Minnesota Football: Gophers at Michigan Preview - Bring Me A Jug!

Jim Rogash

Anyone else kind of wish this was a bye week?

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"OH HAI THERE JUG!"

The trophy that everyone loves that just so happens to be tied to a game that we typically expect to lose. It's a crappy combo is it not? In any case, this Michigan team is not invincible. Definitely better than Minnesota, but not invincible. Jug party at Manny's? A guy can dream...

SOME LIGHT PRE-PREVIEW READING...

History Of The Jug - aka Why Oscar Munson Is An Awesome Historical Figure

Models and Bottles - Oscar Munson Edition

Rival Bloggler Q&A -Michigan Edition

Gopher Depth Chart For Michigan

Preview From Across Enemy Lines - Maize n Brew

OPENING THOUGHTS

I'd love to say I think we're going to win this one. It would be the ultimate palate cleanser following that thing that happened last weekend. But thanks to that thing that happened, such a prediction is pretty much impossible to make. Right now, I'm just looking for improvements in areas the Gophers struggle in and a competitive game.

Goldy Cap gnome thinks Michigan is best represented by the following:

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All that talent, underachieving, yet still winning in the end. Michigan Football 2013.

THE BASICS

When and Where:

2:30 PM CST; Michigan Stadium; Ann Arbor, MI

Media:

TV: ABC/ESPN2

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Radio: KFAN (100.3 in the Twin Cities) and the Gopher Radio Network (Radio Affiliates). You can also listen to the game via the IHeartRadio app for your mobile device.

Internet: WatchABC/WatchESPN for your computer or mobile device.

Weather Forecast:

Tailgate:

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Gametime:

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Postgame:

75% Chance Of:

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THE ENEMY

Enemy Blog: Maize n Brew

Where Are They From?

Ann Arbor, MI

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Series History:

It's depressing and I don't want to talk about it. What? You still want a stat? You're into self multilation aren't you? The Wolverines lead the overall series 68-22-8 since the teams started playing for the Little Brown Jug.

Last Season:

Beat the Gophers 35-13 at TCF Bank Stadium, a game that looked winnable for a while before the Gopher defense let Devin Gardner run in circles for 4 minutes and then connect on a long pass play. All downhill from there.

2013 Season To Date:

A very weak 4-0, including almost losses to Akron (they of the 28 game road losing streak and three consecutive 1-11 seasons) and UConn (who just fired their coach in a season where TOWSON STATE beat them).

Per GopherSports:

The Wolverines' rushing attack is led by Fitzgerald Toussaint and quarterback Devin Gardner, who both average better than 75 yards per game. Gardner has thrown for 801 yards in four games, with Jeremy Gallon (82.0 yards per game) as his favorite target.

On defense, Blake Countess has three interceptions this year. Raymon Taylor is the team's leading tackler with 25 on the season.

Coaches:

Head Coach: Brady Hoke (3rd season)

Fun facts on Hoke:

- Always refers to OSU as "Ohio" in public (and probably in private too).

- Helped expose Joel Maturi as extra incompetent at coaching searches when he was seen flying to San Diego on a commercial flight for a meeting with Hoke.

- He ate a guy. True story.*

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*Not a true story.

3 Players to Watch:

1) Devin Gardner (QB - Jr): He could both win or lose this game for Michigan. Well, mostly lose. If there is one thing the Akron and UConn games have shown it's that Michigan can overcome Gardner mistakes if you let them. He also has the talent and athleticism to make it a long day for Minnesota. On the year, Gardner has completed just over 57% of his passes for 801 yards, 7 TD's, and 8 INT's.

2) Jeremy Gallon (WR - Sr): He's kind of a big deal, having pulled in one third of the teams receptions (22 of 62) and nearly triple the number of the #2 receiver. He's a big play guy and is averaging nearly 15 yards per reception on the year. He's good and stuff.

3) Blake Countess (DB - RS Soph): Blake is 4th in the team in solo tackles (10), assisted tackles (10), and total tackles (20). He leads the team with 3 interceptions, which is good for a tie for 5th in the country. We probably don't want to throw in his direction.

Keys to the Game:

- Play to our strengths: Run. The. Damn. Ball. If the Gophers can't run the ball we're probably sunk.

- Hit the open receivers: When the Gophers do pass, they can't miss open receivers. Completion %, completion %, completion %.

- Pressure Gardner: Devin makes most of his mistakes when he is pressured. The Gophers didn't get anything going against Iowa in the pass rush. If that happens again then there will be trouble.

How Afraid Am I?

On a scale of 1 to 5 "Brewsters on his face" (1 being not a afraid, 5 being very afraid)?

4 Timmy's on their face and a Brewstache afraid.

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Talk me off my ledge guys.

Completely Worthless Prediction:

I'm sorry everyone, but I don't have a good feeling about this game. I just don't. Maybe it's the ucky weather outside dragging me down. I think the Gophers do better offensively than last week, but have several drives fail due to getting stuffed on 3rd and short or by missing conversions through the air. Gardner gives us room to hope early and then settles into a groove.

Gophers 13, Michigan 30

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