Week 11 Predictions: Minnesota Golden Gophers

8-0 vs. 8-0. The No.4 Nittany Lions can taste their goals, but first have to travel to Minnesota to take on a surprising and surging Minnesota team. Can Penn State end the Golden Gophers unbeaten season? Penn State is 6.5 point favorites heading into the weekend.Week 9-1.png

Brandon Musso (8-0) & (5-3) vs. The Spread

Penn State has survived a gauntlet of tough matchups over the last three weeks. After their success making it through those tough games, many are already looking forward to a battle of unbeatens when the Nittany Lions head to Columbus to take in Ohio State. However, there is one problem: that gauntlet is not yet over as Penn State is on the road again to face an undefeated Minnesota team. 

This game is another definite test and threat to the Nittany Lions undefeated record. As it has been for the last few weeks, it is imperative that Penn State starts fast. Kickoff is set for 11:00am local time at Minnesota, a slow sluggish start because of the early game time will not bode well for the Nittany Lions.

The biggest key to this game will be Penn State’s ability to get to the quarterback. The past two games have not played in their favor as they struggled to get any sustained pressure on the opposing quarterback. Solid defensive play starts upfront and in order for the Nittany Lions to come home with a win, the defensive line needs to get back on track. 

I think the defensive line returns to form and helps limit the Minnesota offense as the Nittany Lions win another close one.

Penn State: 24 Minnesota: 14

Kraigen Rasalla (8-0) & (3-5) vs. The Spread

One of the two games between undefeated teams this week, Penn State and Minnesota are both coming off bye weeks heading into this highly anticipated match-up. Penn State was tested by their recent schedule, playing at Iowa and against Michigan before beating Michigan State on the road. Now, they will start their challenging back third of their schedule in Minneapolis.

Penn State comes in as the favorite and as the #4 team in the country, and for good reason. Their big play offense is combined with their #2 ranked scoring defense.

The weather forecast is looking like a cold afternoon in Minnesota, but that shouldn’t affect Penn State QB Sean Clifford, as he excelled in throwing accurate passes in the cold rain at Michigan State. A lot will be on his plate as Penn State has yet to develop a consistent running game.

I expect Sean Clifford to lead Penn State by finding his favorite receiver KJ Hamler. In addition, I think this will be the game where WR Justin Shorter has his break out game. Shorter has just 9 catches for 109 yards. I expect him to make 5 catches for at least 75 yards and unleash his potential in this huge match-up.

Penn State takes care of business on the road and passes another test in their quest for a perfect season.

Penn State: 31 Minnesota: 17

Cory Lestochi (7-1) & (4-4) vs. The Spread

Minnesota is good, but they don’t have the horses to run with the Nittany Lions late. All week this defense has been hearing about how big this Minnesota offensive line is. Let’s see how this high powered Golden Gopher attack does against an actual defense and a real starting quarterback–two things Minnesota hasn’t faced for over a month.

Clifford and Co. make enough plays to keep this one safe. Minnesota’s special teams is horrendous and is the difference in this one being close and this one being a 21 point win for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State: 38  Minnesota: 17

 

Picture by Kami Brand.

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