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Gophers at winless Nebraska - OPEN THREAD

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Both teams winless in Big Ten, one is winless since October 2017

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

A year ago it was a completely different Gopher offense but it was a Gopher offense that put up 54 points on Nebraska. It was Demry Croft rushing for 183 yards and 3 touchdowns, it was Rodney Smith rushing for 134, and then Kobe McCray came on late to rush for 93 yards on 10 carries. Meanwhile the Gopher defense held Nebraska to 14 points in the first three quarters. Essentially it a dynamic beat down at TCF Bank Stadium.

I bring that up because nothing about last year is the same. Those names mentioned above are not playing and this game is in Lincoln. Can the Gophers take down the 0-6 Huskers? Or will Nebraska use home field advantage and end their 10-game losing streak?

3 KEYS

  • No Big Plays - Everybody realizes that the Gopher defense is prone to giving up big plays. Last week it was better, but the defense HAS to make Nebraska work for their points. Make Nebraska sustain long drives and I think that plays in Minnesota’s favor.
  • No Interceptions - Really this is all about turnovers but our freshman quarterback has had a lot of interceptions since the start of the Big Ten schedule (seven in three games!). This is not terribly surprising as he is a freshman quarterback and he’s facing better competition. But do NOT give the ball to Nebraska.
  • Run the Ball - Establishing a ground game will only help Annexstad. I love the new offensive line and hope we can lean on a weak Nebraska defense for a lot of yards on the ground.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • QB - Adrian Martinez - Did I mention that we need to limit big plays? I starts with this guy who can beat you if you allow him to break contain.
  • DB - Dicaptrio Bootle - Besides just having a great name, Bootle is second in the Big Ten with 10 pass breakups. No picks...let’s keep it that way.

PREDICTION

I wish this were a home game, but I really don’t have much respect for Nebraska this year. I think our offense has it’s way while our defense does enough. It’ll be a high scoring game, Minnesota wins.

Minnesota - 44
Nebraska - 39