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Gophers Hit The Road Seeking Win Over Illinois - OPEN THREAD

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI Game 8 MINNESOTA GOPHERS
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Date:

October 25, 2014

Location: Champaign, IL
Time: 11:00 AM Central Stadium: Memorial Stadium
TV: ESPNU Radio:

KOOL 108 (107.9 FM)
Gophers Radio Network
XM Ch 195
Sirius Ch 113
Sirius XM 195

Internet Stream: WatchESPN.com
WatchESPN Mobile App
Know Thy Foe: The Champaign Room
Weather: 76 degrees and sunny...perfect
Line: Minnesota by -5.5

3 Keys, 2 Players to Watch, 1 Prediction

Maroon_key_medium Control the Clock - We run the ball, it's what we do, and Illinois has struggled with their rushing defense. This is one of those situations where our strength matches up with their weakness. As with all 12 games we need to do what we do, in this case it will be important to control the clock. Dominate time of possession and walk away with their second Big Ten road win.

Maroon_key_medium Start Strong - Illinois has started well against Nebraska and Wisconsin before falling apart. We have not typically started strong but I'd love to see a lengthy drive on our first possession that ends in six points. And a couple early three-and-outs by the defense. Start strong, make it clear we are here to play and come away with our seventh win.

Maroon_key_medium Avoid Mistakes - I think on paper this is a great match-up for us. Their strength is throwing the ball, our passing defense is really good. We run the ball very well, they don't exactly stop the ball. I think we control this game unless we make a number of mistakes that Illinois capitalizes on. No stupid turnovers, limit penalties and be sharp on special teams.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #18 - WR - Mike Dudek - freshman receiver who is 4th in the Big Ten in receiving yards per game. As always, I really enjoy watching Eric Murray defending the opponent's best receiver.
  • #43 - LB - Mason Monheim - Wracked up a lot of tackles this year, which will happen when you've already faced Nebraska and Wisconsin.

PREDICTION

I'm really surprised that the Gophers are only 5.5 pt favorites, I think we win this one by 2 TDs or more. I just like how we matchup and don't see us making enough mistakes to make a game of this.

Minnesota - 28

Illinois - 13