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Minnesota Football: Gophers Finish Regular Season Hosting the Undefeated Badgers - OPEN THREAD

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#5 Wisconsin brings the Axe to town for the regular season finale

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

As you may recall the Gophers needed 6 of 8 specific teams to lose in order for the Gophers to get into a bowl with their 5 wins. Well Buffalo upset Ohio and Texas Tech upset Texas already so things are not looking likely for the Gophers. They’ll have to earn a bowl the old fashioned way...by beating the undefeated and #5 Wisconsin Badgers who have visions of getting into the College Football Playoff. We got this.

3 KEYS

  • Turnovers - The ball is the program. Last week the Gopher offense had 19 turnovers (I lost count) and lost to Northwestern 39-0. This week, if they want to come away with the upset of this generation, they’ll need to win the turnover battle. Zero offensive turnovers and force two or three.
  • Great Game by Demry Croft - Need the Nebraska version of Croft to show up. Great decision making in the run game and completing just enough in the passing game to get the Badger defense on it’s heels. Need a great game from the sophomore quarterback.
  • Find the End Zone - Special teams might be important today and we may need a key field goal by Carpenter, but the Badgers don’t give up very many points. We need to find the end zone and not settle for field goals. When we get in position, find the end zone. Recall the Iowa game where we were inside the 20 a couple times and couldn’t get 7? Can’t have that happen again today.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • RB - Jonathan Taylor - I didn’t mention how important it will be to stop the run above, but Taylor is the most productive running back in the Big Ten. We haven’t been so good at stopping the run or tackling lately, this is going to be a big deal.
  • LB - Garrett Dooley - The Big Ten’s leader in sacks, let’s keep him off of Croft.

PREDICTION

Just not feeling very confident in this game. I’m on board with the direction of the program, but this year is a struggle. Some inspirational movie quotes...

  • “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”
  • “If we played them 10 times, they might win 9. But this game, not tonight.”

Let’s hope for a competitive game where the Gophers have a chance to pull off the most incredible upset.

Minnesota - 13
Wisconsin - 34