Thoughts on the game

Some Day...Maybe

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So what do you think is going to happen? What chances do you give us to win this game? I know I'll get ripped, but I just don't see how our offense is going to move the ball and score against this defense. I don't see how we're going to keep from turning the ball over on offense. How we're going to negate Wisconsin's linebackers?

The one time we beat the Badgers Morgan hit the slant multiple times. Have we been running the ball all year for this game? Do we just line up and run it 80% of the time and say let's see who's stronger and tougher? I don't think there is any way Morgan is going to be able to drop back and have time to pass. Play action, screens, and quick passes are the only chance imo. Only hope is to out muscle them, push them around.

I also think our defense is going to have to play lights out and get a couple of turnovers, and even score itself, or bring those turnovers inside the 10 yard line. We are going to need a lot of breaks in this game imo. Maybe some special teams breaks as well.

If the Gophers win I see it as a 21-17 score. I could see Wisconsin winning anywhere from 17-10 to 34-10.
 

PMWinSTP

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The Nebby/Bucky game last week gives me a lot of hope as it showed how to beat that defense. I don't think Nebby's defense is any different, if at all, in that game compared to the Gophs game, and Gophs have a better defense than Nebby.
 

MaxyJR1

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If Defense doesn't allow us to fall behind by 7 early, it will be a good game.
 

MNGopher23

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The Nebby/Bucky game last week gives me a lot of hope as it showed how to beat that defense. I don't think Nebby's defense is any different, if at all, in that game compared to the Gophs game, and Gophs have a better defense than Nebby.
I was going to say the same thing. Analyze how Nebraska moved the ball last week and implement some of that into our offense. Admittedly, I did not watch the Nebraska vs. Wisconsin game so I can't comment on what worked. We need to utilize BSF as well. He has hands like glue and a huge frame. Utilize the middle of the field if it's open.
 

WriterGoph

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I just feel like with as much of a roller coaster as this year has been, the fitting finish to confuse everyone's emotions even further, is for us to finally win the Axe at home.

-- We have the best defense we have had since 1999.
-- We've been able to run the ball on pretty much everyone but Illinois.
-- I think Tanner gained some valuable confidence back last week as far as throwing the ball.
-- We've got strong lines on both sides of the ball (always a key against Sconny).
-- The Nebraska game showed that the Badgers are vulnerable against the pass.
-- I think the coaching staff will remember 2019 and have some different stuff up their sleeves.

It's obviously going to come down to execution. Against Iowa, we didn't execute in some big moments. This time, against these Skunks, I feel like we are gonna make it happen!
 




nitramnaed

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Our O-line will need to live up to the hype and execute or we're screwed.
 

MirandaB

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I hope our defense forces Mertz to have to pass, and we come up with five interceptions for scores :cool:
 



PMWinSTP

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I was going to say the same thing. Analyze how Nebraska moved the ball last week and implement some of that into our offense. Admittedly, I did not watch the Nebraska vs. Wisconsin game so I can't comment on what worked. We need to utilize BSF as well. He has hands like glue and a huge frame. Utilize the middle of the field if it's open.
Yeah, I feel like the Gophs have a very good opportunity here to hold Bucky around 21-24 points. The wild card for me is can the offense put up what Nebby did.
 

gopheraschells

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The one time we beat the Badgers Morgan hit the slant multiple times. Have we been running the ball all year for this game? Do we just line up and run it 80% of the time and say let's see who's stronger and tougher? I don't think there is any way Morgan is going to be able to drop back and have time to pass. Play action, screens, and quick passes are the only chance imo.
Might have to send Sanford a youtube link explaining the concept of a screen
 

The prez sez

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The longer we frustrate or stop the Wisconsin run game , the odds swing in our favor. That's what I will be watching. Morgan also has to hit some deep balls which opens up our run game. This is also the game where fleck needs to go for it on fourth down.
 

MNVCGUY

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If we can avoid digging a hole early I like our chances. Probably going to be a hard fought battle that comes down to the end. Hopefully our guys make the plays to get it done.
 



Some guy

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If Defense doesn't allow us to fall behind by 7 early, it will be a good game.
Yeah. A lot of hate on the offense lately but the last 3 weeks

Illinois first two drives 14 points
Iowa first two drives 10 points
Indiana first two drives 7 points (on first drive)


Definitely not on the defense for Illinois loss. But the defense has been downright bad early in the games the last 3 weeks and then great after it makes adjustments. If we spot this wisconsin team an early 10 or 14 point lead, it’s over.
 

cheeseheadgophfan

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I’m worried, as usual. Allen is a beast and I don’t think we faced anyone like him all year. He’s legit 240 pounds and incredibly difficult to bring down. He’s going to be a handful for years. He’s literally only 17. My hope is that we can slow him down and force Mertz to beat us. I don’t think their receivers are anything special and for some reason I think we’re going to score some points on them like Nebraska did last week. Fingers crossed.
 

metrolax

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It's not so much physical as it is psychological. The Gophers always believe they can win. The Badgers know they are going to win. Big difference.

The thing to watch is how the Gophers react after the obligatory first possession score that they offer their opponents each week. I expect Bucky to be up 7-0 or even 10-0 before we make any sort of adjustments.
 

MNVCGUY

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I’m worried, as usual. Allen is a beast and I don’t think we faced anyone like him all year. He’s legit 240 pounds and incredibly difficult to bring down. He’s going to be a handful for years. He’s literally only 17. My hope is that we can slow him down and force Mertz to beat us. I don’t think their receivers are anything special and for some reason I think we’re going to score some points on them like Nebraska did last week. Fingers crossed.
Essentially we are the same teams. Key for both teams is to not fall behind early and if either gets a lead they just pound you into submission with their running game.

Key to beating both offenses is forcing them to go to the air and not letting them dictate the game on the ground.
 

GopherRock

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The Gophers absolutely must get the lead first. If they end up down 2 possessions in the first half it's over.

Screens and slants are the best way to cool off a hot pass rush. I don't think that I've seen Tanner throw one all year.

FINISH DRIVES. As we saw two weeks ago down in Mordor, kicking field goals on goal-to-go isn't going to get it done.
 

MaxyJR1

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I’m worried, as usual. Allen is a beast and I don’t think we faced anyone like him all year. He’s legit 240 pounds and incredibly difficult to bring down. He’s going to be a handful for years. He’s literally only 17. My hope is that we can slow him down and force Mertz to beat us. I don’t think their receivers are anything special and for some reason I think we’re going to score some points on them like Nebraska did last week. Fingers crossed.
7.6 yards per carry and at least a run of 23 yards in the last 7 games. Also a couple 70 yard runs.
 

nitramnaed

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Bucky Backer thoughts on the game. Martinez an elite QB because he played well against Sconnie?

3 reasons Wisconsin will beat Minnesota, keep the axe​

Erik Buchinger
https://www.facebook.com/dialog/sha...s-wisconsin-will-beat-minnesota-keep-the-axe/

No. 14 Wisconsin will head on the road to take on unranked Minnesota in the final B1G game of the regular season with high stakes on the line Saturday afternoon. The Badgers will look to chop down the goalposts with Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the 17th time in the past 18 years with a third consecutive victory in this series.
Most importantly, a spot in the conference title game is on the line. Wisconsin would advance to Indianapolis to take on either Michigan or Ohio State with a victory, no matter what else happens. Even with a loss, the Badgers would advance if Nebraska beats Iowa on Friday and Indiana beats Purdue on Saturday.
Paul Chryst would certainly hope it doesn’t come down to the second scenario, but he doesn’t have anything to worry about because Wisconsin will beat Minnesota once again to close out the regular season on an 8-game winning streak.
Here are 3 reasons why:

Comparing offensive strengths​

Wisconsin and Minnesota are the top 2 in rushing play percentage against FBS opponents if you don’t include the 3 military academies, which run the triple-option. The Gophers run the ball on 67.6% of snaps, while the Badgers run on 65.5% of their plays.


Just because both offenses are committed to the running game and go to it more than most other teams, that doesn’t mean both teams are very good at it. After a slow start, the Badgers returned to their status as an elite rushing offense, while the Gophers haven’t moved the ball with much efficiency in the ground game recently.
Since Minnesota’s Week 1 matchup with Ohio State, 3 Gophers running backs have suffered season-ending injuries. Since the start of fall camp, 3 Wisconsin running backs are no longer with the team and 2 more were ruled out for the season with injuries. Fortunately for the Badgers, true freshman Braelon Allen turned out to be the best of the bunch and is in the early stages of being the next great Wisconsin running back.
Since Allen became the workhorse over the last 3 games, the Badgers rushed for 6.6 yards per attempt, which ranks No. 6 in the country. Since Bryce Williams became the third Minnesota back to have his season end early, the Gophers rushing attack has averaged 3.6 yards per carry over the last 3 games, which ranks No. 94.

Badgers defense is elite​

There is no question the best unit on the field on Saturday will be the Wisconsin defense, which ranks No. 2 in the country in opponent yards per play after Georgia passed the Badgers last weekend.
For the first time all season, Wisconsin did not have an answer for the Nebraska offense. For as good as the Badgers have been on that side of the ball over the years, they always have a tough time with the Cornhuskers and Adrian Martinez.
Fortunately, Minnesota runs a completely different offense, and Tanner Morgan is nowhere close to the same quarterback as Martinez. Still, it would be wise of the Gophers to work the middle of the field in the passing game and force the Badgers’ linebackers into coverage.


The question is how much Minnesota will adjust the way it has run its offense all season long. It’s hard to believe the Gophers will have much success on the ground because the next team that has a successful performance running against Wisconsin’s front seven would be the first, as the Badgers remain No. 1 in opponent yards per rush attempt in 2021.
The most passing yards Morgan has thrown for in a single game this season is just 209 against Nebraska. He will need more than that, because Minnesota’s offensive production will have to come from the passing game even though Wisconsin ranks No. 10 in opponent yards per pass attempt this season.

Turnovers are back in Wisconsin’s favor​

This was the biggest issue in Wisconsin’s 1-3 start to the season. The Badgers gave the ball away 15 times while creating 4 turnovers in the first 6 games. That has completely flipped over the second half of the season as the Badgers forced 18 turnovers with 6 giveaways in the last 5 games.
Fumbles are nearly impossible to rely on, but the Badgers should have chances for interceptions. Minnesota will need to find something new when it realizes it cannot run on Wisconsin, and the Gophers will air it out at a higher rate than they’re used to. Wisconsin’s secondary should be ready to take advantage.
Turnovers can be a bit fluky, but they’re game-changers. If Wisconsin continues to take care of the ball and steal a possession or 2 like it has recently, the Badgers will be in great shape to win the West for the 5th time in 8 seasons.
 


Triple D

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I feel much better after watching what Nebraska did last week and I think the game will be close, unfortunately I've seen too many bad passes by Tanner which we have been lucky not to have picked off and when we play the Badgers it always seems like they benefit from bad bounces and bad passes for picks.

23 -17 Badgers ....... really hope I'm wrong!!
 


MplsGopher

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I just feel like with as much of a roller coaster as this year has been, the fitting finish to confuse everyone's emotions even further, is for us to finally win the Axe at home.

-- We have the best defense we have had since 1999.
-- We've been able to run the ball on pretty much everyone but Illinois.
-- I think Tanner gained some valuable confidence back last week as far as throwing the ball.
-- We've got strong lines on both sides of the ball (always a key against Sconny).
-- The Nebraska game showed that the Badgers are vulnerable against the pass.
-- I think the coaching staff will remember 2019 and have some different stuff up their sleeves.

It's obviously going to come down to execution. Against Iowa, we didn't execute in some big moments. This time, against these Skunks, I feel like we are gonna make it happen!
Great post and I hope you have nailed it.

Someone said in a different thread that 2019 in a nutshell was that their offense pulled some different things out of a hat than what they've shown, while our offense just tried to do the same ol predictable thing. Cannot have that.

No idea how much the loss of Faalele (in 2019) and/or the weather affected things. We got that long TD pass to Bateman early, then were pretty well shut down. Cannot have that.

Defense has to play well enough for us to win a 28-24 or 35-28 type of game. Offense has to get it done, end of story.
 

Tucker32

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Essentially we are the same teams. Key for both teams is to not fall behind early and if either gets a lead they just pound you into submission with their running game.

Key to beating both offenses is forcing them to go to the air and not letting them dictate the game on the ground.
Except WI does everything a little better and more consistently than we do. They have lost to two very good teams, and a good team. They do not have a bad loss all year, and they dominated Iowa and Purdue. They have put it together pretty consistently on both sides of the ball ever since Michigan, with the one game dip on defense last week. Offensively they have been getting better, consistently, throughout the year.

I don't know that we have put it altogether a single game this year, other than Colorado and they are awful so not sure it was us or them. Purdue was close to putting together, but they moved the ball on us at will and made mistakes Wisconsin won't. It will take playing our best on both sides of the ball. We haven't done it yet this year really.

In the end, PJ will have to get out of the way on the offensive side and not be so conservative. Everyone blames Sanford, but PJ is the one driving the approach. He has to let them play a little and take some risks if they are going to have a chance.
 

MGGopher

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No clue. Conventional wisdom says if both teams play up to par and follow their script, Wisconsin probably wins by 7 - 10. They'll be more efficient in the run game with more chunk plays while MN tries to grind it out and probably scores something like 13 - 20 points. Keys to MN winning:
  • Score TDs in the redzone. Nebraska proved you can get yards on Wisconsin with a good plan. MN proved gainst Iowa that they can move it between the 20s against a good D. The key is finishing drives with TDs and not FGs or 4th down stops.
  • Force a turnover or two. Pressure Mertz and either make him cough it up or make bad decisions throwing it.
  • Creativity in the passing game. Take what Wisconsin gives in the short/intermediate game, show a couple new play-action looks, and take a couple deep shots to CAB -- even if he appears covered in man.
  • Win on STs. Make FGs, field every punt, and perhaps sneak in a return or two on punt or KO. Maybe show a punt block look Wisc hasn't seen. Maybe fake a punt or FG.
Likely to be a really close game for the most part. Like most games in that vein, big plays and turnovers will decide it.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Annexstad runs one back for a dinger, shocking the world as he uncorks 4.3 speed. PJ smirks at the after game presser “been holding on to that one”.

Stuff the run, force Mertz to pass and hope for mistakes. That RB looks like he's going to be really good.

On offense have to break all tendencies and hope for the best. Lock Sanford in a closet. Wisconsin is allowing 59 ypg on the ground and is also tops in the conference versus the pass with their vicious pass rush.

See paragraph 1.
 

Some Day...Maybe

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Except WI does everything a little better and more consistently than we do. They have lost to two very good teams, and a good team. They do not have a bad loss all year, and they dominated Iowa and Purdue. They have put it together pretty consistently on both sides of the ball ever since Michigan, with the one game dip on defense last week. Offensively they have been getting better, consistently, throughout the year.

I don't know that we have put it altogether a single game this year, other than Colorado and they are awful so not sure it was us or them. Purdue was close to putting together, but they moved the ball on us at will and made mistakes Wisconsin won't. It will take playing our best on both sides of the ball. We haven't done it yet this year really.

In the end, PJ will have to get out of the way on the offensive side and not be so conservative. Everyone blames Sanford, but PJ is the one driving the approach. He has to let them play a little and take some risks if they are going to have a chance.
This post makes the most sense to me. Wisconsin has improved as the season has gone on and I think their defense is superior to any we've played this year. We need a let down by Wisconsin, need them to have an off day. We also need our offense to far and away have it's best game it's had in 2 years.
 
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gopherjay

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This game comes down to "want" At some point you want it more than the other guy. At that point you execute better.
 




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