with sports agents. The premise is that an agent, or several agents, hosted a party in Miami, FL that these student athletes were invited to. Roll Bama Roll has a fairly good article regarding Alabama’s Marcell Dareus’ involvement and why they believe he’s not at fault for the situation. The Bylaw Blog also has a solid piece discussing the nature of student-athlete benefits and the penalties that can result particularly in relation to this situation.
However, an as yet unconfirmed source suggests that Agentpalooza is much bigger than originally imagined. As many as 30 student athletes – most from SEC schools – are reported to be involved in this fiasco. With how many players are reported to have been involved, and the fact that it is spread over several institutions already makes it very likely that other SEC programs could be involved. If true, this kind of involvement from what could turn out to be a majority of schools in the SEC would be an unprecedented example of agent influence on the college ranks. Given the sanctions the NCAA handed down to USC, this could cost several major SEC schools dearly in the long run. We’re not talking about Vanderbilt here, folks. We’re talking “top of the line” SEC football programs here.
Florida is currently looking at a serious problem of their own with former offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey’s rumored $100,000 benefit. If any Gators were discovered wrapped up in Agentpalooza it could seriously jeopardize Urban Meyer’s program for the next several years as the NCAA may decide to view that as a lack of control by the institution.
We will continue to watch the situation as it unfolds and post updates as soon as information becomes available.