2009 Minnesota Golden Gophers College Football Predictions
2009 Minnesota Golden Gophers Predictions
2008 Record: (7-6, 3-5)
Coach: Tim Brewster, 3rd year (8-17)
Off. Coordinator: Jedd Fisch (1st year)
Def. Coordinator: Ronnie Lee (1st year)
Returning Starters: 18 (10 offense, 8 defense)
Ret. Starting Quarterback: Yes (Adam Weber)
Offense: The key to the Minnesota offense is running the football, something they could barely muster last season, averaging just 103.9 yards per game (104th in the nation) and 3.1 ypc. They also added a new offensive coordinator in Jedd Fisch to help improve the ground game. Sophomore DeLeon Eskridge leads the running game after rushing for 678 yards and seven TDs in his freshman season. Sophomore Shady Salamon was also impressive as a freshman running back. Junior QB Adam Weber (6-3, 217) returns after a strong season, tossing for 2,761 yards and 15 TDs as a sophomore. He also has great assets at receiver which includes Eric Decker (84 catches, 7 TDs), a first-team All-Big 10 selection last year. The offensive line returns four starters but also adds two transfers to compete for starting jobs with some of the returners. Juco giant Jeff Wills (6-7, 375) provides size at right tackle, while Notre Dame transfer Matt Carufel (6-5, 303), who started three games in 2007, comes in at right guard.
Defense: The defense brings back eight starters from a unit that allowed 24.8ppg and 383.6ypg (80th in the nation). They have to get better against the pass, which would help if the can improve the pass rush. Seniors Eric Small (6-2, 301) and Garrett Brown (6-2, 303) return at tackle, but they’ll need help from the ends on the edge. At linebacker, senior Lee Campbell (6-3, 246) is back after recording four sacks last year with 80 tackles. In the secondary, they lose could lose starting safety Tremaine Brock (academic casualty), who may return in the fall. Junior FS Kyle Theret led the secondary with 78 tackles along with three picks, while senior CB Traye Simmons led the team with four picks.
Outlook: Minnesota has a chance to ruffle some feathers in the Big 10, especially if the running game improves. They open with Syracuse on the road, then face Air Force and California at home. Unfortunately, they face Ohio State and Penn State on the road in a very tough conference schedule, which also features Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. They also take on South Dakota State at home, but that might not be enough to get them to a minor bowl game even if they show improvement.
This Big Ten conference prediction is courtesy of the ATS Sports Blog. If you are looking for winning college football betting picks be sure to choose ATS Consultants this year, A featured sports handicapping service on Touthouse.com