It is exceedingly rare, I would say, that the Gophers - taken as a whole - have an awful weekend, and the football team is not a part of it.
The football Gophers beat up on a bad Michigan State squad on Saturday, winning 27-12 by handing the ball to sophomore Jordan Nubin 40 times, thus increasing his season total of carries to 46.
Nubin, the younger brother of all-conference safety Tyler Nubin, rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and the rest of the Gophers did just enough to not lose. Minnesota’s defense gave up a touchdown to MSU, something that not every other team can say, but even though Minnesota repeatedly stumbled - turning the ball over three times, and trailing for most of the first half - in the end, they came out with the win.
It was the first in a three-game stretch of games against awful teams, for Minnesota; they now get Illinois at home, and Purdue on the road, and losing to either would be like blowing a three-touchdown lead to Northwestern. (thousand-yard stare)
And that was the good team!
Women’s hockey, I guess, can be excused from some of the oppobrium; they did get swept on the road by Ohio State, but at least they know that Ohio State is one of the top teams in the country, and they got the game to overtime on Friday with a late goal from Abbey Murphy. They’re in kind of a volleyball sort of situation; they’re ranked fourth in the country, except number 1 and 2 are Wisconsin and Ohio State, so winning the conference is going to be a little difficult.
Even so, it’s a little painful to come up short twice in a row against the Buckeyes, even if the calendar still says October.
The men’s hockey team was worse, getting swept at home against Wisconsin, which is just one of the most awful things that can happen. Getting swept at home, fine, but make it against somebody other than Wisconsin. Bemidji State, maybe. Lindenwood. If you’re going to embarrass yourself, just make sure the Badgers aren’t there to see it.
Anyway, the Gophers were #1 in the country before the weekend, and are now #6. Again, it’s still October, and polls don’t matter… but losing to Wisconsin is harsh and rough.
Speaking of losing to Wisconsin and going backwards: the Gophers volleyball team! They played the Badgers on national TV on Sunday afternoon, after football was over, and they got absolutely destroyed; the first set was 25-13, which is just about as badly as you can get beaten in today’s rally-scored volleyball world. The next two sets weren’t all that much better, with the Gophers getting 20 and 19.
On the heels of a similar loss to Purdue, the Gophers are now 8th in the conference and going absolutely nowhere. It’s been a rough first year for new head coach Keegan Cook; with one more loss, he’ll officially have the most conference losses of any first-year Gophers head coach since Pam Miller-Dombeck went 7-13 in 1995, her one season in charge.
Gopher volleyball fans have gotten real used to watching the team reload instead of rebuilding; the Gophers haven’t had a losing record since that 1995 season. But right now, they’re 10-10 overall, and 6-6 in the conference. Things at the Pav are starting to become worrisome.