After all of the stats arguments of the past week, its finally time for our teams to get on the field and settle this by playing football! So take a seat math nerds, its time for the athletes to run this show again! This game arguably is one of the bigger games the Gophers have played in the recent few seasons. In fact, one can argue that this game MAY, and emphasis on MAY be one of the most important under Jerry Kill when you look at the implications it has for the future of how the Gophers are perceived by the national media and fair weather fans in the Twin Cities. Gopher win and not crap the bed the next two VERY winnable weeks, and that Iowa game is HUGE for both fan and media interest. Northwestern wins, and its same old Minnesota all over again. Well..as you see below, we have some hopes that the former will happen, not the latter.
Gophers rush for 250 yards. Melvin Gordon is damn good, and he almost ran for 260 by himself against Northwestern last week.. If the Gophers can have David Cobb go for 175, it's definitely in the realm of possibilities that Mitch + Berkley + Nugget = 75 more.
The Gopher defense makes a game changing play. it might not be a pick-6 like last year from James Manuel, or in Ann Arbor like De'Vondre Campbell, but the Gophers will either get a huge interception, or fumble recovery that may or may not go for 6, but will have a huge impact on the game.
Maxx Williams will have a Touchdown. Everyone knows he is the Gophers best target, especially in the red zone, and I think Mitch finds him at least once.
Mitch Leidner will NOT throw 4 interceptions. firstly, Jerry Kill and Matt Limegrover will not put him in a position to have the potential to throw four interceptions. The Gophers will work shorter and safer routes like we saw against Michigan. Mitch might let one get away, but he knows how important winning the turnover battle will be to this game.
If Called Upon, Ryan Santoso has a perfect day. Its highly possible that leaving any points on the field will be a critical mistake this week. If called upon, Santoso needs to knock down every kick. One may be the difference between 5-1 and 4-2.
The Gophers look competent on offense again. After the first few weeks, we were all worried what we would see. However two weeks ago the Gophers executed a gameplan that worked perfectly. Northwestern will be looking to stop the run and force Mitch to air the ball out, but if they can be smart with play calling and put him in positions to succeed and not get stuck in several third and longs, the Gophers will have a much better day.
NO ONE GETS HURT. I MEAN SERIOUSLY!! STAY HEALTHY!!!!
No Minnesota turnovers. It's always a hope, but becomes even more important in a game like this.
Run the ball effectively like you have done all season
Stop the Northwestern run and make Siemian have to move in the pocket.
Win the field position battle. Have Mortell pin the Wildcats deep.
Have a large loud crowd into the game and make an impact to how Northwestern plays on offense
Play good smart football, win the game and takeover the top spot in the Big Ten West!