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Rush Offense vs. Minnesota Rush Defense
Last week the Gophers allowed the much heralded D.J. McNorton to run for 92 yards and 1 touchdown on 13 carries. McNorton plays for the North Dakota State
Fighting Sioux Baby Rabbits, who have been terrorizing the likes of St. Francis and Lafayette so far this year. North Dakota State’s quarterback added 37 yards on 6 carries. Extrapolate that out over Denard Robinson’s 21 carries a game (minus the shortened Western Michigan exhibition) multiplied by Robinson’s talent, and that means Robinson alone should have approximately 800 yards rushing. Factor in eight handoffs to Fitzgerald Toussaint, five to Vincent Smith, and one fumble by Stephen Hopkins, and Michigan should rush for close to 300 yards.
Pass Offense vs. Minnesota Pass Defense
Cripple fight! This is going to be like Stephen Hawking vs.
Christopher Reeve Larry Flynt. Denard’s passes are allergic to wide open receivers, and so are Minnesota’s defensive backs. Denard will complete approximately seven passes; four of them will be hitches while he rolls to the receiver’s side, two will be play action slants over the middle, and one will be a screen pass. The other eight passes will fall harmlessly to the ground or hit the umpire in the face.
Advantage: Stephen Hawking
Rush Defense vs. Minnesota Rush Offense
This all depends on whether quarterback MarQueis Gray – who’s questionable for Saturday – plays or not. Historically, Michigan has trouble with running quarterbacks (who doesn’t?), and Gray is averaging almost 88 yards a game. Gray was a wide receiver last year and probably should still be a wide receiver, because he’s 6’4″, 240 lbs. and throws like a punter. Starting running back Duane Bennett is scary in the same way that every running back has been scary over the last few years; he’s not very good but Michigan has the ability to turn him into a quality back for a week.
Pass Defense vs. Minnesota Pass Offense
Gray is barely completing 50% of his passes, and that’s true no matter what caliber of defense he’s facing. He targets wideout Da’Jon McKnight most often, and McKnight is actually a decent player. He’s 6’3″ and 211 lbs. and while he doesn’t have great speed, he has decent hands and provides a big target. McKnight caught 9 passes for 146 yards against New Mexico State a few weeks ago. Other than McKnight there aren’t many big threats to catch the ball. Meanwhile, Michigan has been picking up the pass rush over the past couple weeks, and the Gophers are allowing 2.5 sacks a game. Backup quarterback Max Shortell has red hair and, as we all learned from the NFL Draft this past year, no good quarterback has ever been a redhead.
- Michigan recruited Minnesota LB Keanon Cooper out of Dallas (TX) Skyline a few years ago
- Michigan also recruited Minnesota LB Brendan Beal, who chose the Florida Gators before transferring to Minnesota
- Minnesota WR J.D. Pride was Seantrel Henderson’s best friend and the guy Minnesota offered in the hopes of Henderson becoming a Gopher. Henderson went to
USCMiami, anyway. And as if this wasn’t apparent enough in the first place, Pride has been deemed unworthy at quarterback and is now buried on the bench at wideout.
- Former Michigan OG Tim McAvoy has two younger brothers – twins Kyle and Luke – who are freshmen on the offensive line for the Gophers.
- Denard runs for 120 yards before getting knocked out of the game
- If Gray plays, Michigan gets a pick six. If Shortell plays, Michigan gets four sacks.
- Michigan breaks two 40+ yard runs
- Devin Gardner scores a touchdown
- Michigan 38, Minnesota 14
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