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- Limit explosive plays.
71, 38, 56, 70, and 61 yards. Every offensive touchdown Ohio State had last week were those explosive plays. When Minnesota didn’t allow an explosive play, their defense bent but didn’t break and gave Minnesota a chance to win. Coach Fleck knows that one of the biggest keys to any victory is limiting explosive plays.
- Start off fast.
The longer you let teams hang around with you in the game, the more confidence it gives them thinking they can beat you. Minnesota comes in at 20 point favorites this week. Their offense needs to come out motivated, fired up and the defense needs to make some stops. Don’t let this be a trap game with their first game on the road coming up facing a Pac 12 opponent in Colorado.
- Defensive Line Play.
We have heard from every media source watching this group in fall camp that they have improved. While starting off the season with Ohio State wasn’t exactly a home run, this is a great opportunity for them to showcase their improvement. This is a game where Nyles Pinckney, Boye Mafe. and others can really stand out.
- Commit to the Run.
Losing Mo Ibrahim for the rest of the season is a tough blow, no doubt. That doesn’t change the fact that Minnesota still boasts one of the best offensive lines in the conference. I’m confident this team can still have a great running game with the guys they have up front. Let them do the heavy work to create the holes for the running backs, who will be having their first audition to show Fleck who can carry the most work moving forward.
- Limit Miami’s Wide Receivers.
One of my biggest worries heading into this season was the secondary. When Howden went down with an injury in the first half against Ohio State, the Buckeyes really targeted his replacements and they very much succeeded. While Miami doesn’t have players like Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, Jack Sorenson and Mac Hippenhammer have shown they can do some damage if you take them lightly. Limiting them will greatly affect Miami’s offense.