Brewster was fired Sunday after his team fell to 1-6 following a 28-17 loss to Purdue. The defeat was the Gophers' sixth consecutive loss and dropped them to 0-3 in the Big Ten. Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Horton will coach the team on an interim basis for the final five games.
The numbers tell the story of why Brewster, hired in January 2007, was let go. He was 15-30 overall, including a 6-21 mark in the Big Ten. Brewster's best season came in 2008, when the Gophers finished 7-6. Minnesota went to the Insight Bowl twice in his tenure.
"While I appreciate the passion and commitment that Coach Brewster has shown, it is clear that a change in the leadership of Gopher football is necessary," athletic director Joe Maturi said. "We have high aspirations for our football program, and we are not satisfied with its current direction. The results so far this season have been unacceptable, and the program has simply not shown enough improvement over the past three and a half years to continue with the status quo."
Brewster signed a contract extension in January after the Gophers finished 6-6 in the regular season and lost to Iowa State in the Insight Bowl, but there were signs of problems before the 2010 season began.
Minnesota returned only two starters on defense and faced a tough schedule, which included a home game against Southern California and conference games against Wisconsin, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa.
The season began to unravel before the difficult part of the schedule started. After the Gophers won the opener at Middle Tennessee, a stretch of four consecutive home games began with a 41-38 loss to South Dakota, an FCS school, which started the outcry for Brewster to be fired.
The Gophers led USC briefly in the third quarter before falling 32-21, but a 34-23 loss to Northern Illinois from the Mid-American Conference the following week increased the calls for Brewster's job.
Minnesota fell to Northwestern by one point in the conference opener, but the Gophers weren't competitive in road losses to Wisconsin and Purdue.
It will now be up to Horton and the rest of the coaching staff to salvage something from the season, but that won't be easy. The Gophers host Penn State and Ohio State the next two weeks before traveling to Michigan State and Illinois. Minnesota finishes the season at home against Iowa.
The Gophers will be decided underdogs in all five games, and the likelihood of a 1-11 season is looming.
- WR Bryant Allen caught his first career touchdown pass, an 11-yarder, in the fourth quarter against Purdue. He also had a career-high four receptions
- QB Adam Weber threw for 214 yards against Purdue and now has 9,900 passing yards in his career. He moved past Michigan's Chad Henne (9,715) into sole possession of sixth place in Big Ten history.
- Saturday's loss snapped the Gophers' two-game winning streak at Purdue. Minnesota is 4-19 all-time in games at Purdue.
KEEP AN EYE ON: CB Troy Stoudermire -- The decision to switch Stoudermire from receiver to cornerback appears to have paid off. The junior made his first career start in the defensive backfield against Purdue and finished the game with seven tackles. The switch came after Stoudermire was suspended. He stated he was leaving the program but decided to stay.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It feels like a lot of bad stuff is happening, and it's unfortunate for that play not to come through. We can't stop though, we have to keep on pushing." -- LB Gary Tinsley, who fumbled at the goal line after intercepting a pass, which negated a possible touchdown against Purdue.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
LOOKING GOOD: The linebacker play of Gary Tinsley and Keanon Cooper has been a strong point of the defense. That trend continued against Purdue when the two combined for 19 tackles. Tinsley had 10 tackles and an interception.
STILL NEEDS WORK: The special teams have been a problem all season. Placekicker Eric Ellestad and punter Dan Orseske have been inconsistent. The kickoff coverage unit gave up a touchdown to Southern California after the Gophers had taken the lead in the third quarter. A new problem arose against Purdue when a snap sailed over Orseske's head with the Gophers trailing 7-0. The miscue helped Purdue take a 14-0 lead.
- Kendall Gregory-McGhee, a redshirt freshman, made his first career start against Purdue.
- CB Michael Carter (toe) and LB Mike Rallis (pulled stomach muscle) returned to the lineup against Purdue.
- TB Donnell Kirkwood (hamstring/calf) didn't make the trip to Purdue.
- S Kim Royston has yet to play this season. He broke both bones in his left leg in spring practice.