Darren "Doogie" Wolfson

Darren "Doogie" Wolfson has a passion for sports, but not a consistent forum in which he's allowed to spew his thoughts. Well, now he has one. Darren spent 12-plus years with KFAN Radio, wearing multiple hats - from producing and technically directing, to reporting and hosting. He spent a majority of his time working with Sid Hartman's son, Chad on the 'Chad Hartman Show.' Read more about Darren Wolfson.

Posts about Gophers game day

Having the three worst losses in school history means it's time

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: September 12, 2010 - 4:55 PM

What size battery does it take to beat Tim Brewster's team? Answer: I-AA

Congratulations, Coach. In four years, you have managed to guide the Gophers to the three worst losses in school history: 55-0 to Iowa, 27-21 to 1-AA North Dakota State, and now Saturday's 41-38 loss to 1-AA South Dakota. Memo to Joel Maturi: enough is enough. Nothing can happen the rest of this season to make-up for another loss to a middle-tier FCS team. Remember the Jeremy Foley theory: what should be done eventually should happen immediately. Nobody wants their work criticized, especially in public. But the nice monetary buyout Brewster would receive offsets that problem.
Most of Brewster's coaches are capable of finding work elsewhere. Defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove? Not so much. It is obvious now why he was a coaching free-agent for an entire season. It is also obvious now why Nebraska ran him out of town. Where was the press-coverage on the pivotal 3rd-and-4 at the end of the game? It was very clear that South Dakota was either calling for a slant pass or a quarterback keeper. Brewster went hard at the defense in his postgame interview on the Big Ten Network. While correct, let's not forget that he let Eric Ellestad, who couldn't make a 40-yard field goal all of last year, and missed two against Middle Tennessee State, try a 48-yard field goal. Predictably, the kick wasn't even close. The reason Brewster had only one timeout late was because they wasted one on offense. What was the 4th-and-2 pitch-back play call? Why not try an onside kick at the end? Realistically, what were the chances that the defense could force a three-and-out? Although, what were the chances that Ellestad would have executed the kick?

Here's what's hard to comprehend: Brewster had his team thoroughly prepared for the Middle Tennessee State game. What changed? I believe that the talent-level has increased the last few years. But there is zero evidence to suggest that Brewster knows how to coach that talent. Have they spent too much time game-planning for USC? Since they've been working on next week's game for a while, maybe so, but to not have the team then ready for South Dakota is on the coach.
Here is a portion of a blog I wrote in November after the loss to Iowa:

30 straight possessions without scoring a touchdown to end the regular season is not a punchline. It's reality. They have failed to score an offensive     touchdown in 17 of the last 24 quarters. If not for a garbage-time score against Ohio State third-teamers, Brew's bunch would've gone four games (Ohio State, Penn State, South Dakota St., and Iowa) without an offensive touchdown. Offense reigns supreme in college football. A 3rd-and-10 is a toss-up. Yet, the Gophers make this year's Cleveland Browns seem like the 1998 Vikings. Does a Tom Emanski-like offensive football video exist? If so, the Gophers should have watched it on their bus ride home from Iowa City. Brewster's motto all year was "Pound the Rock", but they will finish last in the Big Ten and among the worst in the country in running the ball. Calling back-to-back timeouts in the 11th game of the year is unacceptable. Asking for a fade pass for 5'8'' receiver Troy Stoudermire on third-and-goal from the 2-yard line is mind-boggling.

Brewster is now 0-9 in trophy games; 0-8 in games vs. ranked opponents. He also has yet to win a conference game in November and lacks a signature victory 37-games into his tenure. For a second consecutive year, his team will lead the Big Ten in penalties. Only twice all year did the Gophers not commit a personal foul penalty in a game. ESPN analyst Bob Griese used the word "undisciplined" when talking about the Gophers no fewer than five times today. That is embarrassing. Being the butt of jokes by Badgers and Hawkeyes fans has been getting old the last three years. 

Tony Dungy isn't walking through that door. Leslie Frazier isn't either. Nor is Boise State coach Chris Peterson or former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. Side note: I am all-in for Leach, but fully realize that the "U" administration for myriad reasons would never, ever hire him.

Realistic options include Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell (knows Joel Maturi from their days together in Madison), Houston coach Kevin Sumlin (former "U" assistant), and Air Force coach Troy Calhoun.

When your players skip out on "Hail Minnesota" at the end of the game; when the TCF Bank Stadium crowd for three straight appearances -- remember the vitriol from the Illinois & South Dakota State games -- turns extremely ugly on the coach and the program; when some of Brewster's biggest supporters on the local rivals.com site and gopherhole.com turn on him; when it's hard to figure out if the team is any better today compared to when Brewster took over; when Brewster said the program was "light-years" ahead of when he took it over; and when Brewster called this his most athletic team to date, it's time for a change.
Off-the-field incidents? They can be sort-of excused. Recruiting violations? The same. But a loss to South Dakota is inexcusable.


"Boiler Down" on Wednesday at Williams Arena?

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: February 21, 2010 - 11:18 PM

From my Jan. 26 blog:

There is an unwritten rule in college basketball: When your favorite team beats an opponent that is not in the Top-25, not in the top-five in its conference, has no historical relevance, or is not your bitter rival, you don’t rush the floor. Nevertheless, when the Indiana Hoosiers beat the Gophers two Sundays ago, we saw the Hoosiers faithful storm the court. Such debauchery should be reserved for a special win.

In the name of the "Green Man" (where has he been this year?), U of M students have rushing-the-court privileges this Wednesday when the Gophers take on No. 3 Purdue with a chance to knock off a top-five team at "The Barn" for the first time since February 12, 1992. That Clem Haskins-led Gopher team beat Bobby Knight's No. 4 Indiana Hoosiers 71-67. You have to go back to January 26, 1989, when the Gophers beat No. 1 Illinois 69-62 to find a win over a top-three team.

Purdue comes in riding a nine-game winning steak, with Big Ten road wins at Michigan State, Ohio State, and Illinois. They also have non-conference wins over West Virginia, Tennessee, Wake Forest, and at Alabama. They are Final Four-caliber, and are one of the few teams legitimately in the national championship conversation.

On Saturday, they beat a good Illinois team with their two best players -- JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel -- shooting a combined 5-for-23 from the field. They consistently find different ways to win without having any real stars.

Gophers head coach Tubby Smith has done the same in years past, getting his teams to the NCAA tournament in 15 of the last 16 years. He has won at least 20 games in 16 consecutive seasons. Nevertheless, his genius tendencies haven't been on display enough almost three years into his tenure.

It's time for that to change on Wednesday night. A win and they have a chance at an at-large NCAA tournament bid. Right now, they would not be in, even after an impressive week.

The Gophers got their best win of the season last Wednesday versus No. 14 Wisconsin. Against the Badgers, Smith's 3-2 zone worked wonderfully. Then on Saturday night, they got their most decisive Big Ten win in hammering Indiana by 23 points. It is hard to quantify, but however you measure mojo, the Gophers have it at perhaps their highest level of the season. Maybe it’s the shaved heads, but watching the last two games, I can't help but wonder how they lost at Indiana or at home to Michigan.

Smith complained after the Michigan loss that his team didn't do the little things like taking charges, diving for loose balls, etc. Whatever he has said since then has worked. Now, Tubby’s magic is rearing its head.

In the Gophers' favor Wednesday is homecourt advantage -- the Gophers are 13-2 at Williams Arena. There are few places tougher to win at than "The Barn" when it's rockin', and it most assuredly will be on Wednesday. In addition to the menacing crowd, Purdue could possibly be looking ahead to its matchup with Michigan State next Sunday. That game will likely decide the Big Ten title.

In many ways, Wednesday will ultimately decide the Gophers' postseason fate. A loss and the only way they avoid the NIT is to win the Big Ten tournament. Smith, in discussing Purdue to the Big Ten Network, stated "We are trying to get to that level."

A win Wednesday offers significant hope that eventually they will.




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