Running Game In Neutral

Minnesota's bread and butter on offense all year has been running the football, but Syracuse shut down this rushing attack and forced the Gophers to beat them through the air

There was a key stat coming into this bowl matchup against Syracuse, which was in every win that Minnesota had this year, they had more than 175 rushing yards and in all their losses, they had under 140 rushing yards. The Orange had their own stat that they took pride in by not allowing 100 yard rusher against them all season.

Gopher running back David Cobb was swarmed by tons of Orangemen defenders all night and finished the game with 91 yards on 18 carries. This powerful Minnesota running attack only had 127 rushing yards and could not generate a consistent running game verse Syracuse.

Syracuse let it be known early and often that they would be bringing multiple defenders in the box to stop the run. They also brought different blitzes to slow up this running game that the Gophers really rely on to get this offense going, which went 13 touchdown-less quarters before scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter tonight to snap that streak.

They couldn't control the tempo of this game and only had the ball 26 seconds more in time of possession than Syracuse. That is not what Head Coach Jerry Kill likes to see, who came down on the sidelines for the second half after the Gophers barely got 3 points up on the board before the end of the first half.

The Gophers were called for holding, false start and really just lost the battle in the trenches to the Orangemen's defensive front.

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