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Minnesota Football: Good and Bad From the Golden Gophers Loss To South Dakota

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Minnesota Football: Good and Bad From the Golden Gophers Loss To South Dakota
Harry How/Getty Images

The Minnesota Golden Gophers suffered an awful loss Saturday to the South Dakota Coyotes at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Good

The Gophers' offense put up a lot of points (38) and a lot of yards (462 total offense).

Gopher quarterback Adam Weber had a good game with 258 yards and three touchdowns on 21 of 31 passing attempts. Of the 10 incompletions, he had one really bad throw and three well thrown dropped passes, including one by tight end Tiree Eure that would have been a touchdown on a drive that eventually ended in a Weber fumble. 

In addition to throwing the ball, he had a decent game running it. He finished with 47 yards on six carries, but did have two costly fumble turnovers.

His favorite receiver turned out to be his backup quarterback, MarQueis Gray. He had a solid game with nine catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. No other receiver had more than four catches.

Running back Duane Bennett recorded his second straight 100 yard rushing game with 104 total. This time he found the end zone though, with two scores in the fourth quarter.

The Bad

The pass defense was as bad as possible.

After one possession looked like it would blow the Coyotes out. Then the Gophers went three and out and were forced to punt from inside its own 20 yard line. A short punt and kick catch interference penalty put the ball on the Gopher 37 yard line to start the Coyotes' second possession.

On the first play, Coyotes' wide receiver Dustin Nowotny got behind Gophers' cornerback Michael Carter for a 36 yard completion to the one-yard. Running back Chris Ganious took the ball across the goal line for the Coyotes' first lead. The Coyotes led the rest of the way.

From that play on, Coyotes' quarterback Dante Warren picked apart the Gopher defense for 352 yards and three touchdowns on 21 of 30 passing attempts. He also had 81 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

The Gophers defense could not stop on the Coyotes on deep passes, medium passes, short passes, screen passes, and quarterback runs. It struggled against these plays because they were undisciplined in their assignments (missed receivers entering their zones, bit on play fakes and gave the receivers too much room to run their routes).

Click here for the reaction to the game that describes how the Gophers did in the keys I set for them in the game.

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