The Big10 already had attention when Northwestern and Nebraska played in Dublin this weekend. Somehow I actually saw more stories about free beer being handed out than I did seeing stories about the game. It was a very entertaining game, though. Now we get another Big10 game, but I wouldn’t classify this as one that will be entertaining.
New Mexico State has already played a game. It was a 23-12 loss to Nevada. I’m not expecting either of those two teams in that contest to make some noise, but I would’ve expected the Aggies to do a bit better against Nevada. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get anything going in the ground game, only mustering 85 rushing yards in the game. Their two quarterbacks turned in somewhat acceptable yardage. The problem was that starter Diego Pavia completed nine passes to his team and three passes to his opponents. Once Gavin Frakes took over the team was a bit more polished on offense. It will be an uphill battle trying to face the Golden Gophers. They will need to do better than the four interceptions they allowed if they want any hope of keeping the game respectable.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have no excuse for losing this game. It won’t happen, either, but if they did lose, there would be no excuse. They have a returning quarterback in Tanner Morgan. They have a couple of decent receivers that will be back, so they should know the routes and have worked with Morgan previously. The running game might be a little up in the air as there has been a bit of turnover or loss there. Still, they are at home where the past teams have tended to play well. After a strong 9-4 campaign last year, I think the Golden Gophers have no struggle in this one.
I think that it is reasonable to think New Mexico State gets blown out in this game. I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if they score under 14 points. One thing is that Minnesota doesn’t always tend to come out of the game and build a big lead in the first quarter. I think the best play is taking New Mexico State +9.5 in the first quarter. Despite four interceptions, they still held Nevada to just 23 points. I think in the first quarter they probably can limit Minnesota’s production, they might be able to control the ball or even score themselves. After that, Minnesota will likely blow them out.