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  1. #1

    Default Sid Hartman: P.J. Fleck says Gophers will handle high expectations this year

    per Sid:

    The difference in expectations for the Gophers football team for the 2019 season compared to 2018 could not be any greater.

    In 2017, the Gophers went 5-7, with the final two losses against Northwestern and Wisconsin coming by a combined score of 70-0.

    So most pundits expected the 2018 Gophers to be one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. Athlon Sports, the Sporting News and CBS Sports had them pegged 12th out of 14 teams while 247 Sports had them 11th.

    But despite the fact that P.J. Fleck was fielding the youngest roster in the country, the Gophers were able to turn their season around, finishing with a 41-10 victory over Purdue and a 37-15 win at Wisconsin. Then the Gophers beat Georgia Tech 34-10 in the Quick Lane Bowl to finish 7-6.

    How did they turn that around?

    “Our players throughout the season went through a natural maturation process,” Fleck said. “When you’re young, you make a lot of mistakes. That was part of the foundation year, and we were going to play a lot of young players — we knew that.

    “From the Illinois game [where they lost 55-31 and fell to 1-5 in the conference] to where they ended up, they ended up being [bowl] champions at the end of the year. They beat Wisconsin, which they hadn’t done at Camp Randall in 24 years and hadn’t beat them in 15 years. To be able to do the things they did, the way they did it, showed they’re maturing and growing up. This team is starting to become a football team.”

    http://www.startribune.com/p-j-fleck...ear/505624362/

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2

    Default

    From the article:

    Turning up the pressure

    Now the team is being pegged by outlets such as CBS and the Sporting News as a preseason Top 25 team.

    The fact that their schedule doesn’t include Michigan, Ohio State or Michigan State and has home contests with Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin means there will be talk of the Gophers winning the Big Ten West.

    “Whether people pick us last or first, we can never control where people pick us,” Fleck said this past week. “We can control how we handle that, and what we want to do is be a very proactive team this year.”

    He added that if there are going to be higher expectations on the outside, the team will have higher expectations internally as well.

    It's really of no importance what expectations CBS or The Sporting News have for Gopher football.

    The only expectations that matter are those of the administration, the fans, and Fleck and the team themselves.

    That's why I was thrilled to see the part that I bolded.

  3. #3

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    Natural progression for the team this year would be to be in the mix for the West. Shouldn't be seen a a failure if they don't win the West but at the very least we should be within striking distance late in the season. As long as things continue moving in the right direction 2020 would look like a real breakthrough year where the team could easily be favored to win the West Division. They should be loaded with upper classmen with lots of experience at that point.

  4. #4

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    At the very least.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedGopher View Post
    per Sid:

    The difference in expectations for the Gophers football team for the 2019 season compared to 2018 could not be any greater.

    In 2017, the Gophers went 5-7, with the final two losses against Northwestern and Wisconsin coming by a combined score of 70-0.

    So most pundits expected the 2018 Gophers to be one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. Athlon Sports, the Sporting News and CBS Sports had them pegged 12th out of 14 teams while 247 Sports had them 11th.

    But despite the fact that P.J. Fleck was fielding the youngest roster in the country, the Gophers were able to turn their season around, finishing with a 41-10 victory over Purdue and a 37-15 win at Wisconsin. Then the Gophers beat Georgia Tech 34-10 in the Quick Lane Bowl to finish 7-6.

    How did they turn that around?

    “Our players throughout the season went through a natural maturation process,” Fleck said. “When you’re young, you make a lot of mistakes. That was part of the foundation year, and we were going to play a lot of young players — we knew that.

    “From the Illinois game [where they lost 55-31 and fell to 1-5 in the conference] to where they ended up, they ended up being [bowl] champions at the end of the year. They beat Wisconsin, which they hadn’t done at Camp Randall in 24 years and hadn’t beat them in 15 years. To be able to do the things they did, the way they did it, showed they’re maturing and growing up. This team is starting to become a football team.”

    http://www.startribune.com/p-j-fleck...ear/505624362/

    Go Gophers!!
    Isn't that pretty much where the Gophs ended up in the B1G? I expect Gophs to be much better in 2019, but Sid using those predictions for 2018 to prove they did better than expected makes little sense.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMWinSTP View Post
    Isn't that pretty much where the Gophs ended up in the B1G? I expect Gophs to be much better in 2019, but Sid using those predictions for 2018 to prove they did better than expected makes little sense.
    I think Sid was connecting these two thoughts:

    "So most pundits expected the 2018 Gophers to be one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. Athlon Sports, the Sporting News and CBS Sports had them pegged 12th out of 14 teams while 247 Sports had them 11th."

    ....

    "Now the team is being pegged by outlets such as CBS and the Sporting News as a preseason Top 25 team."


    ....

    In other words, Sid's point is that last year the predictors didn't think the Gophers would do much. Going in to next season, however, the football prognosticators are saying we'll do quite well.

  7. #7
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    Default

    This will be our best offensive line since the Mason team with the great Esslinger et al. But that team did not have a good passing qb and for sure the defense was weak. We will have an improved defense and experienced quarterbacks. No more losing to Michigan (in the Dome) after blowing a huge lead in the 4th quarter. No more losing to Wisky (in the Dome) after having a punt blocked for a TD late in the game. NO MORE!!!! The offensive line may well be the most important position group on a football team (look at New England). And with Big Dan, Olson, Dunlap, Andres etc. we may have an outstanding one.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
    This will be our best offensive line since the Mason team with the great Esslinger et al. But that team did not have a good passing qb and for sure the defense was weak. We will have an improved defense and experienced quarterbacks. No more losing to Michigan (in the Dome) after blowing a huge lead in the 4th quarter. No more losing to Wisky (in the Dome) after having a punt blocked for a TD late in the game. NO MORE!!!! The offensive line may well be the most important position group on a football team (look at New England). And with Big Dan, Olson, Dunlap, Andres etc. we may have an outstanding one.
    Bryan Cupito was not a good passing QB?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMWinSTP View Post
    Bryan Cupito was not a good passing QB?
    Agree with you on this one, Cupito was solid. Problem with that squad wasn't the offense it was the defense.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMWinSTP View Post
    Bryan Cupito was not a good passing QB?
    The QB’s we have are a fair amount better than Cupato. Also our receivers make them better.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wcfan56 View Post
    The QB’s we have are a fair amount better than Cupato. Also our receivers make them better.
    Assuming you mean Cupito, what are you basing this on? Wishful thinking?

  12. #12

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    Yeahhhhh yeahh yeahhh ..... it was definitely the "natural maturation process" .... yep!


    OH!! We also FIRED our defensive coordinator! Yeah, that might have had something to do with it. Not sure ...

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by RememberMurray View Post
    Now the team is being pegged by outlets such as CBS and the Sporting News as a preseason Top 25 team.

    The fact that their schedule doesn’t include Michigan, Ohio State or Michigan State and has home contests with Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin means there will be talk of the Gophers winning the Big Ten West.
    WTF???

    G-D people, have an ounce of patience!! An ounce.


    We went from 5-7, to 6-6, and I'm telling you that if we go 7-5 this regular season, with NO bad losses (ie, we were "in" every game) .... that is a perfectly acceptable next step in the building process.


    P-a-t-i-e-n-c-e

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gophers_4life View Post
    WTF???

    G-D people, have an ounce of patience!! An ounce.


    We went from 5-7, to 6-6, and I'm telling you that if we go 7-5 this regular season, with NO bad losses (ie, we were "in" every game) .... that is a perfectly acceptable next step in the building process.


    P-a-t-i-e-n-c-e

    Once again, more than 75% of GHers polled (Rossi poll) thought Gophs should have won 8+ games in the 2018 regular season. You even reference that effect in post #12 on this thread. The 2019 schedule is more favorable than 2018 with 5 home B1G games and no Ohio State.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PMWinSTP View Post
    Once again, more than 75% of GHers polled (Rossi poll) thought Gophs should have won 8+ games in the 2018 regular season. You even reference that effect in post #12 on this thread. The 2019 schedule is more favorable than 2018 with 5 home B1G games and no Ohio State.
    I should be married to a super model. But it didn't happen. We can only go with what did happen.

    Sure more favorable .... and 7 is greater than 6.


    P-a-t-i-e-n-c-e

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