The Michigan Wolverines are experiencing a bit of a slump lately as they are coming off two wins against opponents with a combined record of 1-8 by a total of seven points. Yes, this team has a lot to work on heading into Big Ten play and it all starts with the quarterback.
On the other side of the field, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are coming off a tough home loss against the Iowa Hawkeyes. For the second-straight season, they have started the season strong and for the second-straight year, they will soon find out that an easy non-conference schedule could doom them.
Michigan has experienced some lack of offense in the past two games that wasn’t evident in the first two games of the season as they averaged 50 points per game on their way to a 2-0 record. Since then, they have averaged just 26 points per game, barely pulling off wins against lowly opponents. Devin Gardener‘s poor decisions continue to be an issue as he has completed just over 50 percent of his passes for 801 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. No quarterback should ever have more interceptions than scores thrown. He does have 301 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, ranking second on the team behind Fitzgerald Toussaint who has 319 yards and five scores.
Minnesota has one of the worst passing offenses in the entire nation, ranking 118th with just 111.2 yards per game. Philip Nelson leads all quarterbacks with a 50 percent completion rate and 380 yards with two touchdowns. David Cobb and Rodrick Williams Jr. lead the 23rd nationally-ranked run game with 651 yards and seven touchdowns combined. This team needs to improve its pass game if it wants a chance to compete in this conference.
Defensively, the Golden Gophers have allowed just over 20 points and 391 yards per game. Michigan has allowed 21 points and 311 yards per game — good for 21st in the nation.
Minnesota will travel to Michigan to take on the Wolverines at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 5. The game will be broadcasted on ABC and ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Minnesota 14, Michigan 31