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Minnesota Football: Season Opens Against TCU on a Steamy Night - OPEN THREAD

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
TCU HORNED FROGS Game 1 MINNESOTA GOPHERS

vs

Large_thedailygopher.com.full_medium
Date:

September 3, 2015

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 8:00 PM Central Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
TV: ESPN Radio: KFAN 100.3
Gophers Radio Network
Internet Stream: WatchESPN Know Thy Foe: Frogs O'War
Weather: 84 degrees and HUMID
Line: TCU by -14.5

3 Keys, 2 Players to Watch, 1 Prediction

Maroon_key_medium Special Teams - An early misstep from the punt team gave TCU a short field, leading to a touchdown and the Gopher offense was now faced with an uphill battle against what was a really good TCU defense. Special Teams has to win today. Big punts, great coverage and maybe a big play or two of our own. Must win field position battle and make that Horned Frogs offense go the distance. Last year their only touchdowns came on short fields, do not give them such a thing tonight.

Maroon_key_medium Win 3rd and Short - Our offense is not a dangerous one that can strike for six at any given moment. It certainly could happen but not going to be a frequent occurrence in 2015 (happy to be wrong here). But we do need to score touchdowns tonight and it extending drives on manageable third downs is going to be huge. Not only will it give us greater opportunity to score, but it keeps the TCU offense off the field. Convert 3rd downs please.

Maroon_key_medium Contain Boykin - A Heisman candidate is obviously an extremely talented player and this one is one who is capable of beating teams with his legs or his arm. I'd like to see him contained in the pocket and take my chances against his arm. Why? Because I really trust our secondary. Keep Boykin in the pocket, be disciplined in contain and make him beat us through the air. He and his receivers are very good through the air but we will win some of those matchups.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #2 - QB - Trevone Boykin - Duh! He is a front-runner to win the award for the best player in college football. And lucky us, we get to face him in week 1. He should be fun to watch, it will be even better to watch the Gopher defense keep him in check. Then when he goes off on the rest of the Big 12 it will only improve the perception about our defense.
  • #57 - DT - Davion Pierson - Preseason All-Big 12, returning player with 8.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks. Keeping that interior pocket clean for Leidner has been a priority for the Gopher offense this offseason and this TCU front-seven should be a good test. James McFarland would have been the name here but he does not appear on the 2-deep and may be one of two mystery defensive players not going to be playing tonight.

PREDICTION

TCU has the nation's longest streak of scoring 30 points or more. That streak ends tonight. But the Gophers cannot score enough to win. Moral victories of holding TCU to under 30 and finishing within the spread. Respectable performance but in the end we don't have enough juice to finish on top.

Minnesota - 13

TCU - 20