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Know Thy Opponent, the Minnesota Golden Gophers

Lets sink that boat

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 14 Northwestern at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2019 Record: 11-2

Bowl Result: Win 31 to 24 over Auburn in the Outback Bowl

SB Nation Blog: The Daily Gopher

All Time Series: 33-39-3

Last Purdue Win: 2017 31 to 17

Last Minnesota Win: 2019 31 to 38

Head Coach: PJ “Row the Boat” Fleck - 53-37 All Time Record

Minnesota Offense: A year after scorching their weak schedule and down Big Ten West and easy Big Ten East opponents, the Boat has started to sink on offense. While nationwide they are in the middle of the pack, there are far from their 35 points per game scored in 2019.

This comes as a surprise though, as they returned their star wide receiver, Rashod Bateman, their starting quarterback and PJ Fleck look-a-like Tanner Morgan and brought back Mohamed Ibrahim who is averaging 178 yards per game.

Personally, while in the middle of back nation wide for scoring, they are still averaging 29 points per game and I don’t see their offense as much as an issue as some. With their top 3 skill guys back, they will be hard to stop.

I am interested in seeing what we do to try and stop Bateman. The run the ball so well with Ibrahim, it leaves many 1 on 1 situation with Bateman as teams have to load the box. I still think we will bracket him.

The offense goes with Ibrahim but when Morgan has to throw he has struggled a bit in 2020 in comparison to last season. He is completing 57% of his passes this year, a 10% drop of from 2019. He also is only on pace to throw about 10 to 12 touchdowns - where as in 2019 he threw 30 to 7 interceptions. Thus far he has 4 touchdowns to 4 interceptions.

Minnesota Defense:

This is truly where the Gophers have dropped off. Lead by Defensive Coordinator, Joe Rossi, it had been pretty stout since 2018.

This year they are allowing 36 points per game thru 4 games. This has to be where Purdue exposes the Gophers at. They are getting absolutely destroyed when defending the run game, allowing 237 yards per game on the ground.

This would be an excellent opportunity to get the run game in gear and control the clock, something we did not do against Northwestern, but something we did in our first two wins of the season.

They have actually been decent against the pass, allowing just over 200 yards passing per game. Maryland scorched them for 394, but they held Illinois and Iowa in the 100s, but they do not have a David Bell and maybe a Rondale Moore.

They do get penalized a lot on defense, averaging around 6.5 penalties per game.

Game Outlook:

To me, this looks like a pretty even match up. We have to get the run game going, we need to use King Doerue more and get multiple backs involved, I love Zander Horvath, but he only has one speed.

The defense will have a tall task in stopping the run, but I say we load the box up and force Morgan to throw. He has struggled this year against pressure, we need to continue that trend on defense.

Way too early prediction:

Purdue 34 Minnesota 24