Survival has been key for Minnesota through the first two weeks of the college football season.
The Gophers escaped disaster in the season opener against South Dakota State, scoring a late touchdown to secure a 28-21 win over the FCS squad. Last week, Minnesota needed a miraculous catch from Chris Autman-Bell and a game-winning interception from Antoine Winfield Jr to avoid an upset from Fresno State.
You could say Minnesota has underperformed in the first two weeks of the season. Or you could argue that Gophers are finding ways to win late in the game. P.J. Fleck prefers the latter.
While meeting with the media on Tuesday, Fleck talked about his team’s resiliency and the selflessness it plays with. It’s why he really enjoys the 2019 version of the Golden Gophers.
“They don’t care about who gets the credit,” Fleck said. “That’s why I love coaching them as a team.”
Fleck also said there’s a lot of trust he and his staff have in the players to make things happen on both sides of the football. Yes, it’s been ugly, but in those late-game situations, the Gophers have pulled through.
“I think it shows the confidence we have in our players… We’ve got to be able to use that whole field, we’ve got to be able to use all our players,” Fleck said.
So far, that confidence has paid off, as Minnesota is 2-0 with its final non-conference game coming up on Saturday against Georgia Southern. After two close ballgames, the Gophers are probably hoping to take care of business a little bit earlier on Saturday.