Brewster Turns Up The Heat

To prepare for their game at Florida Atlantic, Gophers coach Tim Brewster had his team practicing in warm conditions.

Gophers football coach Tim Brewster was turning up the heat on his team this week. In preparation for the Sept. 15 game at Florida Atlantic, Brewster said he would shut the doors to the indoor practice facility and crank up the heat in order to simulate conditions the Gophers will face in South Florida.

The team's first road game will be played in Miami's Dolphin Stadium at 1 p.m. local time. As an assistant coach for the Denver Broncos two years ago in Miami, Brewster saw firsthand what effect the heat can have on a team.

"Our football team was washed out in warm-ups," he said. "I learned a lot about playing in South Florida this time of the year."

Heat can lead to fatigue, which in turn often results in mental mistakes. The Gophers had enough of those the past two weeks in the comfy conditions of the Metrodome. Brewster vowed to clean them up this week after watching his team avoid an upset with a 41-35 triple-overtime victory against Miami (Ohio).

"The great news is that we won the game," Brewster said. "Making corrections and getting after their butts and fixing things is a whole lot easier and better after you win. I promise you we are going to flat get after it. We're going to fix some things and get this football team better."

The major areas of concern come as no surprise. The Gophers gave up 418 yards passing to Miami, blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead, had a punt blocked and missed three field-goal attempts.

For the second consecutive game, the Gophers also could have won the game in regulation but failed to make plays defensively with the game on the line. Their defensive backs again dropped sure interceptions and their receivers dropped a few easy passes that could have sealed the game.

The coaching staff had no complaints with freshman quarterback Adam Weber, who earned Big Ten co-offensive player of the week honors after turning in a superb performance in his second career start. Weber completed 26 of 40 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 97 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries.

NOTES

  • RB Amir Pinnix had another strong performance with 126 rushing yards and one touchdown on 28 carries against Miami (Ohio). Pinnix has now rushed for more than 100 yards in five consecutive games, dating to last season.

  • DE Willie VanDeSteeg suffered a broken right hand in practice but played with a cast. The junior record two tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
    Two weeks into the season, Florida Atlantic has seen both the good and bad in its football team.


    FLORIDA ATLANTIC

    Week 1 saw the Owls solidly whip Middle Tennessee, giving them a leg up in the Sun Belt Conference race. Last week, however, FAU was on the other end of the domination and lost 42-6 to Oklahoma State.

    Week 3 provides a great opportunity for the Owls and the Sun Belt as they play host to Minnesota.

    Granted, FAU is double-digit underdog, but if its defense can return to the Week 1 form, this could be an interesting matchup.

    FAU's defensive line will have to control a much bigger Minnesota offensive line, but it did against a much bigger Middle Tennessee up front group.

    While the defensive key will be the front four's play, the Owls have to be more efficient offensively. They must establish the run and avoid costly turnovers that plagued them a week ago.


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