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Minnesota Football: 3 Keys and How to watch the Guaranteed Rate bowl between West Virginia and Gophers

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Three keys to the Gophers beating West Virginia the the Guaranteed Rate Bowl and how to watch

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

And the Gophers will finish out their 2021 season with a trip to the Guaranteed Rate Bowl against the Big 12’s West Virginia Mountaineers. Per DraftKings they are currently 5 point favorites.

How to Watch

TV: ESPN

TIME: 9:15

WHERE: Chase Field, Phoenix

Can they take down the Mountaineers?

3 KEYS

  • FREE TANNER - I’m really hoping that the change in leadership of the offense leads to opening up the passing playbook. I’m looking for a more balanced offense and Tanner giving us a glimpse of his 2019 self.
  • Shut down the pass - I really will be surprised to see the Mountaineers do much on the ground. Leddie Brown is their thousand yard rusher who has opted out for this game. Their second leading rusher is a quarterback. Which means it is up to sophomore Tony Mathis Jr. who had 118 yards rushing in their final game against Kansas, but only 256 for the season. All to say that WVU is going to be fairly one-dimensional.
  • Get Pressure - This is almost too close to the second key listed, but West Virginia was last in the Big 12 in sacks allowed. The Gopher defensive line has been very good this year and this Mountaineer line has not been great at protection. Constant pressure on Jarret Doege will be a significant key to winning.

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #2 QB - Jarret Doege - As mentioned, he’s going to pass the ball a lot.
  • #55 DL - Dante Stills - First team All-Big 12 and finished with 6 sacks.

PREDICTION

I’m convinced the Gophers play loose and come into this game determined to leave with a W. The offense will be injected with some life and the defense can handle a 1-dimensional West Virginia offense

Minnesota - 28
West Virginia - 17

DISCLAIMER: Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.