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Illinois vs. Minnesota - the quickest preview of the year

Sorry for the lack of JG's quality preview this afternoon. Life sometimes gets in the way of blogging. I'll drop you my top 3 keys for the game and then it is your responsibility to share your predictions with world.

  1. Running the Ball - Illinois is the only team in the conference worse at stopping the run than we are and that has to be exploited. I hope this game looks like the Northwestern and Purdue games where we finally decide to run until we are stopped. Look for Kevin Whaley to get going for his breakout game. The offensive line has improved as the season has gone along and this is the game for them to establish and own the line of scrimmage.
  2. Big Plays and BIG receivers - The Gopher D gives up big plays and the Illini live on big plays. This could be an ugly trend. Along with that the Illini have big receivers who should tower over our smallish corners. Both of these could pose a pretty big problem. The key to all of this will be our front seven. Keep Juice contained and get a pass rush on him so he cannot get the ball to his receivers.
  3. Keep the playbook open - This is a little contrary to the first point, but last week it looked like they had their third new offense in 12 months. We racked up tons of yards and 42 points, while I want the running game to dominate the day, I wouldn't mind seeing the offense move the ball up and down the field again.

Your thoughts?