|4-3 (Best I could do for wheels falling off the wagon)|
We're in a lot of trouble here, you guys. The last three games/first three B1G games the Gophers have averaged 13 points and allowed an average of 30 points. It doesn't matter who they've faced they've been beaten like John Matua vs. Tank Abbott. "You saw his legs quivering as he hit the mat."
Kill pulled our new Lord and Savior Philip Nelson's redshirt to give him the start last week. Nelson put in yeoman's work in his first start, as he was practically involved in every freaking play they ran. I'm not one of these guys that's crying in his beer over losing the redshirt. I'd rather do my damnedest to get to a bowl game and let the program 4 years from now sort itself out. We need guys that can win now and if Philly Dawg is it, let's go for it. Injuries kind of forced the hand and I don't fault Kill for playing it.
Speaking of injuries, while watching the game I didn't see any reason for MarQueis Gray to be on the field. His speed and cutting ability was noticeably hampered and it just felt that you just needed token coverage on him the whole game. Also, I don't know the extent of Shortell's injury, but did you know he still qualifies for 4th best passer rating in the B1G? T-Magic, Braxton Miller and McGloin Injury are the only ones ahead of him. Obviously this number is boosted by his rockstar performance off the bench and not his pedestrian pair of starts. Still, now the redshirt is off of Nelson, how bad does he have to play to see Shorty back in the game?
So, they don't score much right now and are banged up, but even scarier to me is the defense. They can't stop... well, anything. Run defense is gone, our sweet secondary is injured and exposed. I'M SO MAD AT YOU GUYS! Playing fast guys on D is all well and good, but they better be able to get off blocks and make a g-d tackle. Our ends and outside backers are just getting swallowed into the abyss and God help us if Ced Thompson has to come up and make a tackle from the safety position.
The OpponentThe good news about this week is everyone's B1G sleeper Purdue is building a similar-sized dumpster fire. They've also dropped all 3 conference matchups in addition to losing a tight one to Notre Dame in non-conference play. However, their four losses are to ND, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State. They have remaining games against our Golden Varmints, PSU, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. They need three of those to be bowl eligible, which puts this game in the dreaded Must Win territory.
The Boilerpotato defense hasn't given up more than 22 points in any game except the 41 Marshall scored against them. You might say, "Hey, Randy Moss still at Marshall?" No dawg, he isn't, but the Herd have the #2 passing offense in universe. Walk-on safety Landon Feichter (pronounced FEEK-tuh*) lead the B1G in INTs with four. Some other dude named Josh Johnson has 3, so they are active in the secondary. Beware, Phil.
PredictionIt's hard to predict anything but disaster here with a true freshy in his second start against solid defense. Add in a defense that looks as thin as the crotch of my boxer briefs and it's a recipe for another crushing defeat. The fact is the defense needs to give Nelson some help out there. It would be nice if Kirkwood is feeling up to toting the rock more this week as well. I expect the Gopher playcalling to once again be mainly of the 3-4 yards and a cloud of dust variety, but that can't be a recipe for success when the defense isn't getting stops. Purdue 31, Gophers 20 (it hurts me too)
|Purdue Pete's head is plastic.|
Other Notes- This week's Tao of Shede: "the ones that smile at you be the same ones pray on your down fall."
- Is Jon Gruden broke? Have you seen the Hooters commercials he's doing? He let them put him in a lame black visor? Ouch. Time to be the next head coach of the Browns I guess.
- Anyone still watch The Ultimate Fighter? I do, but I tend to just hope everyone in the house bursts into flames.
- There's another paranormal activity movie out I guess. My buddy FrothyGopher tricked me into watching very first one by telling me we get so see the main chick topless at the end. So, screw him. How can they make 4 movies out of having a sleeping person float in the air above their bed?