Game Time: 5:00 PM
Radio: 100.3 FM, 1130 AM
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||Syracuse Orange|
|Points / Game||26.4||22.8|
|3rd Down %||41.8%||37.9%
|Key Offensive Player to Watch||David Cobb||Jerome Smith|
|3rd Down %||35.6%||32.2%|
|Key Defensive Player to Watch||Jay Bromley|
Own the line of scrimmage - I am expecting that the Gopher offensive line will control the Orange front-seven and will open up holes for a ground game that will rack up a lot of yards. And on the flip side, I think seeing Hageman wreak havoc in the backfield for four more quarters will go a long way towards securing this bowl win. Winning this battle is important, but it should also be noted that we kind of dominated LOS last year against Texas Tech but that didn't exactly lead to a victory.
Establish run to set up big plays through the air - Talking with TNIAAM's John in our TDG Hangout, we learned that the Orange secondary is a major weakness. Unfortunately our passing game isn't exactly a strength of ours. What I think would blow this game open is establishing the run and really committing to that first will lead to just a few big plays through the air. A wide open Maxx Williams streaking up the seam or Donovahn Jones getting a couple steps on an Orange corner on one-on-one. We don't need to attempt 40 passes, just need to complete a couple for big plays.
Don't give up a big lead in epic fashion - I know we are not facing Texas Tech so the likelihood of this is less likely, but it is still worth mentioning as a key to winning. When we build a big lead, do not assume it is safe. Instead, build on it and make the final several minutes boring.