Gophers v. Colorado: Week 3 Preview

Sept. 13, 2022Allowing only 10 points through two games (fewest since 1999), the Gophers will look to continue their dominance against Colorado in week three.

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Broadcast Info:

  • Date: Sat., Sept. 17
  • TV channel: ESPN2
  • Time of kickoff: 2:30 p.m. (CST)
  • Broadcast team: n/a (play-by-play) & n/a (color)
  • Betting line: Minnesota (-27.5) v. Colorado, o/u: (47 points)

Opponent Information (Colorado):

  • 2021 record: 4-8
    • V. North Colorado (FCS) 35-7 W
    • V. Texas A&M 7-10 L
    • V. Colorado 0-30 L
    • @ Arizona State 13-35 L
    • V. USC 14-37 L
    • V. Arizona 34-0 W
    • @ California 2-26 L
    • @ Oregon 29-52 L
    • V. Oregon State 37-34 W
    • @ UCLA 20-44 L
    • V. Washington 20-17 W
    • @ Utah 13-28 L
  • 2022 record: 0-2
    • V. TCU 13-38 L
    • @ Air Force 10-41 L
  • Head Coach: Karl Dorrell (2nd season)
  • Players to watch: Terrence Lang (DE), Isaiah Lewis (S), Alex Fontenot (RB), Josh Chandler-Semedo (LB), and J.T. Shrout (QB)

Colorado season storylines:

  • OC Mike Sanford Jr. and TE coach Clay Patterson return to UMN:

Gophers fans will obviously recognize notorious former offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. He was fired in the spring after two less than favorable seasons calling plays. Colorado saw his far less than stellar track record and opted to give him the same position in Boulder. Minnesota is now No. 1 in the country in total offense per game (582 per game) while Colorado is 125th (255 per game). Colorado also decided to add former Gophers TE coach Clay Patterson to its staff in the same role as well as passing game coordinator. The duo has struggled through two weeks, but they will now look for revenge in their return to the University of Minnesota.

  • QB competition J.T. Shrout vs. Brendon Lewis:

Tennessee transfer J.T. Shrout and true sophomore Brendon Lewis were in an off-season QB battle in 2021 and it seemed like Lewis had won. He started all 12 games last season, but with major changes in the offensive coaching staff, the competition was reignited this offseason. This time it seemed much closer. In week one against TCU, Lewis got the start going 13/18 for 78 yards passing, with eight carries for 48 yards on the ground, but Shrout added 13/23 passing for 157 yards and one TD in relief. The following week against Air Force, Shrout started and was the only QB to appear in the game, going 5/21 passing for 51 yards, zero TDs and one INT.

Now heading into a week three game with the Gophers there is no indication of the Buffaloes’ plan at QB. Lewis is much more a dual-threat, but Shrout has shown “a little bit” more passing the ball. With whoever is at QB, Colorado hasn’t had much success offensively. I don’t think either player will have much of an impact on the outcome of Saturday’s game.

  • How bad is Colorado?:

Colorado is one of four power five teams in college football to start the season 0-2, they are 7th worst in total offense and 11th worst in total defense (428 YPG). The Gophers are (-27.5) point favorites and they are expected to win this game. I could be persuaded, but I believe that Colorado is the worst-power-five team in college football. But Gophers fans know, there is a reason why you play the games.

Gophers’ path to victory:

There are a few things that need to happen for an upset to happen in college football. For example, in both the Bowling Green and Miami (OH) games last season, the Gophers started very slow. After starting incredibly sluggish, they continued to have short offensive possessions, putting tremendous pressure on their defense to get stops. Through two weeks in 2022, there is no indication that will be the case with Kirk Ciarrocca calling plays.

With all that being said, the Gophers match up very well with Colorado. The Buffaloes have allowed a nation’s-worst 355 rushing yards per game through two weeks. We all know that Mohamed Ibrahim and Trey Potts have played like one of the best duos in college football through two weeks, so I think there is a great chance we see much of the same in week three.

To be completely honest, there isn’t much positive to say about Colorado, but we all know how weird sports can be sometimes. Mike Sanford Jr. and Clay Patterson will both have revenge on their mind and Colorado is a power-five football team with power-five football recruits. This is still a step up in competition for Minnesota from New Mexico State and Western Illinois. This could easily be a trap spot for the Gophers in their final non-conference game of the season, but I think we will see an impressive showing with maybe one or two hicccups in a 31-10 victory.

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