Wow. Just... wow. I am fast losing confidence in the new coaching staff. The run game was stuffed in 1st half, and the Spartans were relying on it in crucial situations instead of 1st down. Ron Caragher has not let David Fales be David Fales, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers have made them pay for it. I am writing this before the game has even ended, because both the Gophers and the Spartans are losing the game for San Jose State.
Sloppiness on offense and sloppiness on defense have sunk any hope the Spartans had of winning this game. On offense, whenever the play calling is for a 15 yard pass, David Fales makes it. Then they call for run plays on 3rd and 4-5, and despite failing multiple times. Minnesota simply was dominating in the trenches, but still Ron Caragher called for run plays. I said in a previous article that Ron Caragher was going to try and keep them honest, but it's gone from honest to bizarrely stubborn.
This cost the Spartans about 3 red zone opportunities, and allowed Minnesota to play the type of game they like; controlling the clock by keeping their offense on the field. Oh. And look, Spartan wide receiver Jabari Carr just went down and walked off field with a limp
Speaking about things going on just now, San Jose State has just gotten another penalty. 7 penalties for 73 yards, mix of offensive and defensive penalties.
The defense also appears to have made little to no adjustment for Minnesota's run game after half time. Spartan linebackers have continued to lose gap integrity, crashing down multiple times on the running backs while Liedner waited patiently in the pocket till he had a clear running lane. Tackling has been a-tro-cious. The Spartans have been allowing way too many yards on both running plays and on kick-off and punt returns. They're tackling with their arms and nothing else, same as the game against Stanford.
Yeah, they've lost to Stanford and a Big 10 team, but it's not like the schedule is going to get a lot easier. I'm not calling the season after these two losses, but my hope in a smooth transition in coaching staff from last year to this one is pretty much shot. They had two weeks to clean up problems and apparently they've made things worse. Spartan fans hopes for a Mountain West championship are vanishing faster then... something really fast. Maybe a gopher.