The Gophers Season Is Far from Over
There were a number of strong college football programs that saw trouble against up-and-coming programs. Alabama was tested mightily by the Arkansas Razorbacks for three quarters. Georgia narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of the unranked Missouri Tigers. Michigan led by just one possession over Maryland midway through the fourth quarter. So many teams faced tests only to ultimately come out on top, but not the Minnesota Gophers.
Facing the Purdue Boilermakers, Minnesota did not score in the fourth quarter and allowed the game to slip through their fingertips, falling 20-10. It was the Gophers first loss of the season, dropping their record to 4-1. They also dipped back outside the AP Top-25, receiving just 14 votes.
The loss is certainly disappointing for Minnesota, but it does not even remotely mean that the Gophers season is over.
For one, Mohamed Ibrahim missed the game with an ankle injury. Without their senior running back in the backfield, they could not get the running game going. They averaged just 2.25 yards per carry on 20 carries between Bryce Williams and Treyson Potts. This is nearly three times lower than Ibrahim’s 6.4 yards per carry so far this season.
You won’t win too many games when this is the case, especially when your QB plays by far his worst game of the season. Tanner Morgan saw lots of pressure throughout the afternoon, but three interceptions and zero touchdowns is unacceptable from an experienced QB.
Additionally, early on in the season, Purdue is looking like one of the more underrated programs in the country. They went into the game against Minnesota at 2-2, but their two losses came in close, competitive games against programs that are combined 10-0 and currently ranked.
Purdue lost 35-31 in Week 1 against Penn State, who has emerged as the No. 10 team in the country. The Boilermakers also fell 32-29 against Syracuse, and they are currently ranked No. 22 in AP’s poll. This is a loss for the Gophers that we could look back on in a few weeks with much less scrutiny.
Finally, this loss doesn’t cause huge implications for the standings in the Big Ten-West. Every single team in that division has at least one conference loss already this season, and Wisconsin has two of them. The division is still very much up for grabs, and a spot in the Big 10 title game is certainly within reach if the Gophers get back on track. This loss hurts in the immediate aftermath, but it could mean very little down the stretch of the season.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken