Here's why I think we can beat Penn St.

Gold Rush

Well-known member
I agree with many on here who say they are tired of hearing, 'we haven't beaten anyone.' You can imagine the players and coaches are pretty tired of hearing that, too.
What I always tell people who say that is, "What about Wisconsin, then?" This is essentially the same team that went into Madison last year and beat the crap out of the Badgers. They shut down a high power offense and brutalized their defense. If anything, the team has improved as it has gained more experience all year long but it will take a complete team victory like they did in that game to win here.

- The Gophers have established themselves as being an excellent tough cold-weather team. The last couple years we have played in inclement conditions and the Gophers seem to really thrive in it. You can tell other teams really aren't having a whole lot of fun after they keep getting hit. QB Morgan in particular does well in these type of cold weather games. Penn St. won't quit - but they aren't going to like playing in 20 degrees nearly as much as 70 degrees, either. Hit them hard and keep hitting them, too.

- The Gophers are for real. After squeaking by their first 3 games, they have covered their last 5 Big Ten games in a row. This isn't easy to do as Las Vegas continues to adjust the line upward each time they are covering.

- The Gophers have been beating their opponents soundly and each time the opponents are talking about how hard they are getting hit and how tough the Gophers are. Nebraska coach Frost said he wished his team played like the Gophers. This might be the highest praise an opponent can give you.

- The Gophers have traditionally played Penn St. very close and they are 5-5 the last 10 games they have played. They went into Beaver Stadium and nearly won a few years ago and come into TCF Bank in front of what should be an extremely vocal partisan crowd in what will be near sellout.

- Despite being 8-0 the Gophers have continued to fly under the radar. They have not been respected by many (although a #13 ranking is a step in the right direction.)I have talked about how this team reminds me of the early 1990's Northwestern teams that everyone thought they would beat and took for granted. Then after they had that one penciled in for a win had to erase it and write it in as a loss. Same type of tenacity and poise - watch out for that kind of team.

- Do not underestimate the Gopher RB's - I will take that trio of fresh legs to run hard all game long. Smith in particular looks like he is running very well but Brooks and Ibrahim give the team a chance against anyone.

- LB Martin should be back and that helps immensely. Gophers are playing very hard and very well with serious momentum.

All in all, Penn St. is a very good team and have many talented players. They will be a serious test for sure and the Gophers will have to play their very best to even have a chance here. However, the Gophers should not be taken for granted against anyone. I would not want to play against them right now. They have a very legitimate chance to knock off Penn St. and I think coaches, players and true fans all know this. They are a very dangerous team.
 
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PitinoFan

Well-known member
and brutalized their defense filled with 4 and 5 star players

Wisconsin’s defense isn’t filled with 4 and 5 star players. The overall talent ranking of their team isn’t much higher than ours. They have eight 4-stars and one 5-star player on their entire roster, compared with out five 4-star players. Most of their higher ranked players are on offense, specifically the OL.

https://247sports.com/Season/2019-Football/CollegeTeamTalentComposite/
 
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Gold Rush

Well-known member
I agree with many on here who say they are tired of hearing, 'we haven't beaten anyone.' You can imagine the players and coaches are pretty tired of hearing that, too.
What I always tell people who say that is, "What about Wisconsin, then?" This is essentially the same team that went into Madison last year and beat the crap out of the Badgers. They shut down a high power offense and brutalized their defense. If anything, the team has improved as it has gained more experience all year long but it will take a complete team victory like they did in that game to win here.

- The Gophers have established themselves as being an excellent tough cold-weather team. The last couple years we have played in inclement conditions and the Gophers seem to really thrive in it. You can tell other teams really aren't having a whole lot of fun after they keep getting hit. QB Morgan in particular does well in these type of cold weather games. Penn St. won't quit - but they aren't going to like playing in 20 degrees nearly as much as 70 degrees, either. Hit them hard and keep hitting them, too.

- The Gophers are for real. After squeaking by their first 3 games, they have covered their last 5 Big Ten games in a row. This isn't easy to do as Las Vegas continues to adjust the line upward each time they are covering.

- The Gophers have been beating their opponents soundly and each time the opponents are talking about how hard they are getting hit and how tough the Gophers are. Nebraska coach Frost said he wished his team played like the Gophers. This might be the highest praise an opponent can give you.

- The Gophers have traditionally played Penn St. very close and they are 5-5 the last 10 games they have played. They went into Beaver Stadium and nearly won a few years ago and come into TCF Bank in front of what should be an extremely vocal partisan crowd in what will be near sellout.

- Despite being 8-0 the Gophers have continued to fly under the radar. They have not been respected by many (although a #13 ranking is a step in the right direction.)I have talked about how this team reminds me of the early 1990's Northwestern teams that everyone thought they would beat and took for granted. Then after they had that one penciled in for a win had to erase it and write it in as a loss. Same type of tenacity and poise - watch out for that kind of team.

- Do not underestimate the Gopher RB's - I will take that trio of fresh legs to run hard all game long. Smith in particular looks like he is running very well but Brooks and Ibrahim give the team a chance against anyone.

- LB Martin should be back and that helps immensely. Gophers are playing very hard and very well with serious momentum.


All in all, Penn St. is a very good team and have many talented players. They will be a serious test for sure and the Gophers will have to play their very best to even have a chance here. However, the Gophers should not be taken for granted against anyone. I would not want to play against them right now. They have a very legitimate chance to knock off Penn St. and I think coaches, players and true fans all know this. They are a very dangerous team.

Correction noted and made - thanks Pitino fan.
 

Otis

Well-known member
Yeah, Wisconsin develops players into NFL talent, they don't have the advantage of recruiting it.

As for how to win the game and why I think we can:

1. PSU has displayed a problem with Ball Control and the Gophers are among the National leaders in that stat.
2. A tired defense is a bad defense and this comes from the first point.
3. Offenses standing around watching the game in sub 30 degree weather tend to not want to go back on the field to freeze and get hit.
4. Gophers can do all of the above and will be extra motivated to do so on Saturday.

Best way to beat a bully is to punch them in the face. (Then run like hell!)

I think the Gophers can physically make Penn State miserable.

Go Gophers!
 
Yeah, Wisconsin develops players into NFL talent, they don't have the advantage of recruiting it.

As for how to win the game and why I think we can:

1. PSU has displayed a problem with Ball Control and the Gophers are among the National leaders in that stat.
2. A tired defense is a bad defense and this comes from the first point.
3. Offenses standing around watching the game in sub 30 degree weather tend to not want to go back on the field to freeze and get hit.
4. Gophers can do all of the above and will be extra motivated to do so on Saturday.

Best way to beat a bully is to punch them in the face. (Then run like hell!)

I think the Gophers can physically make Penn State miserable.

Go Gophers!
Or hard enough they don’t get back up!
 

Gold Rush

Well-known member
Yeah, Wisconsin develops players into NFL talent, they don't have the advantage of recruiting it.

As for how to win the game and why I think we can:

1. PSU has displayed a problem with Ball Control and the Gophers are among the National leaders in that stat.
2. A tired defense is a bad defense and this comes from the first point.
3. Offenses standing around watching the game in sub 30 degree weather tend to not want to go back on the field to freeze and get hit.
4. Gophers can do all of the above and will be extra motivated to do so on Saturday.

Best way to beat a bully is to punch them in the face. (Then run like hell!)

I think the Gophers can physically make Penn State miserable.

Go Gophers!
All good points. I would like the Gophers to be a team that others do not want to play in the cold. They are on their way in that regard as they are getting a good reputation of being a good cold weather team and thriving in it.
 

5pyker

Member
Yeah, Wisconsin develops players into NFL talent, they don't have the advantage of recruiting it.

As for how to win the game and why I think we can:

1. PSU has displayed a problem with Ball Control and the Gophers are among the National leaders in that stat.
2. A tired defense is a bad defense and this comes from the first point.
3. Offenses standing around watching the game in sub 30 degree weather tend to not want to go back on the field to freeze and get hit.
4. Gophers can do all of the above and will be extra motivated to do so on Saturday.

Best way to beat a bully is to punch them in the face. (Then run like hell!)

I think the Gophers can physically make Penn State miserable.

Go Gophers!
Penn State doesn't care about time of possession. Franklin has said that every week for the last 4 years. He rotates his defensive players expecting to lose the time of possession battle. He care's about the explosive play battle.
 

Plato

Member
I guess the idea that folks from MN are immune to bitter cold is a myth. The temp during the game will be mostly above 40 with no or little wind.
That to me does not qualify as a cold weather game. Happy Valley is in the north of PA and relatively high so I would presume PSU players are not Miami cold cowards.
I fear after playing teams with a lot of mediocre players the initial quarter will be crucial for MN. How do the players in the trenches react to the shock will be critical as not having to play from behind.
 

Pompous Elitist

Well-known member
Obvious but starts with and comes down to line play on both sides.

Brooks has been a little slowed in his rehab journey. I expect him to hit his stride Saturday, same with Ibrahim. Smith is the bell cow this season but the other two will have opportunities.

I expect some “bullets” from Kirk. When you’re an underdog against a highly talented team it’s time to pull out the little used plays, the unexpected, going against tendencies. Luckily this team doesn’t seem to have (obvious) tendencies as much as some others. How do we keep TM2 clean? Our WRs have to find their spots or beat their coverage and catch the ball...

Make Clifford drive the field. He’s an emotional player which can sometimes be used against them if things get in a rut. Like his predecessor has some ability to run and create. This will be a tough matchup for our defense.
 

BeerFueledFF

Active member
Obvious but starts with and comes down to line play on both sides.

Brooks has been a little slowed in his rehab journey. I expect him to hit his stride Saturday, same with Ibrahim. Smith is the bell cow this season but the other two will have opportunities.

I expect some “bullets” from Kirk. When you’re an underdog against a highly talented team it’s time to pull out the little used plays, the unexpected, going against tendencies. Luckily this team doesn’t seem to have (obvious) tendencies as much as some others. How do we keep TM2 clean? Our WRs have to find their spots or beat their coverage and catch the ball...

Make Clifford drive the field. He’s an emotional player which can sometimes be used against them if things get in a rut. Like his predecessor has some ability to run and create. This will be a tough matchup for our defense.
Very tough match-up for our defense, but that just means they need to stay disciplined and keep things in front of them. Also keep pressure on the QB, gonna be a big day for the defensive front to manage against a good run and passing attack.
 

Gold Rush

Well-known member
Obvious but starts with and comes down to line play on both sides.

Brooks has been a little slowed in his rehab journey. I expect him to hit his stride Saturday, same with Ibrahim. Smith is the bell cow this season but the other two will have opportunities.

I expect some “bullets” from Kirk. When you’re an underdog against a highly talented team it’s time to pull out the little used plays, the unexpected, going against tendencies. Luckily this team doesn’t seem to have (obvious) tendencies as much as some others. How do we keep TM2 clean? Our WRs have to find their spots or beat their coverage and catch the ball...

Make Clifford drive the field. He’s an emotional player which can sometimes be used against them if things get in a rut. Like his predecessor has some ability to run and create. This will be a tough matchup for our defense.
Didn't Mason have 3 straight on-side kick off recoveries when they played Penn St. (one each year.) I know he did it at least twice.
 

BeerFueledFF

Active member
Didn't Mason have 3 straight on-side kick off recoveries when they played Penn St. (one each year.) I know he did it at least twice.
The Lions have a really good special teams unit, so I'm not sure that would be a move I pulled. Especially given the new rules that make onside recoveries more difficult.
 

Maverick

Well-known member
Didn't Mason have 3 straight on-side kick off recoveries when they played Penn St. (one each year.) I know he did it at least twice.
Yes he actually did it to start the game two years in a row... and I believe it worked both times... Was the most unorthodox play calling I ever saw from Mason!
 
both teams are extremely close in almost every team stat except 1. Penalties.

MN is the least penalized team in B1G play while PSU is 13th. The difference is nearly 80 yards per game which is longer than an average scoring drive and, in my personal opinion, will be the difference in what should be a great game. If MN plays disciplined and is not overly amped up, they can play a clean game. If the crowd is as loud as it should be, PSU could gift us a false start or two and do their usual of giving up a drive extending penalty once or twice a game to get the ball in the gopher offense just a little bit longer.
 

Gold Rush

Well-known member
Solid post Gold Rush.
Thanks!! I have a feeling that crowd is going to be REALLY amped up for this game. There has been 2 weeks of a buildup for this game fueled by talk radio and of course the Gopherhole. You can feel the excitement even on here. I have a hunch this will be the loudest crowd the Bank has seen in a long time, maybe ever. That can only help.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Well-known member
IF we're going to run we're going to need to run well around either end. Up the middle seems like it would be really rough vs Penn St.
 

John Galt

Well-known member
Your first point is that Penn St is used to playing in 70 degree temps and can't handle the cold weather? I just checked the weather map and it's been in the 30s and 40s in State College the past week. I doubt weather will have much of an impact.
 

Gold Rush

Well-known member
IF we're going to run we're going to need to run well around either end. Up the middle seems like it would be really rough vs Penn St.
very true! They do have a defensive tackle suspended for this game but his replacement actually has better stats so no real drop off there. Their two defensive tackles are very very good and the real strength of their defense. We will not be able to run inside very well. Iowa had a real chance to beat them this year, before losing 17-12. Iowa outgained them yardage wise 356-294 but lost the turnover battle 2-0. Iowa got into the red zone early and didn't cash in, missing a FG and making another. They missed some passes over the middle which would have made it a different game.
 

Gold Rush

Well-known member
Your first point is that Penn St is used to playing in 70 degree temps and can't handle the cold weather? I just checked the weather map and it's been in the 30s and 40s in State College the past week. I doubt weather will have much of an impact.
The early weather report was for game time temps of 20 and that might have been a factor. Now it looks like temps over 40 - that probably doesn't help us (it probably doesn't hurt us either)
 

hello-world

Active member
"Why we can beat Penn State?" Of course we CAN beat them.
SP+ gives the Gophers a 45% chance of winning this game.
If we played this game 100 times, SP+ thinks we win it 45 times.

Those are pretty damn good odds when you're playing the #7 team in the country.

The Gophers have to play a really good game to win this week, but they are explosive enough that 1-2 mistakes won't kill them.
 
Ball control will be a huge factor in the outcome.

Looking at Penn State’s season to date, they are clearly good but only put up 17 against Pitt and Iowa. Michigan got behind early but in some ways out played them. They have a strong defense, but not sure limiting subpar offenses like Iowa and MSU tells us much.

And all this hubbub about Hamler. I think we have two (or more) Hamler equivalents.

Don’t beat ourselves and the Gophers can come out on top.
 

Otis

Well-known member
I think P.J. should borrow from another great Gopher coach for his pre-game speech!


Substitute football for Hockey, run for skate and Penn State for Soviets.
 

Face The Facts

Fleck Superfan
I don't think PSU is better. They just played better teams so far, but that doesn't mean they are better.

Win the turnover battle.
 

HoustonTXGopher

Well-known member
I think the constant weather talk is way overblown. We are going to have Pennsylvania weather, PSU is very accustomed to cooler temperatures.

It's just not that big of deal.
 

RodentRampage

Well-known member
I think the constant weather talk is way overblown. We are going to have Pennsylvania weather, PSU is very accustomed to cooler temperatures.

It's just not that big of deal.
I was informed that in Pennsylvania in November, they sit on the shores of Lake Erie, taking in the sun and sipping Pina Coladas, that only Minnesota has cold Novembers.
 

nsmike

Active member
It seems to me, that the last time I heard a constant drumbeat about how great a teams defense was against the run, was Alabama in the Music City Bowl. We all know how that worked out.
 

5pyker

Member
It seems to me, that the last time I heard a constant drumbeat about how great a teams defense was against the run, was Alabama in the Music City Bowl. We all know how that worked out.
I have no idea what you are talking about. How many decades ago was this?
 



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