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Minnesota Football: Gophers Host #21 Michigan State - OPEN THREAD

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Following upset of Michigan, the Spartans come to Minnesota

Minnesota v Michigan State Photo by Mark A. Cunningham/Getty Images

Riding high after their surprising win over Michigan. The #21 Spartans travel to Minnesota while the Gophers are looking for their first Big Ten win.

3 KEYS

  • Win Special Teams - Time to regain the edge in field position, nailing FGs and gaining some momentum from the return game (yes Coach, I know there is no such thing as momentum). But Special Teams needs to come up in a big way today because it is really going to be tough to move the ball on the Spartans defense.
  • Find a Way to Move the Ball - Did I mention it will be tough to move the ball on this defense? They are a dang good defense and our offense hasn’t exactly been explosive or keeping Big Ten defensive coordinators awake at night. But we have to find a way to get their defense off balance and move the ball into scoring range.
  • Win Third Down - The Spartans have been really good on third down this year, on both sides of the ball. Minnesota, on the other hand, has been in the middle of the pack. But today the Gophers need some key third down stops and more importantly they’ll need some key conversions.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • QB - Brian Lewerke - His numbers are not terribly impressive but the kid is efficient. Only 2 picks on the year and over 61% completions. Which is good for the 7th best QB Efficiency in the Big Ten.
  • DB - Joe Bachie - 3rd in the Big Ten in tackles with 2 sacks to add to his impressive tackle total.

PREDICTION

I’m more confident than I probably should be. This is a trap game in the making for the Spartans. Not because they are looking ahead to their Indiana game next week, but riding high after the Michigan win it is easy to think that this is game they’ll win by showing up. In fact they are probably reading how 4-0 heading to Northwestern, probably 5-0 heading into their Penn State game with a shot at winning the East. It is very easy for college kids to be complacent.

But I still think they win. Their defense is much better than the Gopher offense. Scoring is going to be a struggle.

Minnesota - 13
Michigan State - 21