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Gophers Head to Happy Valley to Face Penn State - OPEN THREAD

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PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS Game 4 MINNESOTA GOPHERS
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Date:

October 1, 2016

Location: Happy Valley
Time: 2:30 PM Central Stadium: Beaver Stadium
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: KFAN (100.3 FM)
Gophers Radio Network
XM Ch 195
Sirius Ch 136
SiriusXM195
Internet Stream: BTN2Go Know Thy Foe: Black Shoe Diaries
Weather: high of 65, good chance of rain
Line: Penn State -3

3 Keys, 2 Players to Watch, 1 Prediction

Maroon_key_medium Offensive Variety - Yes, we need to run the ball effectively against a defense that has been really bad at stopping the run. But they'll be focused on that and the Gopher offense needs to keep the PSU D on it's heels with balanced and creative play-calling (this might really confuse Limegrover on the other sidlelines). But I trust Leidner in this hostile environment and the PSU defense isn't that scary. I hope to see plenty of variety on offense with a balanced attack that takes advantage of what's given.

Maroon_key_medium Special Teams - Special teams may play a big part in today's game. Conditions appear to be wet and not exactly ideal. Winning the field position battle and making a timely FGs may be a deciding factor. Our kicking game has been just fine and Jalen Myrick is a dangerous return man who could flip the field quickly for us. Winning special teams could be huge for us.

Maroon_key_medium Eliminated Big Plays - The Nittany Lions have some very talented wide receivers to go along with a potent rushing attack. We may contain Barkley but I fear we'll be susceptible to big plays over the top. This concerns me very much and not giving anything like this up may be the difference for the defense.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #26 - RB - Saquon Barkley - first real RB the Gophers have faced all year and he must be contained
  • #35 - LB - Brandon Smith - The one starter remaining from a unit that has had a ton of injuries.

PREDICTION

I don't like the fact that this is on the road and facing a team that was embarrassed last weekend. The Gophers have thus far struggled with offensive mistakes and defensive lapses that lead to big plays. Both of those are going to cost the Gophers if they don't clean it up. I'm calling for a Gopher loss here. May God have mercy on my soul.

Minnesota - 27
Penn State - 28