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Topic: #4 Penn State (5-1, 8-1) at #17 Minnesota (6-0, 9-0) Post Game

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Big Beef Tacosupreme

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#4 Penn State (5-1, 8-1) at #17 Minnesota (6-0, 9-0) Post Game
« on: November 07, 2019, 03:06:10 PM »
I have very little time these days, so here goes a super brief preview:

1.  First time in a bazillion years that two undefeated B1G teams have met this late in the season when neither of the teams is either OSU or Michigan.

2.  Minnesota should have a significant home field advantage.  Not only is the excitement for their team at an all time high, it will be much colder than what Penn State is used to.  The Fox equivalent of ESPN Gameday will be there.  The crowd will be loud. 

3.  Recent Penn State games against Maryland, Iowa, and Michigan were at night, and Michigan State was at 3:30.  The early kick time could be an issue.

4.  Minnesota has the best wide receivers Penn State has faced all season (Rondale Moore was injured during the Purdue game).  Penn State has struggled with tall, physical receivers all year.

5.  Minnesota has the best offensive line Penn State has seen all season.  Honestly I can't believe how huge these guys are.  This has to be the biggest offensive line in the country, and that includes NFL teams.  They have some Andre the Giant guys playing for them.  6'9" and 400 pounds? Really?

6.  If Penn State has a weakness, it is their pass rush.  Minnesota has only allowed one sack in the past 3 or 4 games.

7.  Penn State is still dealing with significant injuries in the secondary.  There will be plenty of true freshman on the field trying to stop Minnesota's excellent wide receivers.

8.  Because the wide receivers and the offensive line match up so well, it is highly likely that Minnesota will have success in the passing game.

9.  Minnesota is an excellent rushing team.  Their offensive line is very good at opening holes and allowing their running backs to get positive yardage. 

10.  Penn State's offense has been good, but it has relied on the big play.  They often go 3 and out, which puts a lot of strain on the defense.  When tired, the defense is vulnerable to a power rushing attack and struggles to get to the quarterback. 

11.  Football is a game of match ups, and Minnesota's offense matches up very nicely against Penn State's defense.  Minnesota is very capable of scoring 30+ points against PSU.  I don't think any other human team in the B1G could do that.  (OSU does not meet the definition of human)

12.  Minnesota's defense is much, much stronger now than it was at the beginning of the year, as they have only allowed 5 touchdowns in the last 4 games.  However, I do think Penn State is more than capable of moving the ball against them. 

13.  Penn State's offense is the key.  They will have to move the ball consistently in order to give the PSU defense a rest, and they will likely have to score at least 30 points to win.  More importantly, Clifford will need to have an excellent game.  I suppose there is a chance that Penn State will find a rushing attack, but they have been average when running the ball all season. 

14.  Clifford has been rattled in every game when he is faced with consistent pressure.  I'm not sure if the Minnesota DL has the talent to get to him consistently, but if they do Minnesota will likely win big.  Clifford has been excellent against teams that blitz, so that will likely be less of a factor.

15.  I recognize that Minnesota has somehow managed to randomly play all of the bottom B1G teams, and their overall schedule strength has not been good.  However, a team playing with confidence is very hard to stop.  They also trounced Illinois.  Illinois is a much better team than we thought they were.  They have also had higher margins of victory than PSU did against their common opponents.

16.  I don't want to make a prediction yet, but if I'm a betting man I would take the over on this one.  A shootout is likely. 


« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 03:25:43 PM by ELA »

medinabuckeye1

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 03:35:04 PM »
15.  I recognize that Minnesota has somehow managed to randomly play all of the bottom B1G teams, and their overall schedule strength has not been good.  However, a team playing with confidence is very hard to stop.  They also trounced Illinois.  Illinois is a much better team than we thought they were.  They have also had higher margins of victory than PSU did against their common opponents.
Ah, no they didn't.  They will have four common opponents by the end of the year, but they only have two so far because Minnesota hasn't played Iowa yet and Penn State hasn't played Rutgers yet.  Here are the two common opponents:
  • Purdue:  PSU won by 28, MN won by 7
  • Maryland:  PSU won by 59, MN won by 42


A somewhat deeper look:
Purdue:
The Nittany Lions obliterated Purdue.  The game was never in doubt.  Penn State led 28-0 early in the second quarter and coasted to an easy 35-7 win.  Purdue's one TD win was maybe not quite as close as the final score made it look but it was competitive until late in the third quarter when the Gophers attained a three score lead at 38-17 and after that Purdue kept fighting and scored two fourth quarter TD's to get to the final, 38-31 score.  After Purdue's final TD made it a seven point game, the Gophers got the ball back with 3:59 to go and needed to pick up several first downs to ice the game.  The successfully did that, going 41 yards in eight plays but a timely PI penalty on a 3rd and 6 with 3:10 to play was key.  Without that call Purdue would have gotten the ball needing just one TD to tie it up.  

Maryland:
The Nittany Lions obliterated Maryland.  The game was a laugher and never in doubt.  Penn State led 38-0 at halftime and scored three more TD's in the second half for a 59-0 route.  Minnesota's win over Maryland was also decisive but not quite so much as Penn State's.  The Gophers led 28-3 at halftime and 45-3 before Maryland found the endzone.  Then Minnesota scored again for the final margin of 52-10.  

Big Beef Tacosupreme

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 05:15:48 PM »
Ah, no they didn't.  They will have four common opponents by the end of the year, but they only have two so far because Minnesota hasn't played Iowa yet and Penn State hasn't played Rutgers yet.  Here are the two common opponents:
  • Purdue:  PSU won by 28, MN won by 7
  • Maryland:  PSU won by 59, MN won by 42


A somewhat deeper look:
Purdue:
The Nittany Lions obliterated Purdue.  The game was never in doubt.  Penn State led 28-0 early in the second quarter and coasted to an easy 35-7 win.  Purdue's one TD win was maybe not quite as close as the final score made it look but it was competitive until late in the third quarter when the Gophers attained a three score lead at 38-17 and after that Purdue kept fighting and scored two fourth quarter TD's to get to the final, 38-31 score.  After Purdue's final TD made it a seven point game, the Gophers got the ball back with 3:59 to go and needed to pick up several first downs to ice the game.  The successfully did that, going 41 yards in eight plays but a timely PI penalty on a 3rd and 6 with 3:10 to play was key.  Without that call Purdue would have gotten the ball needing just one TD to tie it up. 

Maryland:
The Nittany Lions obliterated Maryland.  The game was a laugher and never in doubt.  Penn State led 38-0 at halftime and scored three more TD's in the second half for a 59-0 route.  Minnesota's win over Maryland was also decisive but not quite so much as Penn State's.  The Gophers led 28-3 at halftime and 45-3 before Maryland found the endzone.  Then Minnesota scored again for the final margin of 52-10. 
You are correct, I don’t know what I was thinking!  
I am assuming you think PSU will won easily?

medinabuckeye1

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 05:33:10 PM »
You are correct, I don’t know what I was thinking! 
I am assuming you think PSU will won easily?
Not necessarily easily.  

For one thing I think that Minnesota has improved substantially as the season has progressed so the Purdue comparison is probably invalid at this point.  Minnesota played them way back in September and the September version of Minnesota was not very good.  

I do think that the Maryland comparison is more valid.  Minnesota just played them two weeks ago and they were not quite as dominant as Penn State was when the Nittany Lions played Maryland.  That is about how I see these two teams.  I think Penn State is better but not necessarily by a huge margin.  

Thus, my guess is that Penn State is somewhat better, say 10-20 points better which is a little more than the 6.5 points that the guys in the desert came up with.  However, I'm not sure that we really can know how good Minnesota is yet because their last two opponents are the worst two teams in the league and Nebraska isn't much better.  We haven't yet seen the October/November version of Minnesota in a contested game.  With Penn State, of course, we have seen what they've got because they are coming off of three straight games against comparable opponents (MSU, M, IA) so they have been forced to show us.  

Bottom line, my guess is that PSU pulls away in the second half and wins by 10-20 points but it wouldn't completely shock me if Minnesota wins or if PSU runs the Gophers out of the stadium.  The only thing that would completely shock me would be for Minnesota to blow PSU out.  I just don't think their ceiling is that high.  

RestingB!tchFace

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 05:50:02 PM »
12.  Minnesota's defense is much, much stronger now than it was at the beginning of the year, as they have only allowed 5 touchdowns in the last 4 games.  However, I do think Penn State is more than capable of moving the ball against them. 

This is only partially correct.  In the Illinois game....their two touchdowns were scored on defense by way of a pick six and a fumble returned for a touchdown.  And Maryland's only touchdown came against the Gophers backups.

I heard a stat a couple days ago that kind of blew my mind.  The Gophers first string defense in the past four games has scored more touchdowns than they've given up.  Even though the competition hasn't exactly been brutal....that's still pretty amazing against Big Ten conference teams.

RestingB!tchFace

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 06:05:00 PM »
Ah, no they didn't.  They will have four common opponents by the end of the year, but they only have two so far because Minnesota hasn't played Iowa yet and Penn State hasn't played Rutgers yet.  Here are the two common opponents:
  • Purdue:  PSU won by 28, MN won by 7
  • Maryland:  PSU won by 59, MN won by 42


A somewhat deeper look:
Purdue:
The Nittany Lions obliterated Purdue.  The game was never in doubt.  Penn State led 28-0 early in the second quarter and coasted to an easy 35-7 win.  Purdue's one TD win was maybe not quite as close as the final score made it look but it was competitive until late in the third quarter when the Gophers attained a three score lead at 38-17 and after that Purdue kept fighting and scored two fourth quarter TD's to get to the final, 38-31 score.  After Purdue's final TD made it a seven point game, the Gophers got the ball back with 3:59 to go and needed to pick up several first downs to ice the game.  The successfully did that, going 41 yards in eight plays but a timely PI penalty on a 3rd and 6 with 3:10 to play was key.  Without that call Purdue would have gotten the ball needing just one TD to tie it up. 

Maryland:
The Nittany Lions obliterated Maryland.  The game was a laugher and never in doubt.  Penn State led 38-0 at halftime and scored three more TD's in the second half for a 59-0 route.  Minnesota's win over Maryland was also decisive but not quite so much as Penn State's.  The Gophers led 28-3 at halftime and 45-3 before Maryland found the endzone.  Then Minnesota scored again for the final margin of 52-10. 

That seven point margin of victory over Purdue is massively misrepresenting how much more dominant the Gophers were in that game.  Going up three touchdowns into the fourth quarter and Fleck and company completely took their feet off the pedal.  Not to mention that they pretty much went into a prevent defense.  Then of course there was the fluky onside kick that bounced right off Seth Green's facemask.  My guess is that with the way that the first three games came down to the wire....Fleck just wanted to be sure to protect the lead and make sure nothing crazy happened.  Almost ended up biting him.

But as I was saying.  The Gophers could have easily run up the score on Purdue.  This was the game that Tanner Morgan set the Big Ten completion percentage record throwing 21/22 (95.5%) for 396 yards and four touchdowns.  Purdue had absolutely zero answer for the passing attack.



  

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 06:22:48 PM »
I think that the Leos will win. Hope it is a good game.
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MrNubbz

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 07:30:42 PM »
Think this will be a good game up in Mnpls.Goph receivers should keep it close between Bateman & Bell
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Cincydawg

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2019, 08:08:31 AM »
I hope Minny wins but don't think they will.

FearlessF

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2019, 12:22:07 PM »
I'm taking the 6.5 and the goophers
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ELA

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2019, 04:02:39 PM »


***BIG TEN GAME OF THE WEEK***
#4 Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-0, 8-0)
NOON - Minneapolis, MN
Here it is.  Gameday missed a chance for what could be an absolutely electric atmosphere.  It's a noon kick, it's going to be freezing cold, it's some fresh blood, it's going to be a ton of fun.  I can't remember the last time I was this geeked for a non-Michigan State game.  Is Ohio State-Penn State going to be bigger if both are still undefeated?  Obviously.  Have there been bigger games in the conference, even in recent history?  Sure.  But this is undefeated Minnesota in November.  In a sport that is designed to keep the power consolidated in the few who have always held it, there is something extra special about a fresh face.  This is #15 Wisconsin hosting #3 Ohio State in 1993; #6 Northwestern hosting #12 Penn State in 1995; #16 Purdue hosting #12 Ohio State in 2000; #13 Iowa going to #8 Michigan in 2002; or #15 Michigan State hosting #4 Wisconsin in 2011.  Win or lose.  Fake or real, it's just nice to see an up and comer get their shot on the big stage.  The easy take I've been hearing all week is how this is destined to be a defensive slug fest.  The Gophers and Nittany Lions are 2nd and 3rd in the Big Ten in scoring offense, behind Ohio State, #2 and #5 in ypp.  The Penn State story has been just how strong their defensive line has been all the way across.  They don't have a Chase Young type, they don't have a single player in the top 7 in the Big Ten in sacks, but as a team are tied with Michigan in sacks per game.  That narrative has been reliant on some gawdy early numbers.  Recently, the production has not been so good.  They racked up 14 sacks in their first two Big Ten games, against Maryland and Purdue.  Just 5 in the three games since, and it's not as though Michigan State and Iowa have great offensive lines.  Over that three game stretch they have only recorded sacks on 3.66% of opponent drop backs, in the bottom 30 of the country.  They have to battle a Minnesota offensive line that averages 340 pounds per man, likely the largest in the country?  How does that big of a front, with a backfield that goes three deep without a dropoff wear on a team over the course of a game?  There is no surprise that Minnesota is #8 nationally, and #1 in the Big Ten at 10.4 4th quarter ppg.  That matters in a lot in a game like this that feels like Minnesota could jump out quickly with heavy home field momentum, and then spend three quarters trying to hold on.  The problem is the Gophers, while averaging a Big Ten best 10.8 ypa passing, simply don't pass the ball enough.  At just 33.7% of the time, on 7 schools in the FBS (and one in the Power 5) are more run heavy, and four of them are triple option teams.  Penn State's run defense is leading the nation, allowing just 2.2 ypa.  The Gophers are going to have to pass the ball more than 20 times to win, even if they jump out to an early lead.  While Minnesota is second in the Big Ten in rushing, the best run defense they've face to date?  Georgia Southern.
PENN STATE 30, MINNESOTA 21


Cincydawg

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2019, 04:05:22 PM »
My guess Penn State 31  Minnesota 10, game basically over early.

GopherRock

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 04:50:38 PM »
I hope Minny wins but don't think they will.
This is where I'm at as well. The Gophers have pushed the rock up the mountain so many times over the years, and I'd love to see it roll over the summit one of these times. 

Big Beef Tacosupreme

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Re: #4 Penn State (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota (5-0, 8-0) Game Week
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2019, 05:37:36 PM »
This is where I'm at as well. The Gophers have pushed the rock up the mountain so many times over the years, and I'd love to see it roll over the summit one of these times.
I'll be honest, at first I though Minnesota stood no chance. Then I started analyzing their team and it is an entirely different story.  Their wide receivers can make a case for being the best in the B1G.  Their QB is completing nearly 2/3rds of his passes, and is second in the league in pass efficiency.  Their offensive line is excellent.  Their defense has been incredible over the last few games.  They match up well both defensively and offensively.  Penn State's secondary is depleted due to injuries, and their starting DT is suspended for this game.

Yes, I know they played a soft schedule.  But they have dudes.  Really good dudes.  

I do not like this.

So here's a wacky prediction that will probably make look like a genius later.

Minnesota will win this game, and matches up so well that I could see the Gophs winning comfortably.  Minnesota wins, 35-21.

 

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