Sunday, September 12, 2010
It would be one thing if it was a fluke, with the Coyotes winning due to a few lucky plays and some breaks going their way, but it wasn't. It was basically a domination, with USD in control the whole way. First off, they scored 41 freaking points, and they don't exactly run one of those goofy high-scoring spread offenses. They gained 444 yards, averaged nearly 12 yards per pass attempt, and converted 50% of their third downs. Most of all, once they took the lead at 7-3 with 8:09 remaining in the first quarter, they never relinquished the lead. In the second quarter when the Gophers cut the lead to 14-10 USD responded by going on an 8-play drive ending in a touchdown. In the third quarter the Gophers cut the lead to 28-24. The Coyotes immediately went on a 7-play drive, again ending in a TD. When the Gophers made it 34-30 in the fourth, hey scored on the next drive yet again. Finally, when the Gophers cut it to 41-38 with three minutes left, South Dakota didn't just sit on the ball, run it up the middle, and try to take the clock down. They took it right at the Gophers, knowing they couldn't stop them through the air, completed two passes for first downs, and won the game. They were in control the entire way.
Perhaps the worst thing about this loss and biggest indictment of the Brewster regime is that nobody could possibly be surprised by this loss. I mean think about it. Say you didn't watch the game and hadn't heard the result, and then your friend called you up and said the Gophers lost to South Dakota; what would be your reaction? Mild disbelief? At worst? Maybe a sarcastic "shut up" but not with any real conviction behind it? And how hard would he have to reassure you he was telling the truth? Repeat himself once? This isn't surprising at all, it's merely the logic product of four years of moving backwards. The loss to Florida Atlantic, the loss to NDSU, the near loss to SDSU, the two-safeties collapse against Wisconsin, and 55-0 vs. Iowa were all just preludes to this: the lowest moment in Gopher football history that I can remember being alive for, something Brewster has been on a beeline for the last couple of years.
Look, I get it. You took a chance on an unproven guy who talked a great game and was undeniably enthusiastic about the school and the job. The problem was he was all talk and no walk, all flash and no substance, all sizzle and no steak. Mediocre recruiting, poor fundamentals, an inability to put together and/or stick to a gameplan on either side of the ball, and a constantly shifting offensive identity isn't going to get it done at this level, and after four years I think we can safely assume that's still what we're going to get, so it's time to go.
Although it now looks like the absolute upside on wins this season is going to be four, so I don't think Maturi is going to have much of a choice but to can him. The real question is, do we trust him to hire somebody better?
At least somebody I know enjoyed the game: