The Minnesota Golden Gophers won their first game of the 2019 season, but it wasn’t in impressive fashion. They wound up beating South Dakota State by only one score, 28-21.
Historically, finding the end zone four times in a contest has been more than enough offense, but it’s not that impressive in modern college football. Especially against non-Power 5 teams and considering one of Minnesota’s scores was a pick-6 by the defense. Minnesota averaged 28.5 points per game last year and finished eighth in the B1G in scoring.
Minnesota offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca shared the same underwhelming feeling for his offense in the first game. While talking to the press Wednesday, he argued his unit didn’t possess enough attention to detail.
“I didn’t like our details with it, and to me, that starts with taking care of the ball, and then playing really hard. And then I want to see the details,” Ciarrocca said according to 247Sports. “I thought we were just a little off, and it wasn’t like one particular guy. It was somebody here, somebody there, and that caused a couple of drive stops, especially in the second half.”
Minnesota posted just 308 offensive yards in the victory Saturday, which was ranked 11th-best in the B1G this past week. The Golden Gophers were not even close to cracking the Top 10 as the next closest team had more than 400 yards of offense.
Interestingly, head coach P.J. Fleck also cited the playcalling being too vanilla as a reason why the Golden Gophers didn’t move the ball very well. Ciarrocca disagreed, again explaining that the offense needed to execute better.