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Minnesota Preview | What I Want to See

What are we going to see in this opening game of the Matt Rhule Era

Minnesota v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

We are a mere day away from Nebraska kicking off the Matt Rhule era as the Huskers take on the Gophers with the hopes of bringing home the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy. What what can we expect from this game? Is Nebraska’s offense going to be ball control? How will the 3-3-5 look in a game? What will Minnesota be like this year? I’ve spent too much time breaking down film this summer, so here is what I think we could see.

Preview of Offense

Expect Nebraska’s offense to look different this year than the future. A big part of that may be the quarterback and lack of weapons at receiver. With Jeff Sims and a stable of running backs the Huskers could lean on ball control and being a physical rushing attack. Jeff Sims has talent but needs to show he can not throw interceptions. Don’t be surprised if he isn’t coached to take off running if his first read isn’t there.

For a more detailed look at what Nebraska’s offense could look like check out my video below.

Preview of Defense

Tony White and the 3-3-5 defense has been one of the main talking points throughout the spring and summer. During the Spring Game we saw the Huskers mainly line up in a 4-2-5 with MJ Sherman and Chief Borders basically lined up as a rush linebacker type role. Even the uncertainty has reached Minnesota where PJ Fleck where he voiced his concerns about struggling to prepare for the defense during one of his press conferences.

When Tony White was hired, I broke down some tape from his time at Syracuse. Here is a look at what I think we could expect this season.

Minnesota Preview

This summer I dove into the tape to really get a deep look at what we could see out of Minnesota this year. While long time starter Tanner Morgan is gone, Athan Kaliakmanis replaced him last year against Nebraska leading them to a come from behind victory. The Gophers want to lean on their massive offensive line to pound the ball, however both power backs Trey Potts and Mohamed Ibrahim and the Gophers went a different route with Western Michigan transfer Sean Tyler who is a small quick back.

For a more in depth breakdown of the match up, check out my video below.

Game Prediction

Nebraska has a great shot to win in Minneapolis, but this is going to be a very difficult game. Minnesota has an established program and like him or hate him, PJ Fleck is a good coach. I don’t see the Gophers having many elite talent, but Nebraska is going to have to match Minnesota’s physicality. If Nebraska can jump out to an early lead that could bode well. However Minnesota thrives in close games and being in Minneapolis, I think the Gophers pull this one out.

Prediction: Nebraska 17 Minnesota 20