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Gopher Football Hosts UNVL in Season Opener - OPEN THREAD

Game Time: 6:00 PM
Radio: 107.9 FM

FINALLY 2013 (and #Year3) is underway. You've come to the online water-cooler to talk about the game before, during and after. Give us your reaction to every Gopher score as we roll to victory #1.

The Stats (2012)

Minnesota Golden Gophers UNLV Running Rebels
Points / Game 22.1 22.0
Pass Yards 169.5 218.8
Rush Yards 151.9 149.1
3rd Down % 36.3% 41.0%
Key Offensive Player to Watch Donnell Kirkwood
Roderick Williams

Tim Cornett
Points Allowed/Game 24.7 32.6
Pass Yards 186.6 238.2
Rush Yards 172.0 207.1
3rd Down % 41.8% 45.8%
Key Defensive Player to Watch Ra'Shede Hageman ??

UNLV was last year's opening opponent and it took the Gophers 3 OTs to finally knock them off.

3 Keys

Maroon_key_medium Run the ball effectively. The Gophers will run, then run, then run, then run, maybe play-action and then run, run, run, run. If they can do it effectively for more than 3 yards at a time this should bode very well for the Gopher offense. In tonight's heat this will wear down the UNLV defense, which isn't very good at stopping the run anyway.

Score touchdowns -
I anticipate we will move the all down the field and control the clock. But it is vital that we finish drives with touchdowns. Getting held to FGs may give the UNLV a sliver of confidence and considering our question marks at kicker those drives could potentially result in 0 points. Get into the redzone and score 6.

Maroon_key_medium The Gopher defensive front-seven - Our new linebackers need to stop the UNLV rushing attack as their best player is running back, Tim Cornett. He is a legit running threat, and our rush defense wasn't all that impressive last year either. Cornett averaged 5.0 yards per carry last year and that needs to change tonight. In addition to that, when the UNLV offense decides to pass, I'd love to see several sacks by our front-four.

I am convinced that this is going to be a big Gopher win. I feel like I'm entering into "overconfident" territory (Jeffrick and JD may recall their overconfidence-ness vs. NDSU a few years ago). Last year was close because of Gopher mistakes at key moments. This year will see a more fundamentally sound team that just happens to be more talented and stronger.

We will run for many yards, we will control the ball and we will see Mitch Leidner under center in the 4th quarter.