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Minnesota Gophers vs. Missouri Tigers in Citrus Bowl - OPEN THREAD

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
MISSOURI TIGERS Game 13 MINNESOTA GOPHERS

vs

Large_thedailygopher.com.full_medium
Date:

January 1, 2015

Location: Orlando, FL
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium
TV: ABC Radio: KFAN 100.3
Gophers Radio Network
XM Ch 84
Sirius Ch 84
SiriusXM 84
Internet Stream: WatchESPN Know Thy Foe: Rock M Nation
Weather: 76 degrees and mostly sunny
Line: Missouri by -4.5

3 Keys, 2 Players to Watch, 1 Prediction

Maroon_key_medium Must Get a Good Game From Leidner - This is pretty important each and every game but particularly important this afternoon. The Missouri front-seven is very good and running the ball is going to be challenging. If Mitch can be accurate and complete some key passes, particularly to Maxx Williams, then maybe David Cobb can find some running room. But we cannot have "bad Mitch" today.

Maroon_key_medium Stop the Run - Tiger's QB, Maty Mauk is also prone to having some bad games. Missouri has a good rushing attack as well and slowing it down will be important. If we force some longer third downs, then Mauk has to throw more and maybe he gives us a gift or two. I really do love and trust our secondary. Slow down Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy, then force Mauk into obvious passing situations.

Maroon_key_medium Win Special Teams - We have been pretty good at flipping field position, but it is more than just that. This could really be the difference in the game if both teams don't do anything to beat themselves. A big return, a few field goals, maybe a blocked kick...something to be a difference making play would be awfully nice.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #7 - QB - Maty Mauk - Couple good running backs to hand to and Bud Sasser has better receiving numbers than all Gopher receivers combined. But Mauk has the power to do great harm to either the Gopher or his own team.
  • #56 - DT - Shane Ray - Anytime you face a guy who is likely a top 10 draft pick in the upcoming draft, he is the guy to watch. He will be a handful.

PREDICTION

I really like how these teams match-up and I do see ways in which the Gophers are able to win this game. I hope that the first couple drives have both teams just trading a first down or two and punting. No momentum swings early and let the Gophers get their feet under them. We'll figure out a way to move the ball. I will predict that the Gophers come in with sharp focus and a good game-plan, they win a close one.

Minnesota - 27

Missouri - 20