2019 Minnesota Golden Gophers College Football Preview
BET ON THE MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
TCF Bank Stadium
54,147 Seat Stadium
Minnesota did not thrive in any areas during the 2018 season, but finished dead smack in the middle of the pack.
They finished 59th out of 130 FBS teams, while practically scoring and allowing the same number of points. They went 7-6 on the season.
They began the year 3-0 before running into trouble against Iowa, Maryland, and Ohio State. The bigger, better teams took care of the Gophers, and this is something they will need to improve.
If they can earn wins against the top-tier teams, they could see a world of opportunities open up.
Last season, Zack Annexstad began the year as the starting QB, while Tanner Morgan finished the year with the job. Nothing seems to be a given with these two, as the battle for the starting spot should continue into this season. Both have potential, but neither was too impressive last season.
Star running back Mohamed Ibrahim who had 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns will be back in the fold, looking to keep the offense as good as it can be. Look for Rodney Smith to get more carries this year, the senior liking taking the ones left behind by Bryce Williams.
They were led by Tyler Johnson (78 REC 1,169 yards, 12 TD’s) last season, and he’ll be back in the fold trying to improve his draft stock. He and Rashod Bateman will carry the receivers.
Carter Coughlin led the team with 9.5 sacks a season ago (15 TFL, 4 FF) and his presence on the defense is huge. Blake Cashman also had 15 TFL, and 104 total tackles but he finds himself with the NY Jets this year. These two were the only players with more than 4.5 tackles for loss last season, so other players will need to step up.
Coney Durr recorded a pair of picks and was their top defensive back last season, and he’ll be looking to do much the same. Another player to watch is Terell Smith, who led the way last season with eight passes defended.
Minnesota Special Teams:
Emmit Carpenter kicked 17 of his 23 field goals up and through last year while sinking all 43 PAT’s. Brock Walker, the RS Freshman will take over the role he left behind. Punter Jacob Herbers is back for his final season, while return specialist Demetrius Douglas will look to score some more touchdowns off the kickoffs.
Minnesota Team Preview:
The big issue last year was the lack of consistent quarterback play, so if they can turn that around early, anything can really happen. They can outscore teams and win via shootouts. They also need more of a pass-rush to pressure the QB’s.
Like last season, the schedule begins with a few easy games. They have San Diego State, Fresno State, and Georgia Southern. And from there, they have their entire conference schedule.
The team should be a bit improved from last year, having better chemistry with various returners on both sides of the ball, but they won’t touch the National Rankings.
Expect Minnesota to win six to seven games, but look more competitive against the elites. With the line for team wins sitting at 7.5 wins at BetOnline, the total is just too close to play with. We suggest you fade this team on the totals play this year.
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