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Gophers v Cougars in Holiday Bowl - OPEN THREAD

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS Game 13 MINNESOTA GOPHERS
Anti Bucky

vs

Large_thedailygopher.com.full_medium
Date:

December 27, 2016

Location: San Diego, CA
Time: 2:30 PM Central Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium
TV: ESPN Radio: KFAN 100.3
Gophers Radio Network
SiriusXM 196
XM Ch 196
Sirius Ch 135
Internet Stream: ESPN3 Know Thy Foe: Coug Center
Weather: it's San Diego.
Line: Washington State -10.5

3 Keys, 2 Players to Watch, 1 Prediction

Maroon_key_medium Must Get a Good Game From Leidner - I wrote this for the Badger game and I was dead on for nearly 3 quarters, then "bad Mitch" showed up and it turned into a disaster. On the bright side, a couple of Leidner's best games have come in bowls (never mind that he's 1-2, with this only win over a MAC team). But he's played well in this three bowl game appearances and there is no getting around that this is his final game as a Gopher. But we need him to play well if we want to win.

Maroon_key_medium Secondary Help - It is no secret that the secondary is depleted and we are facing a team that excels at passing the ball. This equation is not one that bodes well for the Gophers but there is opportunity for the defensive line to get unexpected pressure and a couple of younger members of the secondary to make an impression for 2017.

Maroon_key_mediumControl the Clock - The last time we played it was a matter of finding a way to score. But this time we need to avoid a shootout. Our defense is depleted and their's isn't particularly strong, if this game is in the upper 30s or 40s, I do not suspect we will win this game. Force them into 3rd downs, convert our own and control the clock.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #4 - QB - Luke Falk - This guy will have the ball in his hand an awfu lot this evening and he'll have ample opportunity to do damage with his arm.
  • #50 - DL - Hercules Mata’afa - 12.5 TFLs, get a body on this guy and keep him out of our backfield.

PREDICTION

To be honest, I do not see us winning this game. If we win I expect the ground game to dominate and somebody (Durr) in the secondary to have an unexpectedly good game. But it'll take a near perfect game to pull this one off with our depleted secondary.

Minnesota - 27
Washington State - 35