Minnesota did not get it done with a trip to the B1G Championship Game on the line, and head coach P.J. Fleck took responsibility for that loss after the game.
After scoring the first touchdown in the game vs Wisconsin, the Gophers went through a stretch where they were outscored 38-3 by the Badgers. That was more than enough for Wisconsin to roll to a big win in reclaiming Paul Bunyan’s Axe and winning the B1G West.
After the game, Fleck had an emphatic message for the fans. He knows the loss hurts, but he also called on the fanbase to continue moving forward and not fall back into a trap of lesser expectations:
“We don’t get to go to the Rose Bowl – maybe. We don’t get to go to the national championship, but we get to do a lot of other things,” said Fleck. “Let’s not go back…there’s going to cynics, there’s going to be doubters, there’s going to be critics. But the true fans, what we want them to do is get that completely out of there mind because we are not going back to that.”
Fleck even threw in a “Let it Go”/Frozen reference before finishing his speech by shouldering the blame for the loss to Wisconsin. Though certain other B1G coaches have thrown players under the bus after a loss, Fleck said the blame falls on him “100%:”
“We can. We didn’t tonight, but we can, and we showed the power of our state, and we appreciate everyone’s support,” explained Fleck. “Our band, our alumni, our fans: we heard you the entire time. And I apologize to our fans for not being able to get it done, because it falls on my shoulders 100%. Nobody else: not staff, not players – me. I did not get it done for our fans.”
GopherHole.com shared the Video of Fleck’s post-game message:
Coach Fleck with a POWERFUL closing statement.
A message to the true fans and the critics.
— GopherHole.com (@GopherHole) December 1, 2019
Though the disappointment may linger, Minnesota had an incredibly successful season in Fleck’s third year at the helm. For now, the 10-2 Gophers will sit and wait to find out where they go bowling.