Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wisconsin-Minnesota Post-script

A few things:

- The play where Daven Jones was injured (he has a torn ACL and is done for the year, though he has a redshirt he could use next season) was despicable. He was a gunner on a punt, had his man beaten plainly, was the first guy down the field, in great position to tattoo the returner . . . and his man shoves him in the back. His leg twists awkwardly, he goes flying past the returner and crumples to the turf. At least the refs saw it and called the blatant and disgusting block in the back. Nice one, Gophers. Couple that with the stupid body slamming of Nick Toon and the head punch of Bill Nagy, and it looks like many of Minnesota's players were so amped up they weren't playing intelligently.

- It sounds like Kyle Jefferson is doing alright and isn't too badly injured. My original post on the game failed to mention Kyle being knocked unconscious and being taken off the field in an ambulance. That was poor form, as that was scary, scary stuff. Remembering the vicious hit he took against Michigan State last season, you have to wonder if he's just too skinny a guy to be a D-I (excuse me, FBS) receiver. He still has a redshirt season to burn. Taking it, perhaps next year, and using it to really focus on bulking up and getting stronger might be a good idea. At the very least, Kyle has to start acting like David Gilreath when he catches balls in the middle of the field, and get down quickly.

- Finally, I like how Nick Maragos redeemed his botched hold on the Badgers' first field goal attempt. Specifically, on the last defensive play of the game, where Niles Brinkley (who despite his ongoing learning curve as a cornerback, has great hands) snatched an interception and inexplicably decided to start running across the field with the ball, Maragos shouted and waved his hands at him, trying to get Brinkley to fall down. Eventually Niles figured it out, and hit the turf, sealing the win. Smart play, Nick, and a good example of leadership. A fumble there by Brinkley gives the Gophers a fresh set of downs, and the game remains very much in question.

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