Game Time: 11:00 AM
Radio: 100.3 FM, 1130 AM
Two Big Ten teams sitting at 0-2 in the conference and looking for an opportunity to get their season back on track.
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||Northwestern Wildcats|
|Points / Game||31.2||33.5|
|3rd Down %||45.3%||41.6%
|Key Offensive Player to Watch||
|3rd Down %||42.9%||46.3%|
|Key Defensive Player to Watch||
Don't turn the ball over - Northwestern has made a living this year off of turnovers. You may notice above that they have given up a lot of yards and points this season. But their defense has been opportunistic and have given their offense a lot of possessions. They lead the Big Ten with a +7 turnover ratio. If the Gophers want to have a shot today, they need to no add to that number, we cannot afford to give away possessions.
Pound the rock - Mitch Leidner is a power runner and if this offense has an identity it is a power-rushing team. The Northwestern defense has been susceptible to power running teams and today they are without starting defensive tackle, Sean McEvilly. Run the ball, run the ball and convert third downs. This offense doesn't have to get cute, just try to control the line of scrimmage and run the ball.
Limit the big plays - A big Venric Mark run early in the game last year, after a Gopher fumble on the opening kickoff put the Gophers in a big, early hole. Mark is questionable for today as is Kain Colter, another big-play threat for the Wildcats. But make this offense march down the field and don't give them any big plays.
The Gophers need to get off to a good start and just play their game. Run the ball, pound Northwestern.