Can't Shake This Feeling

MNVCGUY

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I know the history and I know all the reasons why this game should make me nervous....but for whatever reason it just doesn't. This is in no way to say we can't lose to Iowa because obviously we can. but there is a focus and determination level with this team that makes me think they will go down to Iowa City and take care of business.

I have realized since the Penn State game that I was in wait and see mode like a lot of people. My eyes told me this Gopher team was different (has been different since Purdue last year) but I still needed to see them do it against a really good team. All the talk leading up to the game was about just how great Penn State's defense was and even they weren't able to stop the offense.

Iowa has a really good defense as well, the main difference between them and Penn State is that Iowa does not have a strong offense to go with it. The key difference between the Iowa Defense and the Penn State defense is that you can run on Iowa. With the way Morgan and the offensive line are playing right now, if we are on our game at all this offense can score on anyone. How do you stop it? A huge O-Line that neutralized a great Penn State Pass Rush, 3 very talented RBs, and 3 super talented WR. If we don't turn the ball over against Iowa we win and we win comfortably.

I was a little nervous about how the team would play heading into the Maryland game, getting to 8-0 felt like such a huge hurdle, even if it meant going up against a weaker opponent. Was a little nervous about the Penn State game because I wasn't positive the offense could have a high level of success against a great defense. I feel like instead of the letdown that some are predicting the Penn State game just fueled this team even more. Now they know they can hang with anyone if they keep doing what they are doing.

Winston D (not looking up spelling on his last name) was interviewed during the press conference today and he said something that solidified the way I feel about this upcoming game. He talked about how as early as Saturday night, after one of the biggest games any of these guys have played in to this point, they were already ready to stop celebrating and start watching Iowa film. This team gets it in a way that great teams do, they understand that as big as the PSU win was, it was just another stop on their journey, it wasn't the destination.

Getting Kamal back is going to be a huge boost to the defense, and the offense just needs to keep doing what they do. Both teams like to run the clock so the score might not be huge, but I don't think this one will be in doubt at all.....if we play the way we are capable of playing. Don't like making predictions but I won't be surprised one bit if we see a game similar to Wisconsin from last year.

Can't wait till Saturday....I have a feeling we might see yet another long streak go by the wayside as we keep this crazy ride going!
 

Yah-E

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Good to be nervous...we've been trained for the last 60+ years to be nervous
 

metrolax

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Every long time Gopher fan feels secure with nervous
 

RememberMurray

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Good to be nervous...we've been trained for the last 60+ years to be nervous
I have learned, in listening to P.J. Fleck's interviews, that this is one of the things about Minnesota and the culture around this football program that Fleck is determined to change.

He wants higher expectations.

He said this week (paraphrasing) "This isn't about 10 years ago, or 20 years ago, 60 years, whatever. This is about right now. This is about the future, and the past does not impact the future."
 

Bayfieldgopher

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Good to be nervous...we've been trained for the last 60+ years to be nervous
I'm a pro at it. Iowa is tough and will be Saturday.

I was at the 99 game. The last time the Gophers have won at Kinnick. The one win Iowa team came within a Sean Hoffman fingernail of beating our heavily favored 7-3 Gophers.
 

RememberMurray

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Here's an actual quote that touches on it:

“It was special. A sellout crowd, the energy here was indescribable. There are no words for it. When we took this job, this is what I envisioned, and we are not even near where we want to be or where we can be. I want to change people’s perception and I’m sure there was a lot of people in the crowd today that said, ‘Oh here we go again.’ We have to get that out of their mindset. I don’t care what happened 20 years ago, 40 years ago, two years ago. That has nothing to do with the future. We won today because we have unbelievable players, unbelievable coaches, and an unbelievable culture. That was one of the best college football environments I have ever seen.”

https://247sports.com/college/minnesota/Article/Minnesota-Gophers-Football-PJ-Fleck-Penn-State-win-138276632/

I agree with him. I'm really excited to have a coach who wants to change that hang-dog, "Oh, poor us, we've been bad for so long" loser mentality. In my opinion, that attitude is toxic, and it perpetuates itself.
 

#2Gopher

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Gophers will be going in with a swagger that they can beat them. If they fall behind they won't get upset etc., they will rebound and fight to the end. Go Gophers!
 

Jeshurun

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I’m not nervous about Iowa at all. I’ve seen enough to know these Gophers can handle any kind of situation thrown at them. We have the horses to hang with anybody. Iowa has a pedestrian offense.
 

Spoofin

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I have learned, in listening to P.J. Fleck's interviews, that this is one of the things about Minnesota and the culture around this football program that Fleck is determined to change.

He wants higher expectations.

He said this week (paraphrasing) "This isn't about 10 years ago, or 20 years ago, 60 years, whatever. This is about right now. This is about the future, and the past does not impact the future."
You do know that what us fans do or do not feel nervous about has zero impact on the game, right?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

PitinoFan

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You do know that what us fans do or do not feel nervous about has zero impact on the game, right?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It may not have an impact on an individual game, but thinking the program will never turn the corner does affect the overall attitude toward the team, which can negatively affect attendance, recruiting, etc. That’s why the fan reaction to this win was so epic.
 

Plausible Deniability

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It's hard to win on the road in the B1G. Period. The Gophers have won at Purdue and at Ruttgers (along with at a Fresno St team that has been less than impressive).

Count me as one that is very worried.
 

Face The Facts

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I thought we would beat PSU by 17 and until a fumble it looked like we could.

I think we could blow Iowa out of the water if we can pass on them, which I think we can.
Hoping we roll them by 20.
 

hungan1

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We are typical Minnesotans who are experts in self-flagellations (or shall I say self-flatulations) after many many years of training.. . :p

All kidding aside, this is uncharted territory and I've been nervous before every game this season. It is like we expect something is going to go wrong and the Gophers will lose. How many times in the past did we witness heart breaker games?

Something is different about this year.

This season has been magical already even if they lose remaining games on the schedule. Who would have thought that in Year Three under PJ Fleck that the Gopher are going to be 9-0 and go on an 11-game winning streak including 8 Big Ten Games since the end of last season?
 
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WorkingMyTailOff

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If I remember correctly from watching Iowa vs Mn the past two years, their CBs will try to be physical to the point of daring the refs to call holding against the Gophers WR. To me that will be big on Saturday.
I hope the Gophers can line up and run the ball at will, but I think it will the passing game will have to be on.
Hopefully on defense the Gophers can make Iowa kick field goals like they have been known to do.
 

MNVCGUY

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We are typical Minnesotans who are experts in self-flagellations (or shall I say self-flatulations) after many many years of training.. . :p

All kidding aside, this is uncharted territory and I've been nervous before every game this season. It is like we expect something is going to go wrong and the Gophers will lose. How many times in the past did we witness heart breaker games?

Something is different about this year.

This season has been magical already even if they lose remaining games on the schedule. Who would have thought that in Year Three under PJ Fleck that the Gopher are going to be 9-0 and go on an 11-game winning streak including 8 Big Ten Games since the end of last season?
We are definitely fighting a lot of long held beliefs as a fanbase. Not just of the Gophers but most Minnesota teams. We all wait for them to fail, for the other shoe to drop and sadly most of the time it does.

But this Gopher team has been defying the odds since they sent Rob Smith packing last year. I never would have predicted such a drastic turnaround so quickly after firing a coordinator but it happened. Instead of folding in November they went on a tear last year, dominating teams.

As we sit here today, many in the fanbase, media, everywhere are waiting for the letdown, waiting for the program to slip up and fall back to Earth some. Iowa is a good team, and playing on the road in the Big Ten is hard. But the good teams find a way to win and this team has been finding a way to win no matter what gets thrown at them.

So yes, there is a chance that we have a letdown against Iowa and end up losing. It could happen, they are a good team, and with their play style they keep games close and low scoring.

But my gut tells me this game might be the launching point for this Gopher Squad. The Penn State game showed that we are for real, following that up with a win on the road against Iowa would show that not only are we for real, but we are here to stay and plan to make some noise. Said it in earlier posts as well, I 100% believe that if we play clean (no turnovers, blown assignments, stupid penalties), we win and win comfortably. Then look out because the way this team is rolling the sky is the limit.
 

Pompous Elitist

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I remember before the season maybe the Monday press conference of week 1, PJF seemed unusually solemn, serious, locked in. He seemed to me to be supremely, quietly confident. Coming off the end of 2018 with a slew of returning talent, a killer QB my sense was PJF knew he potentially had something very special here, was on the precipice of breaking through. He seemed to know what this team could be. And here we are boys, it’s coming to fruition.

After a really wild start to the season and unlikely 4th quarters, tough finishes something seemed to click on the offensive line and the guys are either inside or outside zoning teams to death or shredding secondaries with NFL receivers and an undersized but NFL caliber quarterback that seems to play better under enormous pressure. The defense is flexible but always seems to find a way to make plays when the chips are down. Senior leadership. A vulnerable Iowa team. NW down. Sconnie at TCF. 12-0 is well within reach.
 

LesBolstad

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I remember before the season maybe the Monday press conference of week 1, PJF seemed unusually solemn, serious, locked in. He seemed to me to be supremely, quietly confident. Coming off the end of 2018 with a slew of returning talent, a killer QB my sense was PJF knew he potentially had something very special here, was on the precipice of breaking through. He seemed to know what this team could be. And here we are boys, it’s coming to fruition.

After a really wild start to the season and unlikely 4th quarters, tough finishes something seemed to click on the offensive line and the guys are either inside or outside zoning teams to death or shredding secondaries with NFL receivers and an undersized but NFL caliber quarterback that seems to play better under enormous pressure. The defense is flexible but always seems to find a way to make plays when the chips are down. Senior leadership. A vulnerable Iowa team. NW down. Sconnie at TCF. 12-0 is well within reach.
I like the way you think- an elite football mind!
 

hungan1

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Lost in all the attention given to the high powered offense are the tweaks in the way the Gophers are coaching the Defense. We all know about the improvements in the Offensive Line fortress from where Maestro Tanner Morgan orchestrate the Gopher brand of RPO with a stable of high caliber RBs & WRs. Before opposing Defenses react, the ball have already left Tanner Morgan's hand.

After Joe Rossi was promoted to permanent Defensive Coordinator, he shored up the defensive coaching staff. Two key coaching hires I have to think made significant impacts. The Gophers took advantage of the NCAA allowing one extra coach over the previous allotment. They brought in Rod Chance in 2019 from Oregon to coach the Cornerbacks. Joe Harasymiak the former Maine head coach joined the coaching staff in 2018. He is now coaching specifically the Defensive Backs and Safeties. There is a lot more attention and teaching. Jim Panagos is dedicated to the Defensive Line. Joe Rossi in addition to being the DC also coach the Linebackers. Rob Wenger coach the Special Teams and Outside Linebackers. This will pay dividends when all the Seniors in Defense graduate.

Bear Bryant famously said that Defense win championships. The Gophers have truly become a really well balanced team in both Offense and Defense.

The Gophers have arrived at fully implementing their system and transformed the players to lead their team. Practice must be really fun on Fridays and Sundays where the foundations for game day planning has been laid. The favorable early schedule IMHO allowed the Gophers to improve incrementally as each game progressed in the season.

The efficiency in their practices and preps are paying dividends.

Just look at how far the Offensive Line has come from the SDSU, GSU, and FSU games up to the PSU game.

Come to think about it. These are virtually the same kids (except for transfers and some FR foregoing RS) who lost four straight Big Ten games last season. Failure is growth.
 
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hungan1

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This is worth re-listening to - sounds prophetic: "We have to win the seventy-eight percent".

Minnesota Coach P.J. Fleck Previews 2019 Gopher Football | 2019 B1G Football Media Days
 
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John Galt

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Iowa always seems to have one breakout game per year at home where they beat a top 10 team. Michigan and Ohio St in the past few years come to mind. We’re going to need to bring our A game.
 

hungan1

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You can bet that Iowa is spoiling to play the Gophers tough. The CFB Committee wanted to see more in the Gophers resume to move up further in the rankings. The Gophers have to win out all the remaining games if they want a legitimate chance at the CFB playoff table.
 

Sparlimb

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Iowa always seems to have one breakout game per year at home where they beat a top 10 team. Michigan and Ohio St in the past few years come to mind. We’re going to need to bring our A game.
That can be Illinois...
 

Face The Facts

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I think by resume alone we could make it in with a loss either before the BTT (and then beat OSU) or by being unbeaten, and then losing close to OSU.
The problem I see is in either of those scenarios, the committee will pick any SEC over us unless it's mind-numbingly obvious it should be us instead of that team.

The committee is consistent at being one thing, and that's being inconsistent in what they value team to team.
It appears very evident they will only take one Big Ten team no matter what, Clemson, an SEC team, and then either another SEC team or the Pac12 Champ.

To help the Gophers chances for a 1-loss entry we would need Oregon and Utah to each lose one more. (one before their final and that that team beat the other). Alabama needs to lose to Auburn. LSU has to win the SEC now.

Clemson stumbling this weekend would be really sweet. It's really their only chance for a regular season loss.
 

PitinoFan

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PJ’s slogans and acronyms seem a little hokey to some, but his unique style of getting through to his players seems revolutionary to me. I’m not just talking about his pre-game speeches. He’s a master of getting 100% buy in and belief that they can accomplish anything, and he does it in many creative ways. I thought the coal/diamond thing was a little weird, but they won the game, so who cares what I think.
 

HoustonTXGopher

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The big difference for me between this team and decades of Gopher football is simply that I trust Coach Fleck, his staff and the players.

It's really that simple!
 

TruDomGopher

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I saw what Fleck did at Western Michigan. It was systematic and could be duplicated and repeated, it was ingenious and zen-like. We've all seen coaches fail in a move from the MAC to the P5 but I was convinced this was the right guy and I said in no uncertain terms that I was all in with Fleck.

And then the W-L for the first year and the second half of last year. I'm saying Fleck knows what he's doing and it seemed like everyone thinks I'm nuts. And yet here we are.

There was all this talk and even some print pieces about Fleck sacrificing wins to instill his culture. And that was in fact the truth. Fleck says it's digging the foundation. I think it's more like arson, but with a higher purpose. Yes, he probably could have coached football enough to win more of those early games. He knows football--but this isn't really about football. With Fleck, the buy-in is everything. He doesn't want to teach an a-hole athlete to be a better athlete and bigger a-hole. It isn't that he doesn't want to coach football; he wants to coach winners.

Fleck is one of the rare people that understands how a team is really supposed to work. The world is full of helmet schools that have 4 and 5 star athletes all over the place that can't be coached to work together as a team. Fleck knows that a 3 star that can take coaching, that can be developed, that has the right heart and mind and is willing to sacrifice for something greater--those are the building blocks. Of course, 4 and 5 stars with the right attitude are welcome too. And--eventually--they'll want to come here.

You know in the movie Rudy where Ara Parseghian tells Rudy: "I wish I could put your heart in my athletes bodies." When Fleck talks about recruiting people for his system, he's simply saying he wants athletes with Rudy hearts.

The focus on process? It's not about wins so much as it is building winners. Fleck wants to recruit and develop and surround himself with winners. Why? Because winners win. That's just what they do. It's almost impossible to turn a person with an attitude problem into a winner; it's almost as equally impossible to not win if all you have around is winners.

Things feel different now because they are different now. The culture is in place, the oars are in the water, and the vibe is different. It was that way when Oregon turned the corner, too.

There will still be excitement and heartbreak, wins and loses. But here's the thing about winners: They dream bigger, they reach higher, and even if they fall short, you can't help but love the attitude that shines through when they get back up and say, "We can do this."

There's a new spirit in the air. There's a buzz all over the country about Minnesota. Enjoy. Row the Boat. Ski-u-mah. Go Gophers!
 
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