Five things we learned from the Gophers’ 34-7 win at Michigan State – Star Tribune

Five things we learned from the Gophers' 34-7 win at Michigan State - Star Tribune

1. The Gophers can beat ‘someone’

It was understandable that there was some skepticism in the general public about the Gophers’ 3-0 start against New Mexico State, Western Illinois and Colorado. After all, that trio was outscored 296-97 in starting the season 0-10. With Saturday’s dominant win over the Spartans, the Gophers have a high-quality win to show for it. Michigan State was 11-2 last year and ranked No. 11 in the AP Top 25 just two weeks ago.

2. That defense remains stingy

It’s been through the first third of the college football season, and the Gophers’ starting defense has yet to give up a touchdown. Western Illinois scored its TD with 4:26 left in the fourth quarter, Colorado scored with 8:55 to play and Michigan State got on the board with 17 seconds left. Defensive coordinator Joe Rossi’s troops nearly had three shutouts this season.

3. Tanner Morgan, assassin

Don’t let his gentle ways fool you. Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan is a fierce competitor, and the way he sliced ​​and diced Michigan State’s defense was compelling to watch. He went 23-for-26 for 268 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 11.7 yards per completion and 10.3 yards per attempt. In other words, he was good for a first down every time he passed. And don’t forget the three first downs Morgan converted with his feet.

4. Life without ‘Crabbo’ doesn’t have to be disastrous

Given their pick, the Gophers would much rather have a healthy Chris Autman-Bell in the lineup, but he’s lost for the season. Saturday’s game showed they can win without him. Morgan spread the ball around, getting 10 pass catchers into the action. Mike Brown-Stephens caught all six of his targets for 78 yards, and Daniel Jackson led the charge with three catches for 42 yards and two TDs. Dylan Wright’s big-play ability came through with a 26-yard gain among his three catches.

5. Time to enjoy the season

The Gophers are 4-0, have outscored opponents by a combined 183-24 and recently embarrassed a proud Big Ten East Division team to the point that fans booed the Spartans at halftime and bolted for the exits after three quarters. We don’t know how the rest of the season will play out for the Gophers, but it sure looks promising. Jump on board. Sure, you might get your heart broken because it’s Minnesota sports. Or you might be in for the ride of your life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *