Minnesota Performance Evaluations

Better late than never.

Boeckman and the Offense: 4 Sweatervests

Boeckman has finally proven that he can overthrow a receiver, which heretofore was unbelievable. Seeing the ball sail over everyone was actually a relief. He still has work to do, but it’s always been clear that the arm strength is there. Robiskie and Hartline both made circus TD catches (Roboskie’s being a triple flip off the trapeze, Hartline’s being a simple tuck and twist). Beanie Wells is still running over people like it’s his job and as Keith pointed out, Mo Wells is doing just fine. Everyone’s getting a piece of the action.

Chris “Beanie” Wells

This is becoming a familiar sight


Minnesotans who are Buckeyes: 4.5 Sweatervests

There is only one Minnesotan who wears the Scarlet and Gray. I don’t have to tell you who he is, of course. But Lauranaitis is, quite emphatically, proving to everyone he very much deserved the awards and accolades he won last season. A lot of it was probably based on hype, but this year he has proven he is one of the premier linebackers in the country. (Rivals.com says he’s the best, actually.) He was all over the place in Minnesota, participating in 14 tackles. That’s a rock-solid performance.


Ohioans who are Gophers: 1.5 Sweatervests

There are twelve Ohioans playing as Gophers. You probably wouldn’t recognize many of them (I know I didn’t) but they couldn’t stop talking about poor Ernie Wheelwright. He accounted for 53 yards, but he sure didn’t seem like he wanted the ball in his hands. There have been players from Ohio playing for other teams that played like they had something to prove (old what’s-his-name from South Carolina comes to mind) but EW sure didn’t.


Special Teams: 2.5 Sweatervests

This is the area that makes me nervous. These are not Jim Tressel-like special teams. The punting game (when we actually punt) is fine, but the rest is not exactly instilling confidence. The kicking game is far from perfect: kick-off coverage is still spotty and the blocked PAT is almost unexcusable. Pretorius is still a good kicker with a good leg, but fundamentals seem to be a bit lacking. The fake punt was fun to see, but Trapasso was a little overanxious. The return game has the biggest upside, though, with Ray Small. He will explode in the next couple games.

Vernon Gholston’s Ghost: e^Sweatervest             esweatervest.gif

I noticed that Vernon Gholston played like a mere mortal against Minnesota (just 2 body crunching tackles), deciding that the Metrodome was not big enough to contain his aura. He’s only able to allow his power to run free in open-air stadiums. There’s no telling what would have happened if the real Vernon came to the Metrodome.


Overall Perfomance: 4 Sweatervests

Baseline: 3 Sweatervests, +2 for acrobatic catches, +1 for allowing one touchdown, +1 for Beanie running over small, tasty defensive backs, -3 for a blocked PAT.

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