The Minnesota Golden Gophers have already secured their spot in a bowl game, but they would now like to prevent the Michigan State Spartans from doing the same. The Gophers host the Spartans this Saturday in front of what figures to be a raucous crowd since it is senior day.
The Gophers will be trying to move past the fact that they have lost their leading receiver. A.J. Barker quit the team Sunday after sending an angry e-mail to head coach Gary Kill. The junior walk-on got into an argument with Kill about the fact that he has yet to receive a scholarship and a mishandling of an injury. Barker had a sprained ankle that he felt got worse after being forced to practice on it. Kill has denied those claims.
The Gophers shot out to a 4-0 start, but have since gone 2-5. The offense was explosive over the first four weeks, but has suddenly deserted Minnesota. Only once in their last seven games have they manged to top 14 points. The Gophers currently rank 101st in the nation when it comes to points per game with a 22.4 average.
The Spartans, on the the other hand, are desperate for a win to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time since 2006. The Spartans have lost some heart-breakers in recent weeks and they have played in seven straight games decided by four points or less. Luckily for Minnesota, the Spartans offense has been even more inept this season. They are averaging under 20 points per contest which puts them at 110th overall. The reason they still have a shot at a bowl game is thanks to their defense, which is giving up under 17 points a game. That’s good enough for a top ten ranking in the country.
Expect this one to be a low scoring tight ball game. And the team that finds a player who can step up and make a big play late, should get rewarded with a victory.
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