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Minnesota at Michigan With Little Brown Jug on the Line - OPEN TREAD

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Leon Halip
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES Game 5 MINNESOTA GOPHERS
Large_thedailygopher.com.full_medium

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Large_thedailygopher.com.full_medium
Date:

Sept 27, 2014

Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Time: 2:30 PM Central Stadium: Michigan Stadium
TV: ABC Radio: KOOL 108 (107.9 FM)
Gophers Radio Network
XM Ch 84
Sirius Ch 84
Internet Stream: BTN2Go.com
BTN2Go Mobile App
Know Thy Foe: Maize N Brew
Weather: 76 degrees and sunny...perfect
Line: Michigan by -13

3 Keys, 2 Players to Watch, 1 Prediction

Maroon_key_medium TURNOVERS - Both of Michigan's losses this year were not because they gave up a ton of yards and were walked all over. Nope. Notre Dame had 280 total yards (just 54 rushing). Utah had 286 (81 rushing). The common denominator in those losses? TURNOVERS. Michigan committed four turnovers in each of those games. I am not expecting that we'll push them around at the line of scrimmage. I am not expecting that our defense will frustrate and dominate their offense all day. We can play with them on both sides of the ball but I think it will be hard to win without winning the turnover battle.

Maroon_key_medium 3rd Downs - Our only other challenging opponent with a decent defense put our offense in long third down situations all afternoon. Considering our passing limitations, this would spell disaster for the Gophers in Ann Arbor. Keeping ourselves in manageable third downs allows for at least a little creativity to keep the defense on their heels.

Maroon_key_medium Be Disciplined - Last week the Gophers racked up a LOT of penalties. If anything prevented Minnesota from accumulating more points it was our penalties that killed several drives. Can't happen today. Along the same lines, we need to be disciplined defensively. Michigan is really struggling right now and allowing them a couple big plays to give them some confidence and momentum will also be a really bad thing for Minnesota.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #1 - WR - Devin Funchess - Our secondary will certainly be tested today by the large and very talented Funchess. In last year's match-up Funchess had 7 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown (that's a seasons worth of stats for some of our receivers). I'd really like to see somebody else beat us if we are to lose today.
  • #47 - LB - Jake Ryan - Team's leading tackler and a pre-season All-Big Ten caliber player. Ryan will lead a front-seven keen on shutting down our run game offense.

PREDICTION

Part of me sees a way where we can actually win this game. Part of me thinks we lose big. The Michigan offense is really struggling right now if we can keep them frustrated and land a couple early turnovers...I like our chances. If they get a big play or two early to gain some confidence, it could be a long day for us.

I'm going with the emotional hedge today. I think Michigan wins but will be thrilled when we get The Jug back.

Minnesota - 13

Michigan - 28