Last week the Gophers were nearly 2 touchdown favorites at home and lost to Maryland. This week they travel to a much improved Purdue team that had a week to rest and prepare. Can the Gophers, with a depleted secondary, come away with a road win?
- Slow down the passing game - This is the one and only key in my opinion. Passing the ball and doing it well is what Purdue does best. And the Gopher secondary is going to be rather depleted. That is a bad matchup for us. Whether that is by scheme or by play-makers or dumb luck...find a way to slow down the passing game. This is huge.
- The Ball is the Program - Turnovers are huge, particularly for this team. We are not good enough to beat any Big Ten team while losing the turnover battle, particularly on the road. Being plus two would go a long way towards winning today.
- Win Third Down - Purdue hasn’t been very good on 3rd down offensively or defensively. This is a pretty important stat and one we can win. It may take some better run-blocking on the first two downs as well as some conversions through the air on third.
- Win Special Teams - a bonus 4th “key.” We sucked on special teams last week. Win this phase and it helps tremendously.
OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH
- QB - Tario Fuller - I know, I know...I said stop the passing game. But Fuller leads the team in carries and has a 6.2 yard per carry average. I’d like to see their run game shut down, forcing 3rd and long situations. Maybe then the rush can get some pressure.
- DB - Josh Okonye - Graduate senior who leads the team in passes defensed. I think we may throw ball tomorrow, he’ll be worth watching on defense.
I know that everyone is so down on this team after losing to Maryland. But I think this is a situation where everyone is a little high on Purdue while being a little down on Minnesota. But I think the Maryland loss gets the Gophers re-focused and they “upset” Purdue at home.
Minnesota - 27
Purdue - 21