Unlike most football fans in Minnesota, I bleed maroon instead of purple.

Unlike most football fans in Minnesota, I bleed maroon instead of purple.

My first trip to a Minnesota Gophers football game at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday coincided with one of the worst defeats in the history of the once storied program.

The margin of defeat in the 41-38 loss to the University of South Dakota isn’t what’s got Gophers fans calling for the heads of coach Tim Brewster and athletic director Joel Maturi. It’s that the Gophers, in the last two years, have now lost to North Dakota State and USD and barely beaten South Dakota State — all teams that were considered “cupcakes” on the nonconference schedule.

The worst part of the outcome is that it was not a fluke. The Coyotes deserved to win the game.

The Gophers defense made USD quarterback Dante Warren look like the Midwest Offensive Player of the Week, after he threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 81 yards and two more TDs.

It’s obviously easy to say it now, but I was never a believer in Brewster when he was hired without any previous head coaching experience.

He came in with plenty of swagger, promising a Rose Bowl appearance in the near future.

Brewster reminded me of the late Jim Wacker, who came into the program in the early ’90s with a high-octane offense that would get our corpuscles jumping.

Brewster’s strength was supposed to be as a recruiter, but he’s had four years now and the only big-time recruit he’s signed is a quarterback (Marquis Gray) who is now being used as a wide receiver.

As another disgruntled friend of mine pointed out, Brewster couldn’t even recruit his two sons to come to Minnesota to play for him.

This is now Brewster’s team. He can’t pull a Barack Obama and blame all of his current problems on what he inherited.

Brewster’s predecessor, Glen Mason, had the right formula for winning here. Instead of switching to gimmicky high-octane offenses like former coaches Joe Salem, Wacker and Brewster tried, Mason developed a strong running game.

A?good running game also keeps your defense off the field.

You can build a good running game behind home state kids in the offensive line. Nebraska used to do it. Wisconsin and Iowa are doing it now. We should be able to be as successful as the Badgers and Hawkeyes.

Brewster did see the light this year about needing to try to improve the rushing attack.

When Sports Illustrated, in its preseason preview, picked the Gophers to go 2-10, I don’t think they counted the game against the Coyotes as one of the losses.

I look for the Gophers to bounce back and give a good effort against Southern Cal this week, but I fear the S.I. prediction of two wins this season may be correct.

TCF Bank Stadium is a beautiful facility and I did enjoy being at the game. I’ll take college football any day over the NFL for the atmosphere and pageantry with the band and cheerleaders.

If you haven’t gone to a Gophers football game at the new stadium, I encourage you to do so. The Gophers can certainly use all the fan support they can get right now.

Where are they now?
Several former Montevideo volleyball players are continuing their careers at the collegiate level.

When Ridgewater Community College hosted Fergus Falls CC last week at Willmar, Miranda Kostboth saw action for Ridgewater as a hitter, and Carly Beals played setter/hitter for Fergus Falls.

Two weeks ago, Ashley Roder, playing for Vermillion Community College, was named the MCAC player of the week in the North half of the conference.

Brooke Tastad has started at outside hitter in four of Concordia College of Moorhead’s first six matches. Tastad is third on the team in kills, helping Concordia to a 5-1 record.