Blake Cashman made it.
While the linebacker of the New York Jets has been away from Gopher’s football program since he was drafted in 2019, he predicted earlier this week the outcome and method by which Minnesota would beat Maryland on Saturday.
In a social media gimmick from the NFL team, current Jets / former Terrapins running back Ty Johnson had 15 seconds to first say why he felt his college team would win the Big Ten game.
In a false start, Johnson got a wrong head-to-head record and then asked, “Who’s scared of a Gopher? Not me. Our ‘M’ is better on the flag. And ‘Ro the Boat’, but you capsized many years ago. ”
Cashman refused to get into any fun business about mascots, and while a line about small freshwater turtles was on a tee, Cashman did not dare it, helmet colors or slogans.
“You notice he hardly talked about football?” Cashman said in his 15-second case. “But we have a stronger culture, you know? Culture builds championships. Experienced offensive, great offensive line, and I do not know if you have seen our run, but I do not think you are physical enough to stop us in defense. That is it.”
In front, Cashman’s alma mater slid Marylands D down with 326 rushing yards on 58 carries, 5.8 per yards. Rush in a 34-16 victory. QB Tanner Morgan completed eight of 12 passes for 125 yards and did not throw a pass in the final 25 minutes as Minnesota ran the ball at will in the last 23 offensive games.
Gophers’ blockers-starting offensive lineman Sam Schlueter, Conner Olson, John Michael Schmitz, Blaise Andries and Daniel Faalele, often used backup Axel Rushmeyer and tight ends Ko Kieft and Brevyn Spann Ford paved the way for two 100-yard rushers and four ball-holders for to reach the end zone.
“A big philosophy about our offensive is bodybeat,” said Olson, who set a program record with his 52nd career start. “Around the third quarter, it’s when we like to see that there will be a little more give there on the line as we continue to lean on them. I thought that was what we were doing. ”
Gopher’s head coach PJ Fleck has established a reputation for building a heavy running team, and it continues to do so even though top runners Mo Ibrahim and Trey Potts go down with season-ending injuries in the first five games.
On Saturday, true novice Mar’Keise Irving had 21 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown, and Ky Thomas in his second year had 15 for 105 and a TD.
Kieft gave the credit to backback coach Kenni Burns, Ibrahim and Potts for “what they do in space and how they lead these guys. They play at a truly elite level and I have no doubt that any of them (including Bryce Williams) will go in and do their best. ”
Before Saturday’s game, Fleck said athletics director Mark Coyle came into the coach’s office and shared how he felt it would be a good day to run the ball. AD Nostradamus does not exactly do that. Despite having neither Potts nor Ibrahim for the first time this season against the Cornhuskers last week, Minnesota still ran the ball at 63 percent of snaps. It was a low season, but it shot up to a season high of 81 percent against Maryland.
The Terrapins came from a farewell and linebacker Ruben Hyppolite II said they sometimes knew what was coming. “We called the races and knew what formations they were getting into,” he said.
It did not do much.
Maryland coach Mike Locksley was asked what makes Minnesota’s three running backs hard to stop. “It’s not true who drives the ball for them,” he said. “These are the ones they have in advance.”
On Saturday, Williams, who had 127 yards against Nebraska last week, added 48 yards and a TD, while wildcat quarterback Cole Framer contributed 30 yards and another TD.
Gophers (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) now turns the page to a road game at Northwestern (3-4, 1-3) next Saturday and will host Illinois (3-5, 2-3) in November. Minnesota will be favorites in both games and if they take care of business against both, U could go to Iowa (6-1, 4-1) on November 13 and host Wisconsin (4-3, 2- 2) on November 27 with a chance to win a championship in the West Division.
Iowa and Wisconsin play Saturday in Madison, Wis.
Minnesota’s famous rash attack, which ranks 18th in the nation with 218 yards per game. Fight, will have to go up against Hawkeye’s rushing defense, fifth in the country and Badgers’ unit, leading the nation in the least allowed yards.
Cashman is likely to remain confident of his previous program in November, but it will be a massive test and could be much more daring predictions.
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