I'm going to make this short, because I'm tired and a little wrung out after trying to accurately describe all the stuff I watched tonight. So I'll give you 10 impressions after watching a team win despite setting a Big Ten Conference game record for penalties.
1. How about the way Adam Weber responded? His one interception might not have been had the official not taken out his receiver. And there was the botched hand off. Otherwise? What a night to play the best game of your life. I wrote about Weber for Saturday's paper, about how he knew he had been struggling, knew he was under pressure and new he still had the ability have a big game. I believe the phrase he used was that there still that game out there that he hadn't played yet. So here is this stand-up guy coming up huge. He threw some really nice balls tonight, especially the long ones to Brandon Green and Da'Jon McKnight.
2. How about the kids? McKnight, Green, Stoudermire all making big plays. Remember, Stoudermire didn't start playing varsity football until he was a senior in high school. He is both strong and fast.
3. How about that goal-line stand? In a game where a kagillion points were scored the Gophers defense -- gashed by some big plays -- made some of their own, forcing a field goal rather than a go-ahead touchdown. That said, something has to happen soon about those busted coverage.
4. Hate to be a downer for you fans, but 17 penalties show there is still a discipline problem on this team. I can't believe they overcame all those penalties this time around. Way too many personal foul penalties.
5. So you were wondering who Weber would look to most after Decker went down? Try Nick Tow-Arnett, who had a career-high eight receptions and two touchdowns. I think his numbers will be pretty good the rest of the season.
6. Should we be worried about the Gophers' 2.3-yard rushing average? MSU has a strong run defense, and the Gophers knew they could be successful through the air. So, on balance, I say it's OK. They did run the ball 39 times, giving balance to the 33 passes. Man. 72 plays. These guys ran 40 in Penn State.
7. This was, by far, the best job the offensive line did all season protecting the passer. Weber actually had time to go through his reads, and you saw what happened. This is what can happen when the QB has time and the receivers catch the ball.
8. Keyshawn Martin has some serious speed.
9. This was the most passing yards by a Gophers QB since Cory Sauter had 404 against the Spartans in 1995. Would have included this in reaction No. 1, but I was just given this nugget by Gophers football SID Andy Seeley.
10. Don't sleep on Illinois. I thought all along the Illini had too much offensive talent to be floundering. They'll be coming here for next week's game with some renewed offensive confidence. And don't forget all those passing yards Juice Williams put on the Gophers last year.
That's about it. Have a good weekend.