Big Ten West after 6 Weeks

Gopher 461

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I think GHers have to start forgetting about who MN has lost to injury and focus on a winning game plan for the next team-up, and that's the Cornhuskers. Creative offense using the pass to set up the run, solid defense with Martinez containment on options, the kind of special teams play shown at Purdue, and good coaching. Go Gophers.
 

WriterGoph

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You can't play the "they lost to Illinois" card in ranking Nebraska without playing "they lost to an even worse Bowling Green State team - at home no less" card in ranking us.

Except one counts for conference standings and one does not.
 

cjbfbp

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Can we play the "overall wins and losses" card?

Yes, but that's rather difficult at this point for Nebraska. They haven't played a middling type Big Ten team (like Purdue) yet. They've played two of the lowest ranked Big Ten teams, lost to one of them (their first game) and overwhelmed the other. They blew out an FCS team and beat a MACC team handily. On the other hand, the good teams they've played (Oklahoma, Michigan State, and Michigan) are all undefeated and all should be Top 10 teams in the new poll. They've played all of those teams closely so at this point you have to look for quality play in their losses to get an estimation of them.

Nebraska's statistical conference rankings are pretty solid. Offense: points scored per game (4th), total offense per game (2nd), yards per play (3rd). Defense: points allowed per game (5th), offensive yards per game given up (7th), yards per play given up (6th). Their offense is a bit better ranked than their defense but their defense is still top half of the conference on all of those measures.
 

RememberMurray

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I think GHers have to start forgetting about who MN has lost to injury and focus on a winning game plan for the next team-up, and that's the Cornhuskers. Creative offense using the pass to set up the run, solid defense with Martinez containment on options, the kind of special teams play shown at Purdue, and good coaching. Go Gophers.

— Nebraska's defense is 11th in the B1G against the run, and they're 6th against the pass.

— Minnesota has a run-first offensive philosophy.

My prediction: Gophers are going to play it the same way they always have: we'll be seeing Fleck's version of 'Tressel Ball'.
 

RememberMurray

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Yes, but that's rather difficult at this point for Nebraska. They haven't played a middling type Big Ten team (like Purdue) yet. They've played two of the lowest ranked Big Ten teams, lost to one of them (their first game) and overwhelmed the other. They blew out an FCS team and beat a MACC team handily. On the other hand, the good teams they've played (Oklahoma, Michigan State, and Michigan) are all undefeated and all should be Top 10 teams in the new poll. They've played all of those teams closely so at this point you have to look for quality play in their losses to get an estimation of them.

Nebraska's statistical conference rankings are pretty solid. Offense: points scored per game (4th), total offense per game (2nd), yards per play (3rd). Defense: points allowed per game (5th), offensive yards per game given up (7th), yards per play given up (6th). Their offense is a bit better ranked than their defense but their defense is still top half of the conference on all of those measures.

Well, we won't have to speculate much longer. Soon enough, we'll be able to compare Minnesota and Nebraska head-to-head.
 


Gopher 461

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— Nebraska's defense is 11th in the B1G against the run, and they're 6th against the pass.

— Minnesota has a run-first offensive philosophy.

My prediction: Gophers going to play it the same way they always have: we'll be seeing Fleck's version of 'Tressel Ball'.
That's why I said "creative". Everyone expects Tressel ball. A passing game off of misdirection run sets would probably surprise N. Moreover, absent MO and TREY, I think we lose a step in our running game even if the OL does their job. For this game, I think the focus has to be how to slow down Martinez, getting him into 3rd and long situations where he tends to make mistakes.
 

Some guy

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I think GHers have to start forgetting about who MN has lost to injury and focus on a winning game plan for the next team-up, and that's the Cornhuskers. Creative offense using the pass to set up the run, solid defense with Martinez containment on options, the kind of special teams play shown at Purdue, and good coaching. Go Gophers.
You know that GHers don’t make the game plan right? We can do whatever we wants and it has no bearing on the game.


what we have Saturday is two mediocre football teams playing each other
 

Dakota2

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Question: Which team would have won the Iowa-Penn State game if Clifford hadn't been injured?

Observation: If you play against Iowa, and you don't turn the ball over, you might just beat 'em.
Penn State / Clifford had Iowa firmly under control. It was a complete shock to see that a program of Penn State's stature and recruiting prowess does not have a No. 2 quarterback ready to play.
 

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— Nebraska's defense is 11th in the B1G against the run, and they're 6th against the pass.

— Minnesota has a run-first offensive philosophy.

My prediction: Gophers are going to play it the same way they always have: we'll be seeing Fleck's version of 'Tressel Ball'.
Fleck & Co will have had two weeks to prepare so I think there will be plenty of new wrinkles sprinkled into the standard game plan to catch Nebby off guard.
 



PMWinSTP

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Penn State / Clifford had Iowa firmly under control. It was a complete shock to see that a program of Penn State's stature and recruiting prowess does not have a No. 2 quarterback ready to play.
PSU's #1 QB didn't play that great. Two very, very good evenly matched teams go down to the wire. Great game. I don't think this loss hurts PSU much in the rankings.
 

hungan1

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Big Ten Offense and Defense Stats as of October 9, 2021:

The Huskers rank 4th in Total Offense, and 5th in Total Defense.
The Gophers rank 9th in Total Offense, 7th in Total Defense.

The Gophers are also 1-2 at home.

1633880752478.png

1633880837095.png
The Huskers
 
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Some Day...Maybe

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Nebraska will not be a threat. Their M.O. is to find the best ways to lose games. Hoping they continue the trend next week but they will have their best game of year against us, I’m sure. They are the #1 (3-4) team in America though- just ask the delusional fan base and media.
You mean will not be a threat to Minnesota? Maybe because they’re coming off a huge game and college football is so different from week to week, but if Nebraska plays it’s best game I don’t see the Gophers winning. I hope the Gophers crush them, but this Nebraska team has been very good the last 3 weeks.
 

Some Day...Maybe

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Nebraska is playing really solid football but they just can't seem to get out of their own way. They should have beaten Michigan State, could have beaten Michigan, and played really well against Oklahoma.

When you look at how the teams in the West are playing right now, they look like the second best team behind Iowa. And if I had to pick one team in the West to potentially beat Iowa head to head I would go with Nebraska as the team with the best shot at getting it done with the way they are playing overall.
I could see Wisconsin might beating them as well.
 



Some guy

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You mean will not be a threat to Minnesota? Maybe because they’re coming off a huge game and college football is so different from week to week, but if Nebraska plays it’s best game I don’t see the Gophers winning. I hope the Gophers crush them, but this Nebraska team has been very good the last 3 weeks.
Very good is pretty generous.

they lost two two good but not great teams and beat one horrible team.
They’ve been solid and competitive but they haven’t shown themselves to be any better than the rest of the middle of the pack mediocre big ten.
 

RememberMurray

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That's why I said "creative". Everyone expects Tressel ball. A passing game off of misdirection run sets would probably surprise N. Moreover, absent MO and TREY, I think we lose a step in our running game even if the OL does their job. For this game, I think the focus has to be how to slow down Martinez, getting him into 3rd and long situations where he tends to make mistakes.

Which do you think is more important in having a productive offense: solid execution, or the element of surprise?
 

short ornery norwegian

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when evaluating teams, you have to take emotion out of the equation.

I can't stand Iowa, but I can also admit that Iowa is the best team in the West Division - and I don't think it's that close. Great defense and adequate offense is a winning formula in the B1G.

All the other teams are flawed to some extent. Nebraska finds ways to lose close games. WI has major issues on offense. And the Gophers are wildly inconsistent; they are a run-first team that is now likely playing without their top 2 RB's; and have an OC who is apparently afraid to let the QB throw the ball.

So the Gophers question becomes - are the defense and special teams good enough to bail out the offense against a good opponent?

if I had to bet my own money, I would make Neb a small favorite over MN, and I would make IA a clear favorite over MN.

the only thing - IMHO - that can change the equation - is a change in offensive philosophy for MN. If they come out throwing against Neb, I think that improves their chances of winning.
 



salzie

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Question: Which team would have won the Iowa-Penn State game if Clifford hadn't been injured?

Observation: If you play against Iowa, and you don't turn the ball over, you might just beat 'em.
Psu was up 17-3 when Clifford left.

They get it done with Clifford but iowa doesn't need to apologize for the win, they earned it.
 

RememberMurray

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Big Ten Offense and Defense Stats as of October 9, 2021:

The Huskers rank 4th in Total Offense, and 5th in Total Defense.
The Gophers rank 9th in Total Offense, 7th in Total Defense.

The Gophers are also 1-2 at home.

View attachment 14741

View attachment 14742
The Huskers

These are scoring only, not yardage. Usually when I've heard the terms TOTAL offense or TOTAL defense, it refers to yardage. After all, your defense and special teams can score; when they do, it has no bearing on the production of your offense.
 


Gopher 461

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when evaluating teams, you have to take emotion out of the equation.

I can't stand Iowa, but I can also admit that Iowa is the best team in the West Division - and I don't think it's that close. Great defense and adequate offense is a winning formula in the B1G.

All the other teams are flawed to some extent. Nebraska finds ways to lose close games. WI has major issues on offense. And the Gophers are wildly inconsistent; they are a run-first team that is now likely playing without their top 2 RB's; and have an OC who is apparently afraid to let the QB throw the ball.

So the Gophers question becomes - are the defense and special teams good enough to bail out the offense against a good opponent?

if I had to bet my own money, I would make Neb a small favorite over MN, and I would make IA a clear favorite over MN.

the only thing - IMHO - that can change the equation - is a change in offensive philosophy for MN. If they come out throwing against Neb, I think that improves their chances of winning.
Agree. Passing off of sets that N hasn't seen from MN. Get by N and let's see what happens. Maryland is banged up. Northwestern...well Northwestern. Illinois...well Illinois. Then the showdown at Kinnickagainst the Hawks.
 

hungan1

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Which do you think is more important in having a productive offense: solid execution, or the element of surprise?
I will choose lucky over these choices.

But, I will take a creative hybrid knowing and studying an opponent's tendencies.

That misdirection pass play that Iowa executed against PSU that gained a lot of yards for Iowa was a thing of beauty. A perfect example of execution plus an element of surprise.

I will take that Husker fake RB blocking play where the RB slipped away from the direction of the Michigan Defense and caught a pass which caught them by surprise and went for a huge YAC. There was also that Martinez option toss that Michigan was ill-prepared for.

Slightly off topic:
This is something that I want to see Sanford Jr deploy. Creative play calling. I don't see him as being a voracious film guy like Ciarrocca is. I could be wrong.

I don't know if it is just Sanford Jr or a combination of the players and coaching. The loss to BGSU is very telling of coaching preparations under Sanford Jr. I don't think good preparation was done for the BGSU game after the 30-0 win over Colorado.
 

hungan1

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These are scoring only, not yardage. Usually when I've heard the terms TOTAL offense or TOTAL defense, it refers to yardage. After all, your defense and special teams can score; when they do, it has no bearing on the production of your offense.
Good point. There are those stats somewhere out there.

Nebraska's Offense is ranked #2 in Total Yards/YPG (3,455. 493.6).
Minnesota's Offense is ranked #12 in TY/YPG (1,671, 334.2).

Nebraska's Defense is ranked #7 with TYA/YPGA (,395, 342.1).
Minnesota's Defense is ranked #4 with TYA/YPGA (1539, 307.8).

Minnesota's Special Teams is ranked #7 overall.
Nebraska's Special Teams is ranked #12 overall.

You can look at all the statistical breakdowns yourselves.

Here it is: https://www.espn.com/college-football/stats/team/_/group/5
 
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RememberMurray

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Possibly, Nebraska has shown an ability to hang with pretty much anyone. But given the way Iowa forces turnovers and combined with the way Nebraska likes to give the ball away, I like Iowa's chances against them.

Plus Nebraska will be coming in off of back to back games with Ohio State and Wisconsin so they might be physically pretty beat up at that point.
Honestly, it felt like Michigan took a nap after halftime last night. They played like the game was over. Engaged and fully motivated, Michigan wins by 2-3 touchdowns. Now Nebraska took advantage of the emotional letdown, but I still think Nebraska is just as fraudulent as ever.
 

RememberMurray

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Minnesota's schedule, leading up to the Iowa game:

NEBRASKA

MARYLAND

@ Northwestern

ILLINOIS

-------

Iowa's schedule, leading up to the Minnesota game:

PURDUE

Bye week

@ Wisconsin

@ Northwestern
 

Some guy

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when evaluating teams, you have to take emotion out of the equation.

I can't stand Iowa, but I can also admit that Iowa is the best team in the West Division - and I don't think it's that close. Great defense and adequate offense is a winning formula in the B1G.

All the other teams are flawed to some extent. Nebraska finds ways to lose close games. WI has major issues on offense. And the Gophers are wildly inconsistent; they are a run-first team that is now likely playing without their top 2 RB's; and have an OC who is apparently afraid to let the QB throw the ball.

So the Gophers question becomes - are the defense and special teams good enough to bail out the offense against a good opponent?

if I had to bet my own money, I would make Neb a small favorite over MN, and I would make IA a clear favorite over MN.

the only thing - IMHO - that can change the equation - is a change in offensive philosophy for MN. If they come out throwing against Neb, I think that improves their chances of winning.
Nebraska run defense sucks.
Minnesota will come out running and run all over them. The question is if I’m right
 

Some guy

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I will choose lucky over these choices.

But, I will take a creative hybrid knowing and studying an opponent's tendencies.

That misdirection pass play that Iowa executed against PSU that gained a lot of yards for Iowa was a thing of beauty. A perfect example of execution plus an element of surprise.

I will take that Husker fake RB blocking play where the RB slipped away from the direction of the Michigan Defense and caught a pass which caught them by surprise and went for a huge YAC. There was also that Martinez option toss that Michigan was ill-prepared for.

Slightly off topic:
This is something that I want to see Sanford Jr deploy. Creative play calling. I don't see him as being a voracious film guy like Ciarrocca is. I could be wrong.

I don't know if it is just Sanford Jr or a combination of the players and coaching. The loss to BGSU is very telling of coaching preparations under Sanford Jr. I don't think good preparation was done for the BGSU game after the 30-0 win over Colorado.
I agree with the bottom paragraph but I think it’s more fleck telling him to be vanilla. Because we are always vanilla in non conference and it has ALMOST bitten us many times under fleck. It was bound to at some point. Hopefully fleck learns from it
 

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Here are the Total Yardage per game numbers. Nebraska #2 in offense, #7 in defense. Minnesota #12 in offense, #4 in defense. By the way, it's interesting to compare Nebraska, our upcoming opponent, with Purdue, our most recent one. Purdue #6 in offense, #3 in defense.

Minnesota's Special Teams #7 while Purdue was Ranked #13. It was the difference-maker. Our ST gave them poor field positions.

It is eerily similar - Nebraska ST is ranked #12.

We may have to rely on three things against the Huskers:
1. Special Teams.
2. Defense.
3. 12th Man. We need sell-out crowds to drown out the Nebbie fans.

This is exciting Big Ten Football in Autumn!
 




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