Tale of Two Games.

Gophergrandpa

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In its first two games, the Minnesota offense put up 408 yards against Ohio State and only 292 against Miami of Ohio. The big questions for me are (1) how big is the loss of Mo in terms of offensive production and (2) will the return of CAB (if it happens against Colorado) and hopefully Wright, and the emergence of Potts, move the offense back toward the Ohio State level performance? We scored 31 points in each game, so in a sense the Gophers were more efficient as a team against Miami of Ohio.

Colorado reminds me of Nebraska in the way its QB contributes. In two games, Colorado has 452 rushing yards on 87 attempts (5.2 yd avg.) compared to the Gophers' 378 yards on 96 attempts (3.9 yd avg.). But only 4 of the Gophers' rushing yards come from the QB position; 374 yards come from our RBs. Colorado's QB accounts for 170 rushing yards on 17 attempts (7.1 yd avg.) while its RBs contributed 332 yards on 70 attempts (4.7 yd avg.). The Colorado QB is Colorado's second leading rusher. Might be a Martinez-esque offense.

Both Tanner Morgan and the Colorado QB have unimpressive completion rates: Tanner is 22 for 42; Colorado is 23-40. Tanner's numbers are driven down by an out-of-character 8-17 completion rate against Miami. On these similar passing attempts and completions, however, Tanner produced 317 yards (14.4 avg/comp.) vs. Colorado at 191 yards (8.3 yds/comp.). Tanner has 3 TDs and O Int's; Colorado 1 TD and 1 Int.

Despite how close the point spread is for this game, If we keep up our rushing production and Tanner gets back to normal in the passing game, we should score, say, at least 31 points, as we did against both Ohio State and Miami. Colorado, has scored 45 points this year, 35 against Northern Colorado and 10 against Texas A&M. If our defense is better than Northern Colorado's (meaning we account for the running QB), holding Colorado to 28 points or less, we should win. If our defense is no better than Northern Colorado's, then Tanner and Co. might well have to produce something above our 31 point average--assuming no points from our defense. We will learn a lot in this game about the post-Mo Gophers.
 
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