Minnesota Golden Gophers fans and alums have reason to be as excited as they’ve ever been in the team’s 125-year history of playing college football. The Big Ten squad is coming off a 9-4 season, including an upset Holiday Bowl win over Washington State.
The defense was often suffocating and finished 14th overall in rushing defense (118 yards per game) and 21st overall in total defense in the FBS
Where Minnesota struggled the most was on offense in the passing game where it finished 111th in the country with a paltry 173 yards per game.
New head coach P.J. Fleck looks to change all this in 2016.
Fleck arrives from Western Michigan hot off of a 13-0 regular season, New Year’s Six Cotton Bowl appearance, and the confidence knowing he orchestrated one of the FBS’s most prolific offenses a season ago (ranked 9 nationally at 41.6 points per game).
If that’s not enough to get Golden Gopher fans pumped up, how about the squad’s new quick-hitting hype video that just debuted on Twitter?
— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) May 26, 2017
Needless to say, there’s going to be a lot of excitement for the team’s first game on August 31 against Mid-American Conference foe Buffalo. Minnesota would be wise to get off to a hot start as the backend of the schedule features the likes of conference opponents Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Wisconsin over the final five games of the season.
The Gophers have only won 10 games or more once since 1905, and it hasn’t been to the Rose Bowl since 1961, but considering the incredibly quick rebuilding job Fleck did at WMU, fans may not have to wait long to book plane tickets to Pasadena.