The Teams: Michigan (4-0) at Minnesota
(4-1) The History: The two teams play for The Little Brown
Jug. Michigan holds a 72-24-3 all-time advantage. The Depth Charts:Minnesota
and Michigan The Place: The Big House, Ann Arbor, Mich. The Time: 3:30 p.m. EST The Line: Michigan -20.5 The Broadcast: ABC/ESPN2 The Updates:Follow
the game on The Fort or follow us on Twitter: Borton, Balas, Spath, Reid and Sullivan.
the fact they almost lost to Akron, they're human. You
know what I mean? Everybody praises them to be elite, and
I just feel like they're a regular football team."
-- Minnesota Defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman to the Minneapolis
Star-Tribune, talking about the Wolverines. Between
that and Minnesota safety Cedric Thomas talking ill of
redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner, Michigan has
plenty of bulletin board material.
Staff Predictions: For two straight games,
TheWolverine.com writers have pegged blowout wins and
been wrong. What did we say this time around? Click
here to find out.
Matchups: TheWolverine.com takes a look at the
most important matchups on the field, including the
young interior offensive line vs. Minnesota DT Ra'Shede
here to read the rest.
Roundtable: The staff members of
TheWolverine.com debate the biggest issues about
Michigan sports every Saturday. Click
here to read.
The number of wins the Golden Gophers have in this series
since 1968, compared to 38 wins for the Wolverines. That's
about as lopsided as things can get. Michigan last lost The
Jug in 2005, when Minnesota won on a last-second field goal,
The difference in
turnover margin between Minnesota (plus-two) and Michigan
(minus-five) this year. After surrendering eight turnovers
in the last two games, the Wolverines must be more careful
with the ball against the Gophers. 1-7: Minnesota coach Jerry Kill's record
in Big Ten road games. His lone victory was a 17-3 decision
last year over Illinois, which went 2-10 and winless in the
Big Ten that season.
1. Devin Gardner, redshirt
junior quarterback: There has been a lot of talk about
Gardner's last two games. This week, he said, in response to
the criticism he has heard, "When you play as bad as I did,
you kind of earn that." With a week to shake of the rust,
Gardner will be back at it Saturday. Will he fall victim to
turnoveritis once again? Minnesota's secondary has collected
five interceptions this season. Or will he come back with a
vengeance? The Gophers ranked 93rd nationally in passing
defense (259 yards per game).
2. The Interior Offensive
Line: This has been the big story of the week.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke has switched things up inside,
relegating redshirt sophomore center Jack Miller to the
bench, moving redshirt sophomore Graham Glasgow from left
guard to center and promoting redshirt sophomore Chris
Bryant to starting left guard. Redshirt freshman Kyle Kalis
will remain at right guard. The Wolverines have had big
issues along the offensive line - will the change-up boost
3. David Cobb, junior
running back: The Michigan defense has been attacked
through the air all season, seeing an average of 40.5
passing attempts per game. Saturday, it will be the
opposite, led by Cobb, who's 13th in the Big Ten in rushing,
with 70.4 yards per game. The Gophers tore teams up on the
ground in the first four weeks, including 353 yards vs. San
Jose State and 342 vs. New Mexico State. Iowa held Minnesota
to 30 yards on 27 carries in last weekend's 23-7 Hawkeye
win. Cobb had eight carries for 20 yards. Shut down the
ground attack, win the game.
4. Jehu Chesson, redshirt
freshman wide receiver: Chesson had some chances at
big plays at Connecticut, but he misread a deep ball in the
end zone and lost it and was outjumped for another one,
which was picked off. Chesson has a lot of raw talent - and
once his experience catches up, he will he a dangerous
target. Will be break off a big one against the Gophers?
Time will tell, but the Wolverines still need more
playmakers to emerge to take the heat off Jeremy Gallon.
5. Ra'Shede Hageman, fifth-year
senior defensive tackle: As mentioned above, the
Wolverines are shaking up the offensive line this week - and
they're running into a big test in Hageman, one of the Big
Ten's best, most athletic interior defensive linemen. If
Bryant, Glasgow and Kalis can control Hageman up front, it
will be a very positive sign as the Wolverines move deeper
into the Big Ten season.