Their next game now becomes an absolute must win. Luckily for Minnesota, it comes against Nebraska. If you need a win in the Big Ten, there are not many easy opponents, but Nebraska is almost as close as it gets (other than Penn State, of course). Minnesota should be able to use their talented and mobile big men, Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe, to control the paint against an inferior Nebraska team. If they can’t snap their losing streak at home against the Cornhuskers, they might as well call off the rest of the season for Minnesota. This is a game they absolutely must have, and there are no excuses to lose this. Minnesota is more talented and better be more motivated.
Winning this next game is immensely important for Minnesota, but looking more long term, they need more to change.
Defensively, Minnesota has not been nearly as good during this losing streak as they had previously. They have given up over 50 percent in FG percentage twice in their last four games, after doing so just once all season. That is partially due to an increase in the quality of their opponents, but still alarming.
However, Minnesota’s biggest problem has been the regression of their offense.
In their last two games, Minnesota has totaled just 92 points. Against Wisconsin, Williams, Austin Hollins and Joe Coleman combined for just six points. For the second consecutive game, only one Gopher scored in the double digits. An offense built on balanced scoring is not scoring nearly enough, and more than one player a game has to step up to fix it.
Minnesota will most likely beat Nebraska on Tuesday, but to right the path of their season, Minnesota will need big changes.