Well, that was fun, right? The offense kind of meh'd around a bit, but did more than enough to thoroughly impact the bowels of the Mountaineers, Blue Raiders, Humid Summers or whatever the hell MTSU's mascot is. And the defense was divine.
Also, I watched my first in-person Gopher game as an adult stone-cold sober. Eight days for me, if anyone has a token I can carry around. No idea how long I intend to keep that up, but I feel good about it for the moment. At any rate, since I'm sure you knobs were all straight blotto, I figured I'd share my thoughts to tickle the memories of your blacked-out asses in the morning.
What SoberSwan liked
1. Antoine Winfield will be a fixture here until he decides to go pro or become God Emperor. Guy is (SAT WORD ALERT) ubiquitous in pass and run coverage and, for being pocket-sized, lays the damn thunder. He had one missed tackle that I saw, but even that was a diving attempt where the likelihood of success wasn't high. Also, it seems like, based on the last two weeks, teams are very reluctant to throw at him. God bless that little midget and Fleck for getting him back here after Trainghazi.
2. Koby McCrary was a big swinging dick - henceforth referred to as BSD - out there today, which was good since Brooks was Here, uh, wasn't here for reasons unknown and RS1 apparently got ganked via pre-CTE syndrome. He's not a sexy runner, but he's big, beautiful and has just enough wiggle to find the seams. MTSU were doing a nice job of clogging up the middle, so it was good to see one of the non-featured backs plow some field.
3. Nate Wozniak has been my least favorite Gopher all the way back to his recruitment. What the hell good is a 6'10" beanpole? OH HE'LL FILL OUT AND PLAY TACKLE they said. Well, unless he's Elasticman, he ain't getting leverage on any DE worth shit. So we have a giant TE with hands of stone who is a serviceable blocker. Yippee. Well, shut your mouth, FrothyGopher, because that colossus rumbled down the field for what seemed like a 170-yard gain and even juked his way around a would-be tackler. That player should have that film tattooed on the small of his future wife's back to remind him he ain't no player. Anyway, props to you, Wozniak for moving Jerry Gibson into the least favorite Gopher spot.
4. As I said, the defense was sublime. Gave up a few big plays, but mostly over the middle where the risk of interception was higher a la Six Foot Dick Jacob Huff's pick six. I'm not having the best period of my life at the moment, but that pick definitely made me feel the sweet soup of life course through my sclerotic arteries. Pass rush remains a bit of a concern, but it also looked like pretty vanilla packages with little in the way of blitzes. I still maintain our linebacking crew is the best of my lifetime. Thomas Barber will be an All American by the time he's done here.
What SoberSwan didn't like
1. I'll take some guff from you for this, but since you can't respond in real-time, fuckyas. I think the pre-game intro seems weird. Like, they do the whole Fleck Row the Boat monologue, then play some thumping bass while the team comes down the tunnel, then there's the heartbeat..that...goes...on...forever. It concludes with Dr. Dre's finest work 'Next Episode' but I'm genuinely perplexed by the length of the heartbeat. What are we supposed to do? The fans just sit there, waiting to cheer for the team to come out. It's like we've taken Iowa's WAVE AT THE SICK KIDS shtick one step further and just transmit the final heartbeats of some poor sap at the U's hospital and the players can only come out when he cacks.
2. I'm concerned our offensive gameplan isn't ready for B1G play. That's probably by design, but at this point, there's not enough diversity to challenge some of the better defenses we'll see. I recognize Rhoda is about as far away from a prototypical RPO quarterback as I am being a samurai, but do we have another layer of plays we've been keeping in our back pocket? I'm not sure we've had a long pass - not counting YAC - this season. The few times we've tried along the sidelines, our receivers fail to get separation. My issue is that if we can't RUTM - and we won't be able to against about half of the remaining teams - the game rests with our WRs and Rhoda and, aside from Tyler Johnson, my hope does not spring eternal.