Three games, three heart-pounding finishes. The first quarter of the college football season has been anything but peaceful for Minnesota.
In the first three games of the season, the Gophers are a perfect 3-0, but have tested their fate all three weeks. They needed a late fumble recovery and touchdown to post a 28-21 victory over South Dakota State in the opener. Two weeks ago, it was a ridiculous 4th down touchdown catch by Chris Autman-Bell and an interception by Antoine Winfield Jr. to defeat Fresno State. Saturday, it was converting a 3rd-and-30 and a big touchdown grab from Tyler Johnson.
Only 13 points have separated the Golden Gophers from their opponents. But wins are wins are wins. And for P.J. Fleck, even though these games haven’t been pretty, finding a way to end the game with more points on the scoreboard is all that matters.
“We have winners on this football team, and they find ways to win,” Fleck said following Minnesota’s 35-32 win over Georgia Southern. “Wasn’t pretty. We’ve got to continue to play better, but there’s something to be said for how we’re winning. There’s gonna be a lot of close games in the B1G, and this team has found a way to win really difficult games and they’ve been tested.”
Tested is a good word to describe the Gophers.
Now, Minnesota will enter an off week before stepping into B1G play, where the level of competition will only continue to increase. Fleck says that the opportunity to rest and recover from three emotional games is coming at just the right time.
“I think we’re a little bit emotionally — I wouldn’t even say tired, we can’t get tired, but we’re just a little bit spent, where the bye week came at a perfect time,” Fleck said.
Minnesota returns to the field on Saturday, Sept. 28 against Purdue to start B1G play. Below are Fleck’s full comments, as posted by BTN:
W1: Late win vs. South Dakota State
W2: Double-OT win at Fresno State
W3: Dramatic comeback win vs. Georgia Southern
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 15, 2019