1. The Gophers can beat a 'somebody'
It was understandable that there was some skepticism in the general public about the Gophers' 3-0 start against New Mexico State, Western Illinois and Colorado. After all, that trio was outscored 296-97 in starting the season 0-10. With Saturday's dominant win over the Spartans, the Gophers have a high-quality win to point to. Michigan State was 11-2 last year and was ranked No. 11 in the AP Top 25 just two weeks ago.
2. That defense remains stingy
We're already through the first third of the college football season, and the Gophers' starting defense has yet to give up a touchdown. Western Illinois scored its TD with 4:26 left in the fourth quarter, Colorado scored with 8:55 to play, and Michigan State got on the board with 17 seconds left. Defensive coordinator Joe Rossi's troops nearly have pitched three shutouts this season.
3. Tanner Morgan, assassin
Don't let his mild-mannered ways fool you. Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan is a fierce competitor, and the way he sliced and diced Michigan State's defense was compelling to watch. He went 23-for-26 for 268 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 11.7 yards per completion and 10.3 yards per attempt. In other words, he was good for a first down every time he passed. And don't forget the three first downs Morgan converted with his feet.
4. Life without 'Crab' doesn't have to be disastrous
Given their choice, the Gophers would much rather have a healthy Chris Autman-Bell in the lineup, but he's lost for the season. Saturday's game showed that they can win without him. Morgan spread the ball around, getting 10 pass-catchers in on the action. Mike Brown-Stephens caught all six of his targets for 78 yards, and Daniel Jackson provided a charge with three catches for 42 yards and two TDs. Dylan Wright's big-play ability came through with a 26-yard gain among his three catches.
5. Time to enjoy the season
The Gophers are 4-0, have outscored opponents by a combined 183-24 and just embarrassed a proud Big Ten East Division team to the point that fans were booing the Spartans at halftime and bolting for the exits after three quarters. We don't know how the rest of the season will play out for the Gophers, but it sure looks promising. Jump aboard. Sure, you might get your heart broken because it's Minnesota sports. Or you might be in for the ride of your lifetime.