Notebook: “Fire Brewster” chants flare up

by Josh Katzenstein

When Northern Illinois took a 20-13 lead into the second half, the chants were as loud as theyâÄôve ever been at TCF Bank Stadium. âÄúFire Brewster,âÄù bellowed much of the student section and some other fans. The only reason the ill-mannered cheer wasnâÄôt louder toward the end of the game was because many of the 49,368 people in attendance âÄî an all-time low at the stadium âÄî had already filed for the exits. âÄúI guarantee it tears your guts out when you hear that when you walk off the field,âÄù Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill said. âÄúIâÄôve been coaching this game for about 27 years, and IâÄôve been called a lot of things, but I let it go in one ear and out the other.âÄù Brewster heard the chants, but heâÄôs not thinking about his job security. He said heâÄôs focused on beating Northwestern to help the Gophers battle back to 2-3. âÄúItâÄôs a long season, and I think everybody understands that itâÄôs a process what weâÄôre doing here,âÄù he said. âÄúWeâÄôre doing things right, and I think as long as youâÄôre doing things right, you have an opportunity to win football games, and you have the opportunity to build the program that everybody wants here.âÄù The effort was there, Brewster said, so heâÄôs not making any excuses for the team. But discipline is something that can fall on the coach, and the Gophers were as undisciplined as theyâÄôve been all season in SaturdayâÄôs loss. Minnesota was flagged for nine penalties totaling 59 yards, both of which were season highs. The most crucial call âÄî a holding on tight end Eric Lair in the fourth quarter âÄî negated a 55-yard Duane Bennett touchdown run that wouldâÄôve made it a 27-22 game and given the Gophers a chance to make it a three-point game with a two-point conversion. But the score was erased, and what few fans remained continued to chant âÄúFire BrewsterâÄù even though it was Lair who hooked the defenderâÄôs arm. âÄúI think our fans are going to appreciate the fact that our football team plays extremely hard and pours it out there for them,âÄù Brewster said. âÄúOur job is to win football games. I know thatâÄôs my job to put a football team on the field that wins football games.âÄù Quarterback Adam Weber said he appreciated the fans that stayed to see the Gophers play 60 minutes of football. The Gophers have scored a touchdown in the final five minutes of each game this season. But three times itâÄôs been in a losing effort, and Weber said itâÄôs time for the Gophers to impress their harshest critics: themselves. âÄúWin for ourselves because nobody else is truly behind us, so weâÄôve got to stick together,âÄù Weber said. âÄúThereâÄôs 112 of us, so weâÄôve got to stick together and build confidence, trust each other, love each other and go out there and give it the best we have.âÄù Failing to convert Senior Ryan Collado took the second kickoff return of his career 57 yards to the Northern Illinois 35-yard line in the second quarter of SaturdayâÄôs 34-23 loss to the Huskies. The ensuing drive resulted in a touchdown that tied the game at 10-10, but based on the other possessions Saturday, that one was the exception. Minnesota had the ball inside the HuskiesâÄô 35-yard line seven times but scored touchdowns just twice. Three of the other times the Gophers settled for field goals. The other two âÄî a missed field goal and a busted fourth-down run âÄî resulted in zero points. âÄúOur whole mentality is weâÄôre going to control what we can control, and what we didnâÄôt do on offense was score touchdowns when we needed to,âÄù Gophers quarterback Adam Weber said. Gray not content with big games Sophomore MarQueis Gray had a career day in the GophersâÄô loss Saturday night. The quarterback-turned-receiver had eight catches for a career-high 117 yards and a touchdown, but like the rest of the team, he was upset after the game. âÄúItâÄôs nice having a good game, but I prefer to win,âÄù Gray said. âÄúIâÄôd rather have zero catches with a âÄòWâÄô than nine with a loss. The 6-foot-4-inch, 230-pound Gray has increased his receiving yards with each game this season and already has 22 receptions for 328 yards and three touchdowns. Related: – Gophers lose third straight home gameSpann runs all over GophersGophers vs. N. Iowa Live Blog
Pregame blog
Minnesota looking for much-needed momentum against N. Illinois (9/22)
WR Stoudermire ‘no longer a Gopher’ (9/23)
Notebook: Royston not likely to play Saturday (9/21)