Monday, October 16, 2017

Moral Victories Don't Count, but We're Totally Counting Them

Today, guest poster, f-list Twitter famous guy and Friend of the Blog Matt O'Connell weighs in on how we lost, but didn't really lose, Saturday's game against Michigan State.


“Take your fucking moral victory and shove it up your fucking ass, you fucking fucker”- Long time BYU head coach LaVell Edwards

Like Edwards, P.J. Fleck does not believe in moral victories, he made that clear with Gaardsie in the postgame interview.  While I row the boat, I also have a Nekton mentality which means sometimes you have to go your own way, go your own wayyy. ($1 to Fleetwood Mac).  I don’t love the idea of the moral victory, but when you are deep in Year Zero and dealing with lots of youth, inexperience, and injuries you need those bench marks become important. 

The Gophers had about infinity opportunities to quit last night. Hell, they could have quit during the Purdue game, but I don’t see any sign of that.  When they picked up no yards and had to settle for a field goal after an early fumble recovery on punt attempt. They also could have hung their heads after the newly reinstated Duke McGhee (you owe us an explanation PJ!!!) picked off a pass and they had to settle for another field goal.  Those two turnovers netted zero yards and 6 point despite both starting in MSU territory. That is some demoralizing shit for a team that is looking for something to build on. This team kept rowing and didn’t let it get to them. They kept battling. Moral Victory #1

Injuries hurt (duh). Minnesota was already playing with a banged up and reshuffled offensive line and it got worse with Vincent Calhoun going down and Quinn Oseland being forced into action. This unit was short on proven players to begin with and just can’t seem to catch a break. While the running game continued to struggle for most of the game they did hold up pretty well and only allowed a very good MSU defense two sacks.  It also allows for Minnesota's stable of young offensive linemen to get some actual playing time in meaningful games with something on the line.  This is big for the future. Moral Victory #2.

Don’t get me started on the secondary. According to the participation report only five, yes 5, V for you fancy MF’ers, played yesterday. Not five on defense, five total. That is crazy. Now we know why Fleck and Tyrone Carter made up, because TC might have a year of eligibility left. Holding a team to 120 yards passing with your 4th string safety starting at corner is a big freaking win. Moral Victory #3. 

Did you see the time of possession in the 3rd quarter?  Did the Gophers quit?  Hell to the no they didn’t.  That’s like five moral victories.  Mark it 8, dude (See Big Lebowski)

So many moral victories in the 4th quarter last night.  Can we all take a minute to admire this move by Demry Croft?

I mean damn, that was pretty.   Can we also talk about Croft’s ability to move in the pocket and keep plays alive.  I don’t want to rip on Connor Rhoda, he is a great kid and is giving it is all, but his move is to roll out and hope for his first read to hope nothing bad happens.  Croft was consistently scanning the field looking for open receivers, moving all over trying buy time, remaining calm, and only running when there was nothing else.  His poise in the pocket was something we have not seen in maroon and gold since at least Adam Weber.  At least twice he looked like he was about to take off up the middle, but found an open receiver, one being a TD to Mr. Tyler Johnson (give the man his respect).  That is some high level awareness for a guy who has played very little football since his senior year of high school in 2014.  I’m not sure if Croft is the guy long term, but he showed me enough to be the man for the rest of this year.  

Back to Mr. Tyler Johnson, he is the best Gopher receiver since Eric Decker and it is not even close.  I love him.  Mark Williams looks like he will also be a capable receiver as well.  Get your shades because with Mr. Johnson, Williams, Douglas, Howard, and the promise of Autman-Bell and the incoming freshmen the future for that group is bright.

In honor of Mr. Tyler Johnson I give 6 Moral Victories in the 4th bring the total to 14 and giving the Gophers a 41-30 victory last night.   That puts the Gophers a 4-2 and two wins away from bowl eligibility. Next week there will be no moral victories, you either beat Illinois or fold the program so there is a ton riding on that game.    

1 comment:

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