Last week, we saw our darling Twins swept away by the Yankees after pitchers couldn’t keep the ball in the stadium and the Bomba Squad inexplicably fell asleep. Don’t worry Twins fans- The Squad should largely be the same, and with approximately $75 Million to spend, the roster should be getting an upgrade. The majority of sports news from around the state comes from the gridiron.
Golden Gopher Football
*sigh* Isn’t it nice to win a game outright? Not to have dramatic last-minute comebacks or crazy clutch OT plays to win the game? Your Golden Gophers officially #shuckedthehusks and reclaimed the chirping rights in the Battle for the $5 Broken Chair.
In spite of the weather (snow, rain, and a hint of hail- all partnered with a blistering wind), the Golden Gophers dominated the game, winning 34-7. Tanner Morgan completed eight of his thirteen pass attempts for 128 yards and a touchdown. Rodney Smith (eighteen carries for 139 yards and a touchdown), Shannon Brooks (thirteen carries for 99 yards), and Mohammed Ibrahim (fifteen carries for 84 yards and THREE touchdowns) dominated the Cornhusker defense, like a combine through crops. Rashod Bateman had a quiet night (one catch for -4 yards) which was fine because Tyler Johnson (five receptions for 109 yards) and Chris Autman-Bell (one reception for fifteen yards and a touchdown) kept the passing game dangerous and demanding respect.
Also, the defense was nothing short of spectacular. Pitched a shutout until the fourth quarter when the game was well in hand and had four sacks. With Rutgers and Maryland in the next two weeks, 8-0 isn’t unheard of.
Okay, Vikings fans. Kirk Cousins had a solid game against a team above .500? Is it just because it’s spooky szn and the prospect of Cousins hitting Thielen (six receptions, 57 yards, and a touchdown) and Diggs (seven receptions, 167 yards, and THREE touchdowns) should be one of the more frightening things in the NFL?
Hey. Enjoy the win. Take a breather, Cousins can make passes. Let’s just caaaaaalm down.
Dalvin Cook still looks good, the Defense still looks good, and we have a kicker who can put the ball through the uprights. Alrighty then.
More in-depth analysis can be found at thevikingage.com
Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey
After dropping the first game on Friday, the Gophers won the second half of the weekend series 4-3. One thing the Gophers will have to do better this season is finishing games and finishing series. Not letting teams crawl back after a slow start and dominating weekends from puck drop Friday to the final green lamp on Saturday. Too often the Gophers would play down to their competition and allow teams to steal wins (Ferris State and Michigan State). If the Gophers want to see postseason play outside of the BIG Ten tourney, Win the games you’re supposed to win and maybe steal a couple you aren’t supposed to.
In the first game, after Tyler Nanne scored less than two minutes into the contest, the Gophers played solid hockey, until the third when Junior Jack LaFontaine would give three goals (two even strength, one while the Gophers were shorthanded) away and Minnesota couldn’t crawl back, losing 2-3.
In the second game, Freshman Jared Moe would get the start in the net but gave up two goals by the time the first period was done. An early powerplay in the second let Sampo Raanta cut the lead in half (Jared Moe would get an assist). Colorado College would extend the lead to two again, but Sammy Walker and Matt Staudacher (first career for Matt) would both net goals before the second was over, entering the third tied at three. Midway through the period, Blake McLaughlin would score the game-winning goal, as the Gophers would leave Colorado Springs with a win and a loss.
What will be crucial for the hockey team moving forward is finding their defacto starter in the net. Coach Motzko doesn’t seem to mind rotating starts through the goalies until they find something that sticks.
The Gophers return to 3M Arena at Mariucci this weekend to play Niagra and one week later, they’ll have their home and home series against Duluth.
Other College Hockey Teams from Minnesota
Yes, there are other college hockey teams in Minnesota. I know it’s crazy.
Minnesota State swept the Arizona State Sun Devils, who are off to a lackluster start (1-3)
Minnesota Duluth is 1-1, splitting a series with UMASS-Lowell
St. Cloud State and Bemidji State played each other perfectly square this past weekend, ties on both Friday and Saturday.
Hey, it’s preseason basketball time! While expectations aren’t great for the Wolves this upcoming season, the Timberwolves did do something pretty neat in a recent exhibition when the players invited fans from the upper deck to sit in the lower deck. Pretty cool. More in-depth analysis can be found at dunkingwithwolves.com