Golden Gophers Week 5 Preview

Overview:

  • Another week another team that loves to run the ball, the Gophers are averaging 173.8 rushing yards a game good enough for 44th in the nation.
  • Not only do these Gophers like to run but similarly to Michigan their leading(and most explosive) rusher is JR QB Marqueis Gray who has rushed 71 times for 351 yards.
  • Although their rushing attack has found success moving the ball they have only managed 5 rushing TDs on the year leading to a poor 22.8 points a game (93rd overall).
  • Minnesota has not had a hot start to the year with a record of 1-3 including losses to New Mexico State and North Dakota Sate.

 

Key Match-ups:

Drob Vs. The Poor Minnesota Secondary – Drob will really get a chance this week to throw the ball. I know the teams we have played so far have also not had a great secondary but I think the Gophers take the cake for worst secondary. Over the first five games of the season Minnesota has really had a tough time stopping the pass with three out of their four opponents putting up about 300 yards. The Gophers have had a much easier time stopping the run and have not allowed and 100 yard rusher. Regardless of the Gophers strengths on defense I still see the Wolverines continuing to run the ball early and often but I believe against this team we will need to make the plays downfield we have been missing up until now. Our receivers must limit the drops and Drob has to limit the bad decisions and over throws. While you shouldn’t expect an air raid offense all of the sudden I do see the increased opportunity to throw the ball against a weak secondary.

 

The Michigan Front 7 Vs. Marqueis Gray – Michigan’s defense gets to practice against Drob all season. What if I told you this week they would be playing Denards little brother(with his shoes laces tied). Well, it wouldn’t be to far from the truth Marqueis Gray is essentially just that a worse version of Drob. Now Drob is the best player in the country, so if you even get to be compared to him you must be pretty decent. And Gray has had his moments this season rushing for more than 100 yards twice (including 171 in the Gophers only W). But Gray, like many first year starting QBs is having a lot of trouble throwing the ball. Gray has completed just over 50% of his passes with 3 TDs and 3 INTs Making him a one dimensional threat. The Key to stopping him will be shutting down his running ability by not letting him get to the open field (This has been done this season against North Dakota State where he rushed 13 times for only 23 yards) and forcing him to pass the ball.

Final Thoughts:

Get ready for a LONG Day Gophers, this Wolverine team has come to play this season. With the way our defense has stopped the run as of late I can’t see any of Minnesota’s back or QB getting the run going which will cause them to have 3rd and long throwing situations all day. On the other side of the ball look for Drob to show improvements throwing the ball while still racking up big yardage on the ground (this includes another big day for Smith as well). Bottom line The Little Brown Jug Stays with Michigan!!!

Go Blue

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