Oregon State Beavers (2-10) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday September 1, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Minnesota Golden Gophers -13 -- Over/Under: 54
The Oregon State Beavers and Minnesota Golden Gophers open the season Thursday night at TCF Bank Stadium on BTN.
The Oregon State Beavers have nowhere to go but up after finishing last season with a 2-10 record under coach Gary Andersen. In order for OSU to turn things around, its offense needs to improve drastically and that starts with quarterback Darell Garretson. The Beavers have a lot of talent on the outside in receivers Jordan Villamin and Victor Bolden, while Ryan Nall showed great potential running the ball with a 6.23 yard per carry average. Defensively, the Oregon State Beavers will be very thin and have a new coordinator in Kevin Clune. Linebacker Caleb Saulo and cornerback Treston Decoud will lead a unit that allowed 37 points per game last season.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers get a full season under coach Tracy Claeys and hope to build on their bowl victory. The Gophers offense struggled much of last year, but there’s stability at quarterback with Mitch Leidner returning for his senior season. A running back tandem of Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith could be one of the more underrated in college football. Minnesota should look to throw the ball more this season in hopes of a spark offensively. Defensively, the Minnesota Golden Gophers ranked 24th in total yards allowed last season but have to replace four key starters. The good news is that Damarius Travis returns from injury, while Jack Lynn and Cody Poock are experienced linebackers who can hold down the second unit.
The Beavers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games. The Golden Gophers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Pac-12 and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
Minnesota is once again going to be solid defensively and by that I mean a top-25 defense in the country. Also, the Golden Gophers offense should improve with Leidner being more aggressive. Oregon State was a flat out joke last year and going on the road to start the year isn't easy.
I'll eat the chalk even if this number is a tad high.