Tim Brewster’s Struggles Continue vs. USC

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Tim Brewster came to Minneapolis with the reputation as a top notch recruiter who would bring college football excitement and energy back to the Golden Gophers’ program. To those Minnesota faithful who have seen this before, with none other than Jim Wacker, the hiring was puzzling.

This is especially the case when Gary Patterson, head coach of Texas Christian, and Lane Kiffin, USC’s current head coach, interviewed for the job. Joel Maturi must take some of the blame for this debacle.

By Patrick Herbert

Tubby Smith and Tim Brewster do not exactly carry similar resumes to their respective positions. Brewster hadn’t even been a coordinator at the college or professional level at the time he was hired.

Expectations rose on campus with the completion of the new stadium. These were tempered monumentally with the recent loss to FCS member South Dakota. The officials did all they could during the first half against USC to assist the Gophers in their quest to keep the game competitive.

The dead ball foul and the pass interference calls against the Trojans were suspect at best. The Big Ten officiating crew was calling penalties based on the fact that USC had a reputation for committing many of them coming into the game. The calls based on previous games hindered Kiffin’s squad until they could break away in the second half. The crew didn’t even feel that it was necessary to review the possible fumble by quarterback Adam Weber that could have been a game changer.

To show what bottom feeders the Gophers have become, one would only have to listen to the ESPN crew on today’s telecast. Analyst Mike Bellotti mentioned that the Gophers had the goal of keeping the game close into the fourth quarter, winning the special teams yardage aspect, and achieving two first downs during every offensive possession.

The final point is the most concerning for a home team in a major conference playing against a USC roster that struggled against Hawaii and Virginia. To have such meager goals sends a message to fans and team members that the squad will consistently struggle to score points this season. This is probably why Brewster placed such an emphasis on the special teams aspect.

Lane Kiffin is nowhere near a perfect coach. He was much too clever during the three botched attempts at two point conversions. If he would just look at the percentages, he would realize that he would be better off kicking the extra point unless point differentials dictated otherwise late in games.

Another shortcoming of Kiffin’s is his apparent lack of loyalty. The Tennessee position is in the best conference in college football with one of the country’s strongest fan bases. Why leave? The addition of his father as defensive coordinator is a tremendous boost to his credibility.

Even with Lane Kiffin’s faults, he is still head and shoulders above Brewster. The latter’s failures are detrimental to the entire athletic program at the university. This situation is especially crippling considering the candidates that the school could have hired. Lane Kiffin’s visit is just another reminder of Maturi’s poor decision.

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