Adam Van Der Beek leads upstart Gopher football
The 2008 version of Gopher football is mirroring little of coach Tim Brewster’s inaugural 1-11 flop of ’07, having already sextupled their win total with 5 games yet to be played. The U is off this weekend, gearing up to improve upon their impressive 6-1 record next Saturday against a 2-4 Purdue club that visits Northwestern Saturday. Minnesota began this campaign as a joke, but has instead delivered a punch line finding them currently ranked 27th in the USA Today poll and 28th in the AP poll.
But not to be overlooked is the recent mettle displayed by sophomore quarterback and Mounds View native, Adam Weber, who played soundly in last week’s 27-20 win over Illinois despite being just days removed from right knee surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage. After throwing for nearly 3,000 and tossing 24 touchdowns in generally catch-up scenarios as a starting freshman, Weber presently ranks as the Big Ten’s second-leading passer, and sports the conference’s fourth-highest passer rating at 145.03.
Of further interest, perhaps, is the curious resemblance the 3-time Minnesota high school all-stater bears to Dawson's Creek, Rules of Attraction and Varsity Blues star, James Van Der Beek. The two have never before been seen together at the same stadium, at same time. Strange.
Despite his pretty boy turn as “Dawson Leery” in the near-eponymous WB series, Van Der Beek is no stranger to the cerebral demands of quarterbacking, as readily evidenced by his inspiring portrayal of “Mox” Moxon in 1999’s Varsity Blues. As a head-savvy backup QB who challenges the leadership of maniacal skip Bud Kilmer (Jon Voigt), Van Der Beek manages to win over both his fictional teammates as well as moviegoers by eschewing the steamy advances of Ali Larter and also via assembling a respectable passer rating of 158.07.
Consider it only a matter of time before ESPN college analyst Kirk Herbstreit refers to Weber’s release as “Van Der Beek”- ian, as the Gophers look to roll Purdue and continue their return rise to respectability.
The 3-3 Vikings and 3-3 Bears meet at noon on Sunday in a throwdown for top honors in the sloppy NFC North. Green Bay, also at 3-3, hosts Peyton Manning and Indianapolis at 3:15. Both the Vikings’ and Bears’ run defenses rank among the NFL’s top 5, so rushing room could prove minimal for both the Purples’ RB duo Adrian Peterson/Chester Taylor, and impressive Bear rookie, Matt Forte. Both teams are surrendering over 210 pass yards per contest, so perhaps ex-Bear Bernard Berrian can usurp expected boos with a third consecutive 100-yard effort. That 38 over/under is feeling high in what should prove a slugfest. Look for Antoine Winfield to prove the difference, should the Vikings eclipse .500 for the first time this year.