"I don't see anything gold on that gopher at all!" via fantasycollfoot.usatoday.com
Let's be honest. It's an honor and a privelege to have our Bear be Golden. Also, sturdy. And its freaky that he drinks through his eye. But thats neither here nor there.
However, for one game this year, it'll be a Golden-off to see which team's be-golded mascot will come out on top. This year, we make the return date from the 2006 game against Minnesota and their golden gopher. But this time, it's personal!
No, wait, it's not personal. The twist to this sequel is just that it's over in Minnesota. And so we were contacted by SBN's Minnesota blog, the Daily Gopher to do a "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too early, but we got like 3 more months to fill!"-style interview with them. We sent our questions off to them and received great answers back. Enjoy the answers after the fold.
1. What type of offense does
Offensively the Gophers are trying to change their stripes. For the last two seasons we have had the Mike Dunbar spread offense (which
Defensively I wish I could say we at least know what we'll be getting here, but the Gophers have a habit of bringing in a new DC every season just to keep things fresh. This new hire comes back to the defensive booth after a year off. Prior to his year off Coach Cosgrove was the defensive coordinator for
2. Does the coach like to run or pass the ball more?
I can't answer that, but I do know many offseason changes were made with the intent of re-establishing a power-run game. Will we run the ball with great success? I don't know, but they will certainly try. But you can't forget the passing game, especially when our most talented players on offense are the QB and WR.
3. Your team is returning many of its starters; how much do you believe that depth will translate into better on-field production in 2008?
I have always been a firm believer in returning starters making a huge difference in college football. With both sides of the ball getting new coordinators, having the familiarity and continuity of lining up next to the same guys should make the transition smoother. Offensively our QB is heading into his third year as a starter, he has an All-American candidate who he loves to throw to, he has a crop of young-talented receivers who will greatly benefit from being a year older and the offensive line should be solidified to provide some bette protection. Behind these older returners (on both sides of the ball) are a couple of highly ranked recruiting classes to give some athleticism, speed and depth.
Defensively I hope the experience and depth will help these guys out. 2008 saw this defense generate a lot of turnovers while giving up a fair amount of yards. I do not expect a +12 turnover margin again this year so teams will have to be stopped on third down more often.
4. Has your team seen 3-4 defensive alignments?
There are no Big Ten teams who employ the 3-4 on a regular basis. Fortunately for the Gophers they have scheduled teams that play the 3-4 in back to back weeks. Prior to
5. Who is your star player on offense and defense?
Offense is a combo of QB-Adam Weber and WR-Eric Decker. Weber is a junior who has started every game he has been eligible for and Decker is a potential All-American who will set several
6. What types of adaptations did Dunbar bring to Minnesota's offense, and how many of those adaptations should be present in this year's game?
7. Say I were going to travel to the game. As an opposing fan, what events should I check out?
If you are lucky maybe you can go ice fishing or snow mobilng. Just kidding, in early September the weather here will be beautiful and warm. In year one, the thing to check out will be the stadium.