RUSH OFFENSE vs. MINNESOTA RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is up to #38 in rushing offense (193.4 yards/game) and #57 in yards per carry (4.57). Karan Higdon has taken over the leading role with 604 yards and 8 touchdowns on 5.9 yards/carry. Ty Isaac has also run well, but he left last weekend’s game with an injury, and Kareem Walker also left with a sprained ankle. The other top option is Chris Evans (298 yards on 3.9 yards/carry). The offensive line is #19 in Adjusted Line Yards this season. The group has improved noticeably over the past few weeks, particularly in the run game since right tackle Nolan Ulizio was replaced by Juwann Bushell-Beatty. The Gophers are #36 in rushing defense (132.8 yards allowed/game) and #54 in yards allowed per carry (4.12). The leading tackler is middle linebacker Thomas Barber (6’1″, 233 lbs.) with 75 stops, and he’s followed by weakside linebacker Jonathan Celestin (6’1″, 232) with 60 tackles. Barber is #2 on the team in tackles for loss (8.0), topped only by DE/OLB Carter Coughlin (6’4″, 245) and his 8.5 tackles for loss. Minnesota has a solid interior defensive line with nose tackle Steven Richardson (6’0″, 300) and 3-tech Gary Moore (6’4″, 295). The Gophers are solid up front, but Michigan seems to have an upward trend right now that I expect to continue in the running game.
Hit the jump for more on this Saturday’s game.