Holy crap was I a little surprised when I saw that Northwestern was 1-8. Remember when they beat Nebraska in week 0?
How to Watch
Stream: FoxSports app
OK, so the Wildcats haven’t won a game on American soil since October 16, 2021. And they are 1-14 over their last 15 games. That is some ugliness. But we are not here to feel sorry for Northwestern. It might one day be a good lesson in understanding that winning at this level is hard. And even if you make it to the Big Ten Championship game 2 out of 3 seasons, you may still struggle to win after that.
- Turnovers - Win the turnover battle here. Like last week, just don’t give a 1-8 team extra opportunities with bad turnovers.
- Run the ball! - I think that a 200-yard day of rushing is guaranteed to be a Gopher win. Presumably, it will be Athan Kaliakmanis under center on Saturday and with his ability to pull and run, the running lanes for Mo should be there. Also, this key rests with the offensive line winning up front.
- Stop Evan Hull - Not that Hull is particularly elite, but the Maple Grove product may be playing with a little extra juice facing the Gophers. Important that we tackle well.
OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH
- #26 RB - Evan Hull - He’ll get a bunch of carries. See note above about tackling him.
#34 LB - Xander Mueller - Linebacker is making a lot of tackles and making plays behind the line of scrimmage.
I really think this is a game that goes similar to the Michigan State and Colorado games. The Gopher defense should force a LOT of punts while the NW offense struggles to find any points. And as long as there are no dumb turnovers, the offense will move the ball effectively on the ground.
This one may see Northwestern move the ball on their first drive, but then the Gophers will dominate.
Minnesota - 31
Northwestern - 10