Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Gophers vs. Bowling Green this Saturday

I can’t believe the start of the Gopher Football season is just a few days away. I just read over on Gopher Football that Adam Weber won the starting quarterback position for the Gophers. I am a huge Adam Weber fan and I can’t wait to see what he does with this Gopher offense. Kick-off against Bowling Green is at 7:00pm on Saturday, September 1st and I see there are great tickets available for less than $25! Saturday is the official start of Gopher Nation and all true Gopher football fans better have their maroon and gold on and their Gopher Football Ticket in hand. Go Gophers!

Gophers Hockey land a local legend to coach

A local hockey coaching legend has been added to the University of Minnesota’s women’s hockey staff. Tom Osiecki, who has over 40 years of coaching experience under his belt, will take the job of coaching the defensemen while newly promoted Brad Frost will undertake head coaching duties.

Osiecki, who lives in Burnsville, started the Burnsville High School hockey program back in 1966, and he coached there for 24 years while leading them to two state championships. Osiecki was briefly a NHL scout for the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars from 1990 to 1995. After that period, Osiecki broke new ground and barriers in the women’s game, when he coached Burnsville girl’s hockey and started the St. Olaf women’s program. Golden Gopher hockey looks bright with the addition of local hero Osiecki.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gophers Prep for Season Opener

The Minnesota Golden Gopher football team had a productive scrimmage on both sides of the ball last Saturday at the Gophers indoor practice facility. Offensively, the two competing quarterbacks both hit strides at one point in the scrimmage. Adam Weber started off slow, missing on 8 of 10 throws, but came back to complete 9 of 14 passes on in a stretch where he led the offense to a pair of touchdowns. Tony Mortensen didn’t get as many reps as Weber, but also had a nice stretch where he completed 6 of 8 passes with two 20-yard catches. Wide receiver Ernie Wheelwright pulled in two touchdown catches, surely impressing a watchful Tim Brewster.

On the defensive side, the Gophers came up with some big interceptions during the 2-minute drill, which is exactly the time the defense wants to become aggressive and not let teams gain cheap yardage on the “prevent” defense (the Gophers have a history of blowing huge leads). Saturday’s scrimmage will be analyzed by Brewster and the Gophers extensively.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mortensen and Weber Continue Starting Quarterback Battle

I’m still following the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team’s starting quarterback battle, and as of now, junior Tony Mortensen is losing ground on redshirt freshman Adam Weber, the latter being praised by head coach Tim Brewster. Brewster has said Weber has made the biggest strides at the quarterback position since spring. Weber’s problem early on was a lack of understanding of the new spread offense, but as he’s worked more closely with it, Weber has reportedly done a better job. Last Saturday, Weber made back-to-back completions and then scrambled for a big gain, showing he can get the job done. Mortensen still has a good chance to get the starting job, however, as he knows the offense just as well and has a few years of experience as a backup under his belt. Brewster and offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar will most likely let the two compete all the way up to the season opener on Sept. 1 against Bowling Green.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

BMOC Title Still Up in the Air

So who will be the Minnesota Golden Gophers next big man on campus (BMOC)? Well, there is probably a lot of different guys at the U who think they are the BMOC, but to the general public, the BMOC is the football team’s quarterback. Right now, junior Tony Mortensen, redshirt freshman Adam Weber and coach Tim Brewster’s son, Clint in the competition for the starting job left open by the U of M’s all-time leading passer Bryan Cupito. The three are currently getting educated on the new and complex spread offense implemented by Gophers offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar. The offense is generally pass-oriented, and the players said they are making strides in adjusting to the new offense. Whoever gets the job, Tim Brewster said he doesn’t want to rely on the quarterback to win games single handily. “We need the quarterback to minimize his mistakes as much as possible and just do a good job of driving the car. Vince Young is not our quarterback,” he said in a quote on the Star Tribune’s website.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fox, USA get the gold

Updating a previous blog entry, Team USA won the Pan-American Gold medal in women’s basketball last week. The victory comes following a nadir in American international sports, in which men’s basketball, baseball and hockey have all struggled in international competition. With the women getting the job done, the U.S. is re-claiming some of its former swagger. The game included a Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s basketball player in Emily Fox (she's my favorite), who was a solid contributor throughout the Pan-Am tournament but did not score in the championship game. The game was played against Brazil in front of 13,000 yellow and green clad screaming Brazilians in Rio, but Team USA wasn’t phased, winning easily at a final score of 79-66. Fox finished the tournament averaging 6.3 points and 55.6 percent from three-point range.

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