2009-10 Minnesota Golden Gophers Football Predictions
by Doc - 8/25/2009
2009-10 Minnesota Golden Gophers Football Predictions: 8-4 (5-3 in Big Ten)
This will be the third year for Coach Tim Brewster and he has some talent to make some noise in the conference. Along with that talent comes a brand new outdoor stadium on campus (TCF Bank Stadium). This will be a major plus for this team and help them in all facets of their program, especially recruiting.
Unfortunately, like a couple of other Big Ten teams, Minnesota's schedule is brutal with road games at Penn State, Ohio State, and Iowa. Unlike the philosophy of previous Coach Glen Mason, Brewster also scheduled difficult non-conference games at Syracuse and hosting Air Force and California. Opening the season 3-0 will be very difficult but they do return 17 starters on offense and defense. The Gophers struggled to run the football last season, averaging just more than 100 yards per game. Minnesota may struggle in special teams as well as they have to replace both their place kicker and punter.
Strengths: As I previously mentioned, the Gophers have experience with 17 starters back, the most in the Big Ten. Their offense will be led by QB Adam Weber and WR Eric Decker, an all-conference selection in 2008. If they can get any rushing attack, this should give the passing game plenty of time and opportunities.
The defense played well last season expect for the last two games when they were outscored 76-21 combined by Iowa and Kansas. The secondary will be strong and is led by Traye Simmons.
Weakness: Schedule, Schedule, Schedule! The two teams Minnesota does not face are Michigan and Indiana, two of the worst teams in the conference. The defensive line needs to find a playmaker that will be able to generate some pass rush. Minnesota also will have a new offensive and defensive coordinator this year. Kevin Cosgrove is the head man on defense and one has to wonder if he can turn it around after a disastrous stint with Nebraska.
Favorable line to play: Wisconsin at Minnesota (Oct. 3). This will be the Gophers first Big Ten game at TCF Bank Stadium and they will have revenge on their minds after losing in Madison last year, 35-32. Minnesota led by 14 points at halftime in that game and now have lost five straight to Wisconsin. Wisconsin will be coming off a tough battle with Michigan State the week before and this will be their first road game of the season.
Favorable line to play against: Minnesota at Penn State (Oct. 17). The Gophers could be 3-0 in the conference at this point and thus the line may be small. The Nittany Lions could have a loss already to Iowa or Illinois and this is a get healthy game for them. I will lay the wood.
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