Looking to Next Season

MGGopher

Well-known member
I too don't know anything about how often starters are replaced but I do recall two recently on our D team. Neither Cashman nor Coughlin started in the first game yet sure did take over during the season. I just don't know why a coach would want to keep a better player on the bench while his team is losing games or not playing well. Maybe early in the season while the new talent is still too raw, but after fifty, sixty, seventy practices and 10, 11 or 12 games?
Well, one point to consider is that Minnesota wasn't losing games en masse or not playing well. They lost a game by 4 points on the road to a top 20 team while surrendering less than 300 yards of offense. Yes, they performed poorly against Wisconsin, but that was the last game of the year. Yes, they didn't rush the passer particularly well for most of the season, but on the whole the defense was a top 25 unit the entire year by most metrics. Why burn redshirts when you can allow kids to get bigger, stronger, faster, and more familiar with the system while your defense performs well enough to win?
 

Veritas

Active member
Well, one point to consider is that Minnesota wasn't losing games en masse or not playing well. They lost a game by 4 points on the road to a top 20 team while surrendering less than 300 yards of offense. Yes, they performed poorly against Wisconsin, but that was the last game of the year. Yes, they didn't rush the passer particularly well for most of the season, but on the whole the defense was a top 25 unit the entire year by most metrics. Why burn redshirts when you can allow kids to get bigger, stronger, faster, and more familiar with the system while your defense performs well enough to win?
Fair enough. I would only add that I think a lot of people could see that there were some serious problems associated with not getting to the QB with the four man rush and those people were not surprized when those problems were a big part of both losses. My guess is that we just did not have anyone ready to do better than those guys we played. It is no more, nor any less, than the biggest issue facing the program next year. Good luck to the coaches.
 

Bob_Loblaw

Well-known member
Fair enough. I would only add that I think a lot of people could see that there were some serious problems associated with not getting to the QB with the four man rush and those people were not surprized when those problems were a big part of both losses. My guess is that we just did not have anyone ready to do better than those guys we played. It is no more, nor any less, than the biggest issue facing the program next year. Good luck to the coaches.
This is 100% true.

Three of the most important players next season are Mafe, Otumweo and Oliver.

Mafe really flashed at times and Oliver was pretty dynamic on third down blitz packages. I feel pretty confident that those guys will continue to improve. This is the year we usually expect the biggest jump (SO to JR.)

I'm not saying that I don't expect this to still be our biggest issue, because it will be. However, I think some of the young guys can develop to a point to get the pass rush to a similar level as this year.

With the amount of talent we are returning in the defensive backfield and at DT, I feel confident that our defense won't drop off unless Winfield leaves.

If AW leaves, we'll be worse because he is an All American caliber football player. That doesn't really have anything to do with 5 of our front 6 starters graduating.
 
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