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Minnesota Hosts Michigan in Emotional Game for Little Brown Jug - OPEN THREAD

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MICHIGAN WOLVERINES Game 8 MINNESOTA GOPHERS
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Date:

October 31, 2015

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 6:00 PM Central Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
TV: ESPN Radio: KOOL 108 (107.9 FM)
Gophers Radio Network
XM Ch 84
Sirius Ch 84
Internet Stream: ESPN3 Know Thy Foe: Maize N Brew
Weather: 54 degrees
Line: Michigan by -11.5

3 Keys, 2 Players to Watch, 1 Prediction

Maroon_key_medium Play Loose on Offense - The Michigan defense has put up some impressive numbers this year and is near the top of the country in a number of categories. It is going to come down to finding ways to move the chains and get first downs. Michigan has kept opponents to under 20% on third down this year through seven games. That's kinda good. I'm hoping the Gopher offense plays loose a little bit and we see one of the "good games" from Limegrover. Motions, different formations, take some shots and put Michigan's defense on it's heels a little.

Maroon_key_medium 3rd Downs & Turnovers - Mentioned above but the game really might come down to these two things. Get Michigan to punt, their offense isn't anything special. And we move the chains three plays at a time. Then clearly not turning the ball over. Win these two things and a win isn't out of the question.

Maroon_key_medium Control Emotions - No doubt this has been a tough week for the Gophers. And tonight is going to be an emotional game. No doubt they desperately want to win this for Coach and keep the Jug (which will be forever renamed Jerry's Jug in my book). These emotions can go one of two ways. If channeled well, it can lead to inspired play and a big win over a ranked team. Or the kids can get too hyped, make mistakes and things go the wrong direction. Using the force emotions in the right way can carry us.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #15 - QB - Jake Rudock - Who Hates Iowa? The Michigan QB has been prone to interceptions and that's what I'm looking for here.
  • #69 - DT - Willie Henry - Nine sacks on the season and a force up the middle for the Michigan defense. Our OL struggles at times so keeping Henry in check will be kind of important.

PREDICTION

I don't think Michigan was nearly as bad as last year indicated but I also do not think they are quite as good as they appear this year either.

Obviously I should pick Michigan to win but I'm going with the emotional "win one for Coach." There will be a few really big plays for the Gophers tonight. Maybe a long pass, maybe one of the RBs finally breaks off a long one rather than getting tripped up with wide open spaces in front, maybe defensive pick-six or maybe a special teams return. Expect 2 big plays for touchdowns and then Rudock throws a couple picks and the Gophers hold off Michigan to keep Jerry's Jug.

Minnesota - 24
Michigan - 20