O-line: from the 2020 Outback Bowl to the 2021 Ohio State opener

RememberMurray

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Isn't our offensive line pretty much intact from the unit that demolished the vaunted Auburn defensive line in January 2020?

Olson, Schlueter, Schmitz, Andries, Dunlap... plus we get Faalele back.

Hmmmm...
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Probably but with the caveat that Ohio St. >>>>> Auburn, and Gus when at Auburn was stubborn as all hell with his choices. We changed up a lot of things and Gus doesn't adapt well so ... it worked. Ohio St. I suspect is much more adaptable.
 

WriterGoph

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It's definitely not a bad thing. If there is anywhere on the football field you want to have more experience and maturity, it's on the lines.
 

MplsGopher_fan

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I'm excited about it too. Maybe even Carter Shaw can get a little playing time to give one of the guards a breather?
 

gophernut1

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If you take away 2020 - Fleck traditionally always seems to have his teams well prepared for the 1st games of the season, games after a bye and for bowl games. This and our experience on offense and improved defense give me some room for optimism. I truly believe that if we can stop the run (or at least reasonably slow it down) we will win the game. I trust our offense to score and our pass defense and rush to at least confuse and slow down OSU. Excited to see what we have this year. Could be special if it all comes together
 


A_Slab_of_Bacon

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If you take away 2020 - Fleck traditionally always seems to have his teams well prepared for the 1st games of the season, games after a bye and for bowl games. This and our experience on offense and improved defense give me some room for optimism. I truly believe that if we can stop the run (or at least reasonably slow it down) we will win the game. I trust our offense to score and our pass defense and rush to at least confuse and slow down OSU. Excited to see what we have this year. Could be special if it all comes together
I mean I guess but I'm still a little shell shocked watching our OL get beat bad that first quarter of South Dakota State ...

To me that's not really 'prepared', or at least ready to play... or ... well it wasn't good.
 

60's Guy

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I mean I guess but I'm still a little shell shocked watching our OL get beat bad that first quarter of South Dakota State ...

To me that's not really 'prepared', or at least ready to play... or ... well it wasn't good.
Always so negative 😉 I’d say sometimes we seem prepared. Other times it’s questionable. I don’t think it’s an established solid trait yet.
I know we are ignoring last year but the Michigan game was baaad.
Maybe we are every other year like the Vikings under Zimmer?
 

RememberMurray

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Probably but with the caveat that Ohio St. >>>>> Auburn, and Gus when at Auburn was stubborn as all hell with his choices. We changed up a lot of things and Gus doesn't adapt well so ... it worked. Ohio St. I suspect is much more adaptable.

Our offensive linemen weren't tasked with blocking Gus.

They were assigned to block Derrick Brown, Nick Coe and Marlon Davidson... all of whom are now playing in the NFL, if I'm not mistaken.

Result: the Gopher offense put up 494 yards against them. Domination.

I'm sure Ohio State has elite talent on their defensive line as well, but I don't know that they are vastly superior to that Auburn group.
 
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fmlizard

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The Gophers will have a similar success formula to what has worked for Wisconsin in recent years. There's a huge and experienced OL, productive RB, efficient QB, and sound receivers. This should be the best running team the Gophers have had since the Mason era.

Will the defense hold up?
 



Gophergrandpa

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I'm excited about it too. Maybe even Carter Shaw can get a little playing time to give one of the guards a breather?
Shaw might see time at IOL. Also kind of expect to see Aireontae Ersery take meaningful snaps, too, at tackle. He is huge and very athletic. Looked good when he saw time in 2020.
 

MplsGopher_fan

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Shaw might see time at IOL. Also kind of expect to see Aireontae Ersery take meaningful snaps, too, at tackle. He is huge and very athletic. Looked good when he saw time in 2020.
Yeah, if we play a team with a small DE out there, like South Dakota St last year, I'd prefer Ersery to Big Dan. But hopefully Big Dan can just use his girth to wear down whoever is in front of him, making for a nice 4th quarter.
 

Gophergrandpa

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Yeah, if we play a team with a small DE out there, like South Dakota St last year, I'd prefer Ersery to Big Dan. But hopefully Big Dan can just use his girth to wear down whoever is in front of him, making for a nice 4th quarter.
We not only have a great starting 5-6 this year, we have some really good guys to rotate in.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Our offensive linemen weren't tasked with blocking Gus.

They were assigned to block Derrick Brown, Nick Coe and Marlon Davidson... all of whom are now playing in the NFL, if I'm not mistaken.

Result: the Gopher offense put up 494 yards against them. Domination.

I'm sure Ohio State has elite talent on their defensive line as well, but I don't know that they are vastly superior to that Auburn group.
They were tasked with blocking a team by a guy who doesn't make adjustments.

I'm willing to bet Ryan Day does a better job of that.
 





nsmike

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Yeah, if we play a team with a small DE out there, like South Dakota St last year, I'd prefer Ersery to Big Dan. But hopefully Big Dan can just use his girth to wear down whoever is in front of him, making for a nice 4th quarter.
This is an unknown! Big Dan has lost a lot of weight, one writer estimated his weight at 350, how he moves now, is open to conjecture.
 

HitMeAgainIAmStillMoving

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If you take away 2020 - Fleck traditionally always seems to have his teams well prepared for the 1st games of the season, games after a bye and for bowl games. This and our experience on offense and improved defense give me some room for optimism. I truly believe that if we can stop the run (or at least reasonably slow it down) we will win the game. I trust our offense to score and our pass defense and rush to at least confuse and slow down OSU. Excited to see what we have this year. Could be special if it all comes together
If my aunt had a package......
 


MNVCGUY

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Always so negative 😉 I’d say sometimes we seem prepared. Other times it’s questionable. I don’t think it’s an established solid trait yet.
I know we are ignoring last year but the Michigan game was baaad.
Maybe we are every other year like the Vikings under Zimmer?
Michigan game to start last year was bad, but there are a lot of reasons to expect a much better showing this year.

For that Michigan game we were dealing with a special teams unit that was decimated by Covid and a defense with a lot of new faces that had limited practice time to get ready for the season and it showed early in the year with some huge defensive breakdowns that led to big plays.

Ohio State and their elite athletes all over the field will present a whole new series of challenges but as a whole the 2021 version of the Gophers should be much more ready to compete right out of the gate than the 2020 version was.

To the theme of this thread, we should have a very deep, very talented offensive line this season and that should bode very well for the season no matter what happens against Ohio State in game one.
 


MplsGopher_fan

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This is an unknown! Big Dan has lost a lot of weight, one writer estimated his weight at 350, how he moves now, is open to conjecture.
Good point, and I can't imagine how dominant he can be if he's more agile. Exciting to think of!
 

HitMeAgainIAmStillMoving

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Michigan game to start last year was bad, but there are a lot of reasons to expect a much better showing this year.

For that Michigan game we were dealing with a special teams unit that was decimated by Covid and a defense with a lot of new faces that had limited practice time to get ready for the season and it showed early in the year with some huge defensive breakdowns that led to big plays.

Ohio State and their elite athletes all over the field will present a whole new series of challenges but as a whole the 2021 version of the Gophers should be much more ready to compete right out of the gate than the 2020 version was.

To the theme of this thread, we should have a very deep, very talented offensive line this season and that should bode very well for the season no matter what happens against Ohio State in game one.
I thought we would beat Michigan last year. Naturally I am still hurting. Beating Ohio State would go a long way in my healing process.
 

short ornery norwegian

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On the OL: in 2019, we saw what amounted to a 6-player rotation with Schmitz as the super-utility guy, and a few situations with the 6-man 'jumbo' line package.

So - if we assume that is the preferred method of operation, I would not be surprised to see some rotation in 2021. With the proviso that Dunlap could be the 'rotation' guy as he recovers from his injury. coaches may want to limit his snaps until he is ready for a heavier work-load.

As noted, with Shaw and some of the other younger lineman, the OL on paper should be deeper this year.

rotate some guys, keep people fresh, and get ready to drop the hammer in the 4th Qtr.

My blueprint for every game is one of those 15-play, 10-minute drives in the 4th qtr, with the D-Line getting worn down and tired.

(of course, that depends on the Gophs having a lead......)
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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On the OL: in 2019, we saw what amounted to a 6-player rotation with Schmitz as the super-utility guy, and a few situations with the 6-man 'jumbo' line package.

So - if we assume that is the preferred method of operation, I would not be surprised to see some rotation in 2021. With the proviso that Dunlap could be the 'rotation' guy as he recovers from his injury. coaches may want to limit his snaps until he is ready for a heavier work-load.

As noted, with Shaw and some of the other younger lineman, the OL on paper should be deeper this year.

rotate some guys, keep people fresh, and get ready to drop the hammer in the 4th Qtr.

My blueprint for every game is one of those 15-play, 10-minute drives in the 4th qtr, with the D-Line getting worn down and tired.

(of course, that depends on the Gophs having a lead......)
It's 2021, time to improve.

I demand 20 minute drives!!!
 

MNVCGUY

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It's 2021, time to improve.

I demand 20 minute drives!!!
If we are going with 20 minute drives you better make sure those end in Touchdowns because that is going to seriously limit the number of possessions in the game :)
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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If we are going with 20 minute drives you better make sure those end in Touchdowns because that is going to seriously limit the number of possessions in the game :)
And their drives.

Only have to stop them a few times and you win!
 



swingman

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YES! Sam and Conner in year six, Blaise and Schmitz (and Ruschmeyer, who played vs Auburn as well) in year five, Curtis and Faalele in year four, also Karter Shaw, two year starter at Utah State, in year four...Boe also in year four.

AND, DON'T OVERLOOK that we are returning all three of the tight ends who helped road grade vs Auburn! Kieft, Witham, and Spann-Ford...year six, year seven and year four guys...physically mature, experienced, battle hardened. Witham was huge in that game.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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YES! Sam and Conner in year six, Blaise and Schmitz (and Ruschmeyer, who played vs Auburn as well) in year five, Curtis and Faalele in year four, also Karter Shaw, two year starter at Utah State, in year four...Boe also in year four.

AND, DON'T OVERLOOK that we are returning all three of the tight ends who helped road grade vs Auburn! Kieft, Witham, and Spann-Ford...year six, year seven and year four guys...physically mature, experienced, battle hardened. Witham was huge in that game.
Play ... ALL the TEs at once!
 




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