Offense- Coming into this game, Minnesota looked evenly matched with Iowa. It didn't look like that from their 23-7 loss from the Hawkeyes. Quarterback Phillip Nelson got the start after being out last week and was 12-24 for 135 passing yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran the ball 9 times for -18 yards and his longest run on the day was just 4 yards. No running back could get going with Roderick Williams rushing 7 times for 22 and having the longest run for Minnesota all day of a 12 yard burst. David Cobb and Donnell Kirkwood combined for 11 carries for merely only 26 yards. The Gopher offense had 165 total yards and were 4-13 on 3rd downs. That just won't get it done especially when you only average 1.1 yards per carry and you are a more ground and pound type of offensive attack. The offensive line was pushed around and could never make any holes. Overall, there is a lot of area of improvement needed to happen before they travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan this weekend.
Defense- With the offense being non-existent and not having the ball very long, it put the Gopher defense in tough situations. Despite giving up 464 total yards to Iowa and 218 through the air and 246 on the ground, you would think they really lit up the scoreboard. Hawkeye quarterback Jake Rudock went 15-25 for 218 yards and a touchdown along with a pick. Stud running back Mark Weisman carried the ball 24 times for 147 yards and was tough to handle throughout the whole game. The Hawkeyes had the ball about 36 minutes of the game, but Minnesota had the mentality of bend, but don't break and that is exactly what happened. They gave up 23 points and gave Minnesota a chance to stay in this game.
Special Teams- In a big rivalry game, you hope that the special teams unit can produce a big play and get your team going if they are down. Marcus Jones had a long kickoff return for 66 yards and Antonio Johnson had three kickoff returns for 92 yards, but that wasn't enough. The lone star and really has been solid has been punter Pat Mortell punted seven times for 326 yards with two inside the 20. His longest punt was 58 yards, but you wish there could have been some big plays happen, which didn't in the game.
Coaching- You would think that Minnesota would be prepared and ready for this big home test against their rival, but it didn't look like they were ready for this game. I didn't see any halftime adjustments and the team just looked flat. I do give them credit for not giving up, but no Gopher fan was happy about the gameplan going in and how it was executed.