This has been the weirdest week for me. It feels like a lifetime since the TCU game and work has me beat down to the point where I'm not nearly as excited for Saturday as I should be. That said, I still feel pretty good about the second game on Minnesota's schedule. I think anything from a nail-biter to a decent 10 point Minnesota win is in the cards, but I'm not fearful that the Gophers will lose. You shall see that reflected later in the Brewsters.
What's that? You are sad there was no Big Ten gnome snark this week? Yea, me too. The gnomes texted me yesterday saying they were still quarreling over what Twitter handle to pick for their new account and that I should check back with them next week. I told them they should just go with @GopherGnomes but they said Goldy Hat Gnome had some wild pun based names and that he was filibustering the vote until everyone let him talk about them.
Overalls Gnome still stopped by to talk Colorado State though. His main thought?
CSU and their fans are hungry for another program validating win over a P5 school, something that he expects Coach Kill and the staff have stressed this week when preparing the team. Also, GOULET!
Kickoff Time: 2:30 PM CST
Where: Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
TV: CBS Sports Network
Streaming Video: Honest to goodness I'm not sure. CBS doesn't make clear at all what will carry it. I think this link will work, but I can't promise you that. Probably better off just adding the sports tier CBSSN is on to your package today and then dropping it on Sunday.
Radio: KFAN (100.3 in the Twin Cities) and the Gopher Radio Network (Radio Affiliates).
Streaming Audio: Locate KFAN on IHeartRadio.comm (or the IHeartRadio app for your mobile device)
Satellite Radio: SiriusXM 195; Sirius 135; XM 195
Spread: Minnesota by 5 across multiple sites.
Over/Under: 54 to 55, depending on the site
If you're in Fort Collins tomorrow, prepare to enjoy yourself!
Where Are They From?
Fort Collins, CO
That's ok I guess. If you like mountains and sunsets and the like. Which I doubt you do because no one likes those things. It's why everyone hates Denver. Right? People hate Denver? I heard that people hate Denver.
Now where were we again?
All Time Series: Minnesota is 2-0 all time against Colorado State. Good win Glen Mason era Gophers!
Last Season: 10-3 (6-2 MWC). Colorado State rode their explosive offense to a great season and promptly lost their head coach to Florida. Which I would assume is a trade that CSU fans would make most years (better to be good with a new coach then bad with the same guy, right?).
2014 To Date: Defeated "conference rival" Savannah State 65-13. (NOTE: I had to do it, ya'll know I'm not serious) This tells us nothing about Colorado State other than they like to NOM on cupcakes, as they should. It is in that tasty baked goods spirit that Overalls Gnome presents you with these cupcake related GIFs.
I see noted Michigan fan Bart Simpson has found the Appalachian State cupcake.
Head Coach: Mike Bobo is 1-0 against baked goods in his first season at the helm of Colorado State. Prior to moving to Fort Collins he was the offensive coordinator at Georgia.
Players To Watch:
1) Rashard Higgins (WR - Junior): "Hollywood Higgins" has his own website and sweet haircuts.
He's also known for catching a lot of footballs and making big plays, leading the nation last season in receiving yards (1,750) and touchdown catches (17) last season. His 96 catches in 2014 was also a CSU record. SB Nation's Bill C was certainly impressed:
Higgins is a stunning athlete to watch -- his ability to find open spaces downfield despite double-coverage (in his last eight games of 2014, he averaged 8.5 catches and 168 yards per game) was incredible -- but his complementary pieces assure defenses can't focus only on him.
Higgins has an ankle sprain of unspecified seriousness, but is expected to play tomorrow. Time to go to work BBC/Carter.
2) Martavius Foster (DT, Senior): One concerning thing for Minnesota following the TCU loss is the status of the offensive line, which is one reason their play against CSU's d-line was a matchup to watch. The most notable player on that d-line is senior lineman Martavius Foster. As you might have read in our Q&A with Mountain West Connection, Martavius is not to be overlooked:
The former JUCO tight end may have found his stride at defensive tackle after a couple years of position changes. Foster was constantly in Savannah State's backfield, tallying three sacks and adversely affecting the Tigers run game all afternoon. Stopping the run game starts in the trenches and he will need to hold his own.
3) Cory James (Linebacker, Junior): In order to beat Minnesota the Rams will have to stop the Gophers from putting up points (yes, that means I think Minnesota will hold their offense in check for the most part). If Colorado State is able to contain the Minnesota run game Cory will have to play well. MWConnection thinks he's up the task:
James may be the best defensive talent on the field if it does not always show in the stats. James speed and size makes him a difficult player to block and he will play a key role in the Rams pass defense.
Keys To The Game
- No turnovers: Minnesota should win this game, but the Gophers aren't playing Savannah State. If they hand the ball over to Colorado State they'll likely pay for it on the scoreboard and by giving CSU fans a reason to get extra hyped up.
- Bend, don't break: Give Higgins his yards and catches all you want, but prevent the big plays and get the stop when it counts. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather see the Gophers defense shut out CSU but I have enough respect for their talent to believe that won't happen all the time.
- Protect Mitch: If he's given time to work I believe Mitch will complete throws when needed and give this team the QB play it needs to win.
How Afraid Am I?
For those who don't know, this is a bit where I rank my fear by saying how many Tim Brewsters I am afraid of the opponent. The more Tim Brewsters I list, the more afraid I am...because the memory of Timmy Brew is scary for all Gophers fans. Typically this is done on a scale of 1 to 5 "Brewsters on his face" in the Metrodome. I'm continuing my new "tradition" of getting Brew out of the Dome. I still need a change of pace..
I'm 2.5 Brews among the Rockies afraid of Colorado State.
The people of Fort Collins should make sure to sue Timmy for crushing their homes and campus with his flat on the face routine. That was rude of Tim.
Completely Worthless Prediction
Mitch completes 60% of his passes, Higgins is held without a touchdown, and the Gophers move to 1-1 on the year.
Minnesota 27- Colorado State 17