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Minnesota Football: Georgia Southern - OPEN THREAD

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The Gophers square off against Georgia Southern at TCF Bank Stadium

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Getting to know the Georgia Southern Eagles, it should be noted that GSU was NDSU before NDSU was NDSU. The Eagles won six FCS national titles before moving to the FBS level. They are now members of the Sun Belt conference. Formerly known as the Blue Tide also formerly known as the Professors, now GSU is the Eagles and are looking to pick off the Golden Gophers.

Most important to note is that this is one the few remaining option teams in the country. Stopping this unique offense is really the absolute key to winning. The Gophers had little problem stopping Georgia Tech’s option in last year’s bowl game. But you may also have noticed that Army’s option gave Michigan trouble just last week.

3 KEYS

  • Slow the Option - So often easier said than done. Stopping a good option attack requires discipline on every single play. Always always always know your assignment and do not deviate.
  • Run the Ball - Rushing and controlling the line of scrimmage was better in week 2 but needs to take another step again this week. GSU had 3 players rush for over 100 yards last week. The Gophers have not yet had one this season. Of course I’d like to make sure they don’t have anyone hit 100, but it would be great if we got our ground game going again.
  • No Penalties - It would be reassuring to see a clean game. For a team that has been lightly penalized in the previous two years under Fleck, it would be great to see a game with few penalties and low (or no) turnovers.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #5 RB - Matt LaRoche - Has fewer carries than the rest of the RB crew but his 12 yard average per carry number kinda scares me. When he is on the field, I’ sure hope we bottle him up early.
  • #20 CB - Kindle Vildore - A very good corner who should give at least one of our elite WRs trouble throughout the day.

PREDICTION

This is the one game I am most confident in. Georgia Southern is no team to look beyond but I believe that this is the game where things start to come together for the Gophers a little more. The option shouldn’t be too foreign to this defense, having just prepared for it last December.

I see a big win for the Gophers as they slow down the option and begin to dominate offensively. It may be a slow start, but eventually they get rolling.

Minnesota - 41
Georgia Southern - 13