Phillip Howard

MplsGopher

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I feel really happy for PH, starting the game in place of St-Juste.

2nd team All-State at Cooper, played QB, DB, and receiver for them. Started out at receiver for us, started 7 games in 2017. Got passed up on the depth chart, switched to DB late in 2018. Last year played in 11 games, but wasn't top of the depth chart. Seemed like same thing this year.


No idea what happened to SJ, or if he'll be back any time soon. EDIT: we did find out that it was covid.


I feel like PH played pretty well in the start?? Hope he gets to keep playing. Always root for MN and especially Metro guys to do well for us.
 
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I thought that he held his own. He was not the problem last night.
Agreed.

When Howard had to come out after been shaken up on a tackle, and T Smith came in to replace him, I wasn't sure if I should hold my breath.
 

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Kudos to Meg Ryan at the STrib!

She's obviously grown wary of PJ's attitude, and she went around him. :clap:

https://www.startribune.com/iowa-to...rs-team-lacking-on-multiple-fronts/573078251/

On an already oft-described young and inexperienced defense, the Gophers started against a fierce border rival without one of their few returning starters from last season’s 11-2 team. Cornerback Benjamin St-Juste was not opposite Coney Durr after testing positive for COVID-19, a source close to the situation said. Per Big Ten policy, St-Juste must sit out 21 days, which means he will miss at least the next two games, against Purdue on Friday and at Wisconsin on Nov. 28.
 

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Another pretty nice game for PH?? Purdue has outstanding wide receivers and Plummer played pretty dang good I thought. I don't recall any outright busts or really poor performances from PH or Durr?

There were times where they got beat, and it simply was what it was: great plays by great players on the other side.

That's the thing on defense when you're in coverage: if you give them enough time, the guy will get open eventually. You hope to cover him long enough so that they can sack the QB or force him to run before that happens.
 

RememberMurray

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Another pretty nice game for PH?? Purdue has outstanding wide receivers and Plummer played pretty dang good I thought. I don't recall any outright busts or really poor performances from PH or Durr?

There were times where they got beat, and it simply was what it was: great plays by great players on the other side.

That's the thing on defense when you're in coverage: if you give them enough time, the guy will get open eventually. You hope to cover him long enough so that they can sack the QB or force him to run before that happens.
Agree 100%. Bell and Moore are pretty good, not too bad (as we say when speaking Minnesotan). The secondary did well, considering there wasn't much pressure up front. We need Boye Mafe back.
 

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Another pretty nice game for PH?? Purdue has outstanding wide receivers and Plummer played pretty dang good I thought. I don't recall any outright busts or really poor performances from PH or Durr?

There were times where they got beat, and it simply was what it was: great plays by great players on the other side.

That's the thing on defense when you're in coverage: if you give them enough time, the guy will get open eventually. You hope to cover him long enough so that they can sack the QB or force him to run before that happens.
I think our DBs held their own, except for a couple of blown coverages, much of the night given how much time Plummer had too throw--and how many times he threw. I think it was Urban Meyer who observed that 80% of a good pass defense is a strong pass rush. When you are unable to mount any pressure against a QB whose team has two superstar WRs (and yet throws to TEs???), there will be a lot of pass completions.
 

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I think our DBs held their own, except for a couple of blown coverages, much of the night given how much time Plummer had too throw--and how many times he threw. I think it was Urban Meyer who observed that 80% of a good pass defense is a strong pass rush. When you are unable to mount any pressure against a QB whose team has two superstar WRs (and yet throws to TEs???), there will be a lot of pass completions.
Sorry but I'm not going to lump in our safeties with the solid performances of PH, Durr, and J Harris.

Our safeties generally seem to do what they can do to cost us the game on defense.


Kudos to Calvin Swenson, a walk-on who I believe is still not on scholarship but has stuck with the program for whatever reason, for stepping in last night and at least trying to play well. His freak "out of bounds touch" on that freak play saved a first down and probably a score on that drive.

EDIT: didn't realize Swenson was from the 2016 class! This confirms he was not a scholarship player in that class: https://247sports.com/college/minnesota/Season/2016-Football/Commits/
You'd think as a redshirt 5th year senior, maybe Fleck would throw him a bone. But guessing we did not have the scholly to give. Looks like he played on special teams in 2017 and 2018, but didn't get to play much last year.
 

btowngopher

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Sorry but I'm not going to lump in our safeties with the solid performances of PH, Durr, and J Harris.

Our safeties generally seem to do what they can do to cost us the game on defense.


Kudos to Calvin Swenson, a walk-on who I believe is still not on scholarship but has stuck with the program for whatever reason, for stepping in last night and at least trying to play well. His freak "out of bounds touch" on that freak play saved a first down and probably a score on that drive.

EDIT: didn't realize Swenson was from the 2016 class! This confirms he was not a scholarship player in that class: https://247sports.com/college/minnesota/Season/2016-Football/Commits/
You'd think as a redshirt 5th year senior, maybe Fleck would throw him a bone. But guessing we did not have the scholly to give. Looks like he played on special teams in 2017 and 2018, but didn't get to play much last year.
Swenson was awarded a scholarship in 2018, not sure if it’s been maintained since then.
 

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Swenson was awarded a scholarship in 2018, not sure if it’s been maintained since then.
Thank you for that update. Glad to hear that, and I hope it has been. For whatever faults he has, Fleck seems to honor these types of commitments, even if they don't necessarily help the team, as "the right thing to do". (y)

Guessing Dixon was out with covid, or he would've been in there? I assume it's not that big of deal to put him as a free safety instead of strong safety (for Nubin).

Regardless, I would absolutely let Swenson start against Wisconsin over Howden. 100%
 

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Sorry but I'm not going to lump in our safeties with the solid performances of PH, Durr, and J Harris.

Our safeties generally seem to do what they can do to cost us the game on defense.


Kudos to Calvin Swenson, a walk-on who I believe is still not on scholarship but has stuck with the program for whatever reason, for stepping in last night and at least trying to play well. His freak "out of bounds touch" on that freak play saved a first down and probably a score on that drive.

EDIT: didn't realize Swenson was from the 2016 class! This confirms he was not a scholarship player in that class: https://247sports.com/college/minnesota/Season/2016-Football/Commits/
You'd think as a redshirt 5th year senior, maybe Fleck would throw him a bone. But guessing we did not have the scholly to give. Looks like he played on special teams in 2017 and 2018, but didn't get to play much last year.
Our safeties aren't a strength, true. But I think Cal Swenson actually played well, esp. when matched with R. Moore. Maybe not the athlete that Nubin is, but he has good size and decent speed, takes good angles, is a very sure tackler and seems to be in the right place a lot. Swenson made his "freak" play on Durr's dropped interception because, among other things, he got there and was playing through to the whistle. Small sample size, granted, but Swenson saw a lot of time against Purdue. As someone pointed out on a different thread, even Swenson's PI call was a smart play.
 

btowngopher

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Our safeties aren't a strength, true. But I think Cal Swenson actually played well, esp. when matched with R. Moore. Maybe not the athlete that Nubin is, but he has good size and decent speed, takes good angles, is a very sure tackler and seems to be in the right place a lot. Swenson made his "freak" play on Durr's dropped interception because, among other things, he got there and was playing through to the whistle. Small sample size, granted, but Swenson saw a lot of time against Purdue. As someone pointed out on a different thread, even Swenson's PI call was a smart play.
I always thought he looked good in the previous spring games for what they are worth.
 

manderson1984

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I feel really happy for PH, starting the game in place of St-Juste.

2nd team All-State at Cooper, played QB, DB, and receiver for them. Started out at receiver for us, started 7 games in 2017. Got passed up on the depth chart, switched to DB late in 2018. Last year played in 11 games, but wasn't top of the depth chart. Seemed like same thing this year.


No idea what happened to SJ, or if he'll be back any time soon. EDIT: we did find out, via "sources" (not from Fleck, of course) that it was covid.


I feel like PH played pretty well in the start?? Hope he gets to keep playing. Always root for MN and especially Metro guys to do well for us.
Fleck said as much in the postgame after Iowa. Fleck is always going to be coy with injuries obviously, but I think he may have been instructed from a legal standpoint to not say a guy has tested positive unless the player has publicly come out and said it. Anyways you point on Howard stands. Nice to see a MN kid get some time.
 

MplsGopher

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Fleck said as much in the postgame after Iowa. Fleck is always going to be coy with injuries obviously, but I think he may have been instructed from a legal standpoint to not say a guy has tested positive unless the player has publicly come out and said it. Anyways you point on Howard stands. Nice to see a MN kid get some time.
Fair enough. I edited it.

When I said that I was thinking about how Meg Ryan's STrib notes article had to quote "sources" to report that St-Juste wasn't going to be playing in the Iowa game.
 

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I have noticed Howard make a number of good plays the last couple games. Happy for a guy who has hung in there through position changes.
 

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Mike Grimm did a nice interview with PH that played during yesterday’s pre-game. He went in-depth on his position changes and conversations with PJ about that and entering the portal.
It’s a good reminder that almost everyone that makes it through 4-5 years of college ball in the same program has tremendous grit.
 
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