Saturday, August 14, 2010

Big Ten 2010-Minnesota Golden Gophers

2009 Record: 6-7 (3-5)
Head Coach: Tim Brewster (14-24, 4th season)
Offensive Coordinator: Jeff Horton (1st season) and Thomas Hammock (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Kevin Cosgrove (2nd season) and Ronnie Lee (2nd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Insight Bowl, Lost to Iowa State 14-13

Offense: This group finished last in the Big Ten, and ranked 109th nationally overall. They went scoreless twice and posted 21 points or less seven times. What is normally a very strong rushing attack only averaged 99.5 yards per game last season. Adam Weber was marginally better, as the passing attack finished 75th at 207 yards per game. This is a sunit that only scored 16 points against South Dakota State. 9 starters return to play for 2 new OCs in 2010, and there had better be progress, or else. Weber is a 5th year senior, and it seems loke he has been there longer than that. He has an NFL build, but he had better find some consistant play, or else he can forget about sniffing at Sundays next year. Tryo Stoudermire and Da'John McKnight will be Weber's main targets, but Stoudermire is very streaky. The line is expected to be much better than a season ago, as they were frankly terrible and injury hampered most of the season. Junior DeLeon Eskridge is being handed the task of moving the Gopher run game back to previous times in Gopher history where that part of the game was a steadfast tower, not a rediculous hinderance.

Defense: There is not much left here from 2009. Only 2 full time starters return on the D in 2010, and they are both safeties (Kyle Theret and Kim Roysten). The defense was not completely awful, but did look foolish when up against big time runners last season, such as John Clay, who just bullied his way through the line at will. With this much inexperience, I don't see the situation getting any better. There is virtually no depth.

Special Teams: Eric Ellestad returns as the PK in 2010, and he is quite a good one, with big game ability. Dan Orseske will punt, and was slated to do so last season before coming down with mono.

2010 Schedule

Wins: 9/11 South Dakota

Toss Up Games: 9/2 @ Middle Tennessee, 9/25 Northern Illinois

Losses: 9/18 USC, 10/2 Northwestern, 10/9 @ Wisconsin, 10/16 @ Purdue, 10/23 Penn State, 10/30 Ohio State, 11/6 @ MIchigan State, 11/13 @ Illinois, 11/27 Iowa

As you can plainly see, it is going to be a potentially heinous season in Minneapolis. I am being very generous by placing the Middle Tennessee game in the toss box, as I think that the Gophers can easily lose that game on the road against a very good team. The defense is in too much flux, and the offense has yet to show anyone anything. There was very little physicality on this squad in 2009, so teams that play in your grill defense and agressive offense will blow these guys away week after week.

Outlook: Really not good. There are so many issues here, that it will be difficult for me to find an excuse not to fire Brewster after this season. He is definatley on the hot seat this season, and things will only get tougher next season when Nebraska joins the conference. his looks like a dead end season.

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