The Gophers open the second half of the season with a difficult road game at Purdue on October 16th. Last season, the Maroon and Gold handled the Boilermakers by a score of 35-20 and should have a good chance at getting another win over Purdue. Next, the Gophers return home for two weeks to take on top ranked opponents Penn State and Ohio State. Minnesota is then on the road for two games at Michigan State on November 6th and at Illinois on November 13th. The Gophers finish the season off at home, welcoming the Iowa Hawkeyes to TCF Bank Stadium for the first time.
Trap Game:Coming off two tough games against Penn State and Ohio State as well as a difficult road test versus Michigan State in East Lansing, the Gophers may be looking at Illinois as a confidence booster before playing Iowa to end the regular season. Illinois would appear to be down this year losing their top two offensive players, Juice Williams and Arrelious Benn. Williams threw for 1632 yards and 12 touchdowns while running for 507 yards and four more touchdowns. The ever-dangerous Benn caught 38 passes for 490 and two scores. Without their top two players, the Gophers may take the Illini too lightly. A loss in Champaign could prove disastrous for Minnesota. The Gophers will most likely be fighting for a bowl bid and a loss to a sub-par team like Illinois would not look good on a resume.
The final game of the regular season could prove to be the most important for Minnesota. On November 27th, the Gophers will host Iowa in a battle for Floyd of Rosedale. The Gophers have not won in this rivalry game since 2006 and have lost eight of the last nine meetings. The past two games have been especially fruitful for the Hawkeyes who have outscored their rivals 67-0. Stars like Ricky Stanzi, Tyler Sash and Adrian Clayborn are sure to make this a difficult test for the Maroon and Gold. If Minnesota can pull the upset and keep Floyd in Minneapolis, it could be the biggest win of the year for the Gophers.
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