Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-1) at Northwestern Wildcats (4-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 3, 2015, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats -6 -- Over/Under:
Big Ten Network
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Northwestern Wildcats meet Saturday at Ryan Field.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers look to win their fourth straight game as they open up Big Ten play. Mitch Leidner is completing 58.7 percent of his passes for 878 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Leidner has a touchdown pass in four of his last five games. Drew Wolitarsky and KJ Maye have combined for 437 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Eric Carter has 14 receptions. The Minnesota Golden Gophers ground game is averaging 158 yards per contest, and Rodney Smith leads the way with 363 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Minnesota is allowing 18.5 points and 312.5 yards per game. Cody Poock leads the Golden Gophers with 28 tackles, Steven Richardson has 2.5 sacks and Alex Keith has two pass deflections. Damarius Travis and Gary Moore are questionable while Briean Boddy-Calhoun is doubtful.
The Northwestern Wildcats look to get off to an impressive 5-0 start when they play their fourth home game. Clayton Thorson is completing 53.2 percent of his passes for 583 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. Thorson is currently 13th in the Big Ten is completion percentage. Dan Vitale and Christian Jones have combined for 295 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Austin Carr has three receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 265 yards per contest, and Justin Jackson leads the way with 516 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 8.8 points and 266 yards per game. Anthony Walker leads the Wildcats with 41 tackles, Ifeadi Odenigbo has 2.5 sacks and Matthew Harris has two interceptions.
The Golden Gophers are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 conference games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Wildcats are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 home games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Golden Gophers are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 meetings in Northwestern and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings overall.
Minnesota has beaten Minnesota in the last two meetings and has covered its last eight games at Ryan Field. However, this Northwestern team is far different than ones in the past. The Wildcats are simply downright legit and have one of the top defenses in the country. Minnesota will struggle all night long to put points on the board.
Give me Northwestern by a touchdown.