According to the law of averages, the Northern Illinois Huskies should be able to beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers this weekend. You have to figure that Coach Kill is good for at least one win over a middling BCS team. Last year it was Purdue. This year it wasn't Illinois, so it has to be Minnesota. The Iowa State game is a wash due to poor quarterback play, but Harnish is back so everything's good right???
I think that mostly this team needs to get better up front on the offensive line. Everything needs to be in sync to get the run game working, but we were able to move the ball pretty well on offense overall:
"We've got to run the ball better at the tailback position, but they weren't going to let us run the ball. They were physical up front. We couldn't move them very well, so we had to do something else. Our young offensive linemen are still working on strength and those kinds of things. Those big tackles gave us problems. The big, lengthy linebackers, we don't see that in the MAC. That gave us some problems. I thought we competed. We had 400 yards of offense and we had a lot of minus yards in there from sacks. We moved the ball.
Minnesota's defense isn't nearly going to be as strong as the Illini's was. The Golden Gophers return only one starter from last year in safety Kyle Theret. The only other returning starter in safety Kim Royston is still out as he is recovering from a broken leg that he injured in the offseason.
DO YOU LIKE DISCIPLINE? Our team sure needs to shape it up in the mental department if we want to move forward as a team this season:
"Where our football team has to get better, including from the Illinois game, is the discipline of our football team. That doesn't mean running around causing trouble. It's the discipline playing within what you're supposed to do. Illinois' first drive that they had was because of mistakes. Somebody who was responsible for the quarterback wasn't on the quarterback. We have to get more disciplined on all sides of the football. We had some mental errors. We had I think five up front on the offensive line and we haven't had that. We`ve got to cut down on the mental errors and be disciplined or it won't matter what anybody does. I'm really more concerned about our discipline and that's part of playing some young kids.
Looking back at the Illinois game, there were some guys banged up in that game that should be healthy for Minnesota, but we don't really know.
Not having Tracy Wilson in the second half really hurt us because [Mike] Sobol is still trying to get in condition to play off the ACL and Tommy Davis is learning to play a position. Tracy was a big loss in the second half. There's no question that hurt us a little bit on defense. We also had some corner injuries. Chris Smith could have played but had a cast on his hand. As a corner, he had practiced enough to get adjusted to it. I look for him to do that this week. We'll get him in practice where he's used to playing with it, but Rashaan Melvin really stepped up. He did a really nice job. He played very well.
D-Line, you guys are good. Hey linebackers, I have a suggestion for you guys:
"Defensively, I think that our defensive line played their best game by far because we stayed in the pass lanes. We contained a very athletic quarterback in the pass game. We didn't get him scampering around out there. I thought it was an excellent job by our defensive line. We have improved at linebacker and we have to find ways to stay healthy in the secondary. What we need to improve on at linebacker is we need to tackle better. We have to tackle better at the second level. We missed a lot of tackles. Give them credit, those backs were good. They're very good, but we have to tackle better. We know we have to tackle better."