The Gophers hit the field for their Big Ten opener this afternoon in West Lafayette. A year ago the Gophers began the season 3-0 and then hit the road for their Big Ten opener, a loss at Maryland. This year they are hitting the road again to start the Big Ten again with Purdue as the opponent.
It has been a shaky 3-0 start to the season but it is 3-0 nonetheless. Can they remain undefeated, coming away from the state of Indiana with a win?
- Run the Ball - So much has been written this week about how the Gophers should be able to run the ball against Purdue and how Purdue should be fearing the Gopher ground game. The rushing game hasn’t been that impressive yet in 2019 but a healthy stable of backs plus return of Shannon Brooks against a weak rush defense. Running the ball and imposing our will should go a long way towards a win.
- Get to the Quarterback - This is not something we’ve been great at yet but I think this is absolutely key today. Consistent (or at least timely) pressure will go a long way.
- Win Special Teams - Always important and usually ignored here as a key, but I anticipate a close game. So wining field position and winning special teams will help the Gophers come out on top in a close one.
OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH
- #4 WR - Rondale Moore - One of the most dynamic players in the Big Ten and you should hold your breath every time he touches the ball. Then say a quick prayer of thanks when he gets tackled. He did have a three-game stretch that wasn’t terribly productive, which included his game against the Gophers, last year. Hoping the Gopher D can contain him again.
- #44 LB- Ben Holt - The Big Ten’s leading tackler
It sounds like Elijah Sindelar will be back today after missing some time and how healthy he is will certainly matter. Which again, see Key #2 above. The most interesting thing today will be how both teams improved over the last two weeks, will the Gophers play cleaner and who improvement along the OL?
I think the Gophers do enough to win, they look good early, things get closer and then Tanner Morgan brings the Gophers to another win and 4-0.
Minnesota - 34
Purdue - 31