Gophers Football and Colorado Match: Keys to Play, How to Watch and Who Has an Advantage – InForum

When: 2:30 pm on Saturday
where: Huntington Bank Stadium
Television: ESPN2
radio: Kafan, 100.3 FM
weather: 79 degrees, partly cloudy, 7 mph
Favorite bet: Minnesota, -27.5

records: Minnesota is 2-0 after a blast win over New Mexico and Western Illinois by a score of 100-10. Colorado is 0-2 after overcoming its losses to Texas Christian and the Air Force with a total of 79-13.

Date: Gophers Colorado closed 30-0 last September in Boulder to a large pool of maroon and gold in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This was U’s first win in four previous matches with the Buffs.

Matching keys: Mike Sanford Jr. vs. Joe Rossi: Former Gopher Offensive Coordinator/current Colorado OC vs. Minnesota Defense Coordinator. A Russian defense led Minnesota’s nine-win season in 2021, while Sanford’s offensive was delayed and his contract was not renewed. They know intimate details about how the other works, but Rossi has much better athletes and has consistently shown the ability to execute.

Gopher Offensive vs. Colorado Defense: Minnesota is #1 in the state with an average of 582 attacking yards per game, while Colorado’s defense is 104 by 428 allowed. Kirk Ciaroca, U’s offensive coordinator, said it’s too early for anyone to say U has a great attack or defense: “There isn’t enough data yet.” … Minnesota is one of 10 programs that do not allow Kiss through two games. Colorado ‘D’ didn’t score a sack. … Minnesota Landing Breakdown: 12 rushes; one passes. Colorado has died in the past with 355 flowing yards allowed per game, but Ciarrocca was willing to ditch the Air Force game due to the Falcons’ three-choice attack and wanted to focus on the TCU game, which was 7-6 in the half — by 31 The Horned Frogs record Unanswered point in the second half. … Mo Ibrahim, Tree Pots & Co. must have big holes to beat. … Tanner Morgan is the third highest-rated QB this season with an average of 92.3, per college Pro Football Focus. The Gophers had nine runs and 11 assists players during the second week. EDGE: Gophers

Gopher’s defense against the Colorado attack: Minnesota is No. 1 in the state with 142 yards allowed per game, while Colorado is 125 by 255 yards. …Sanford played two quarterbacks (GT Schrute and Brendon Lewis), neither of which had much success, with one pass combined and one interception. Rossi prepares his unit to face both QBs. …S Jordan Howden recovered from allowing explosive play to make an interception in the Gophers’ 62-10 win over Western Illinois last week. … Minnesota has 28 defensive players who have played interference through two games and 19 have played at least 20 times; This will help with their depth as the season progresses. …five defensive linemen created three pressures each (Thomas Rush, Danny Strego, Galen Logan Redding, Keeler Bow and Trail Carter), per PFF. Rossi emphasized turning pressure into sacks. Striggo, Logan-Redding, and Rush have one bag each this season. …the Buffaloes lost their best playmaker, RB Jarek Broussard, who moved up to 11th in Michigan State, U opponent next week. RB Deion Smith leads the team with 45 yards per game. Edge: Gopher

special teams: To underscore just how much the Gophers have dominated lower-level opponents this season: Dragan Kesich has 17 kickoffs and Mark Crawford has two. Both kickers — Matthew Trickett of the U and Cole Baker of Colorado — are 3-for-3 on field goals. Edge: Gopher

prediction: Sanford may relish the opportunity to get revenge on his former employer, but he doesn’t have the players to sway what seems to make for another gritty gopher defense. Gopher, 42-6

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