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Quick-Hit Preview: Michigan vs. Minnesota

John Kayser Hokeamaniac.com Feature WriterThe first battle in this 100 year old installment was held on October 17, 1892 with Minnesota defeating Michigan 14-6.

Many things have changed since that day mostly being Michigan overwhelmingly dominating the series (73-24-3) and embarrassing the Golden Gophers on a regular basis.

The Wolverines have earned victories for six straight games against the Gophers and hope to add the seventh this Saturday.

Michigan has underachieved to say the least so far in 2014 and Brady Hoke is obviously feeling pressure right now and will be coaching to save his job. Given that, I expect to see a strong showing from the Maize and Blue this weekend.

The running games of both teams expect to be the primary showcase. Minnesota has a pretty good stable of backs and a stellar offensive line that could even make some of us Michigan fans a little green with envy. The Wolverines will field the 38th ranked running game in the nation. Minnesota comes in at 30 with 211 yards-a-game.

Last season the Gophers over-achieved accumulating their best record in well over 5 years (8-5, 4-4); and their off to a good start this season as well (3-1, 0-0).

This year’s battle for the Little Brown Jug should be a beauty to watch for old time Michigan fans as it will be a defensive battle with lots of ground game complimenting the play action pass fest.

Plus there is the added excitement of not know, at time of writing, which quarterback will take snaps under center and lead the Wolverines in the matchup on Saturday as Brady Hoke will make that news available prior to kickoff.

Will he stick with Gardner or will he switch to the unproven youngster sophomore Shane Morris. If the fans had their way, Morris would start and Gardner would return to playing in the receiving corps the remained of the year.

Either way, with their backs against the wall I see Michigan coming out gunning in this game and grabbing an early lead that they will not likely give back.

The Wolverines are only playing their first Big Ten game on Saturday, but by most’s reaction to the 2014 season so far, you would think its just about to end. The Big Ten title is still in reach and The Team has 8 more games to go. Plenty of time to restore some luster to a slumping program this year.

Minnesota should have some fireworks of their own yet, in the end Minny does not have the man power to out muscle the mighty Michigan men.

Prediction
Michigan – 31
Minnesota – 17

Hokeamaniac.com - May the Hoke be with you! © January 11th, 2011
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