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Postgame Thread: MSU 31, Minnesota 24

Well, it's a win. Uglier than any of us imagined (and full credit to Jerry Kill, the Gophers aren't going to be a punchline for too much longer assuming that his health problems do not force him to step down), but the conference standings only record the fact that it was a W.

I don't have much good to say about this one. We got outgained by 14 yards against a team that lost to North Dakota State. We barely cracked 100 rushing yards against a defense that was allowing almost 300 a game. Far too many missed tackles, primarily from guys going for the spectacular hit instead of wrapping up, and we could not get pressure on MarQueis Gray for much of the first half, giving him all day to wait for a receiver to get open. Le'Veon Bell deserves some praise (15 carries, 96 yards, 2 TDs, plus an alert play on the was-it-forward-or-not pass that was, correctly, called back but could have been absolute disaster if it had been a lateral), as do William Gholston (9 solo tackles, 5 assisted, 2 for loss, and a forced fumble) and Trenton Robinson (two interceptions, including the game-clincher). Kirk Cousins turned in another solid day (23/34, 296 yards, 2 TDs, no turnovers) marred solely by taking a sack that knocked us out of FG range late in the 3rd quarter and a few short dump-offs on 3rd and long that had no chance of picking up the first down. But both sides of the ball will have to play much better if we are to come away with the win in Iowa City next week and keep in contention for a trip to Indianapolis.

I'm all for never speaking of this again, but if you must, here's the spot.