Gophers and Wolverines Battle for The Little Brown Jug - OPEN THREAD

Loading Scores

The Jug maybe isn't the trophy I'd most appreciate winning, but for my money it is the coolest of our rivalry trophies. That may be because it was the very first rivalry trophy in all of sports. You want it back? You gotta beat us. Unfortunately we've been beaten far too often in this series (not just recently). I wish I could by typing some optimism for today's game but that isn't going to be the case. But the Jug is back up for grabs and anything can happen.

Images_medium

The Stats

Minnesota Golden Gophers Michigan Wolverines
Points / Game 22.8 32.0
Pass Yards 179.2 156.0
Rush Yards 173.8 250.0
3rd Down % 37.7% 47.5%
Key Offensive Player to Watch Duane Bennett
Denard Robinson
Points Allowed/Game 26.8
12.8
Pass Yards 278.5 195.0
Rush Yards 104.8 156.0
3rd Down % 46.9% 47.3%
Key Defensive Player to Watch Kim Royston
Jordan Kovacs

Three Questions

  1. Can the Gopher contain Denard Robinson? - the guy who is leading the Big Ten in rushing and is maybe the most dynamic player in the conference is expected to run wild today. Guys like Keanon Cooper, who is the fastest player on the Gopher roster should be key to keeping Robinson contained. And you may not know this but Kim Royston is leading the Big Ten in tackles. That means our front seven aren't making enough plays but Kim should be a key to containing Robinson as well.
  2. Can the Gophers generate enough offense to keep the score close? - This Michigan defense is better than what we saw under Rich Rod, but I believe Hoke is doing it with a little smoke and mirrors. Meaning, they still are not a great defensive team. They've held three teams down but Notre Dame did put up 31 points and 513 yards. This defense is vulnerable, but are we good enough to take advantage?
  3. How much do I hate Bucky the Badger? - I'm sitting here watching game day, trying to think of a good third question, and Bucky is on the screen. I hate Bucky don't you?

The Answers

Well, today could be ugly and the reason many of us believe it will be ugly is because of Robinson. If there is some way that we can keep him from making big plays with this legs then this game might not get ugly. We need to keep him from running off huge plays and we need to keep him from manufacturing a lot of third down conversions. Make him beat us with his arm. He isn't a terrible passer but running is clearly his biggest strength.

Offensively it will be interesting to see what we do. Are we going to try and run the ball effectively? Our rushing attack has been getting better throughout the season and I was actually really impressed with Bennett. And really the biggest question with our offense is who will be starting at QB. Maybe Gray is injured, maybe it is an excuse to start the true freshman, or maybe he gets a chance to match Robinson yard for yard.

At the beginning of the year I was more optimistic about this game. But Michigan has been a little better than advertised and we have been worse than I was anticipating. So I'm not holding out hope for a win. What I want to see is some reason to believe that we are getting better. I want to see some identity on offense and I want to see some competitiveness. I want to see a good game.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join The Daily Gopher

You must be a member of The Daily Gopher to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Daily Gopher. You should read them.

Join The Daily Gopher

You must be a member of The Daily Gopher to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Daily Gopher. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker