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Minnesota Gopher football travels to Fresno State for the season’s first road game - OPEN THREAD

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Week 2 is here and it is a challenging road game in Fresno

NCAA Football: Fresno State at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Moving on to game #2 as quickly as we can after the angst of game #1. Now the Gophers get to travel to Fresno State for a true road game. Is their 16-game non-conference winning streak in jeopardy?

3 KEYS

  • Improved OL play - The poor play by the offensive line was the most concerning thing I saw last week. Guys missing their assignments while a defensive lineman ran right past him or just an inability to control the line of scrimmage for stretch of the game. Better OL play will lead to a better rushing attack and more time for Tanner Morgan.
  • Turnovers - The ball is the program and part of the reason the Gophers are 1-0 is due to winning the turnover battle. Now on the road and needing to avoid things that would destroy confidence, turnovers are more important than they were last week.
  • Stop the run - Make the Bulldogs 1-dimensional and see if we can dial up a passrush when we know what is coming. But it starts with stopping the run.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #11 QB - Jorge Reyna - The Bulldog quarterback threw the ball 39 times and also was the team’s leading rusher with 88 yards on the ground.
  • #3 LB- Mykal Walker - Senior linebacker who is on the preseason All-MWC team and he led the team with 15 tackles last week at USC. Getting helmet on this guy will certainly help the running game.

PREDICTION

Not going to lie, this game makes me nervous. Not a little nervous, just plain nervous. This is a well coached team that has been very successful over the last couple years. Now the Gophers are coming off a very uninspiring opener where they won the game but certainly did not pass the eye test.

At this point in the week the optimist in me takes over. I think the Gophers correct a couple mistakes from last week, open up the playbook a little and pull out a close win again.

Minnesota - 24
Fresno State - 21