This is the 5th year in a row that the Gophers are playing a divisional crossover game with Maryland. And over the last 4 seasons the Terps hold a 3-1 advantage. What is it going to take to change this? Here are your keys.
- Stop the pass - The Terps are 3rd in the Big Ten in passing yardage and Tagovailoa has been very good this year. He is completing over 72% of his passes and is 2nd in the league with 1,776 yards passing. Is he athletic and capable of also beating you with his feat? Yes. But that hasn’t been where he’s been dangerous. Slow the passing game and make them run the ball.
- OC and OL...again - A little creativity and balance out of the offense while the offensive line wins the line of scrimmage.
- The ball is the program - We beat Nebraska despite being -2 in the turnover department. That equation is not going to work out in our favor very often. How about we finish on the + side of things here.
OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH
- #3 QB - Taulia Tagovailoa - Bama transfer and younger brother of Tua, but more importantly Taulia had maybe his best game against Minnesota. Making sure that 394 yards and 3 TDs doesn’t happen again. His 2020 performance was the most passing yards and most rushing yards he has had in a game.
- #97 DL - Sam Okuayinonu - Graduate student who has been making plays in offensive backfields all season. Okuayinonu actually played JUCO ball for his first two years at Mesabi Ranch CC up in Virginia, MN.
For me, this game all comes down to turnovers. The Gophers won a game going minus 2 in turnovers last week, thank God that Nebraska isn’t very good. I don’t feel they will be so lucky if that happens again.
I’d like to think that the Gopher offense is figuring things out. The OL is capable of dominating any Big Ten front-seven and if the offense finds some balance they are the most talented offense in the Big Ten West. The bye week helped, please prove it to me by showing this offense two weeks in a row.
I’ll go with my optimism here, but Maryland is no pushover.
Minnesota - 27
Maryland - 21