Minnesota vs. South Dakota State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Thursday, August 29
Game Time: 9:00 ET
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Minnesota (0-0) vs. South Dakota State (0-0) Game Preview
This is a very, very dangerous game for a Minnesota team coming into the season with high hopes and a whole lot of potential. With a nasty game at Fresno State up next, and the Georgia Southern option offense to follow, the last thing the Gophers need is a challenge from one of the best teams in the FCS.
The Jackrabbits got to the FCS playoff last year and went on a great run before losing to North Dakota State. More than enough pieces return to pull off a possible upset.
Why South Dakota State Will Win
The Jackrabbits come into the season with one of the best offenses in the FCS led by the dangerous rushing tandem of Pierre Strong and Mikey Daniel. There might be a change at quarterback after losing 32 touchdown pass veteran Taryn Christian, but the ground attack that averaged over 230 yards per game should be every bit as strong.
Minnesota will have a ground game of its own, but can the passing game be consistent enough to come up with an answer when SDSU keeps pressing? The Jackrabbits won’t hit the 42 point mark they averaged every game last season, but they won’t be stuffed cold. It’s a good Gopher defense, but it could get popped by sharp-running teams.
Why Minnesota Will Win
Again, the Gophers can run a little bit, too. With the main parts back and healthy, Minnesota can rotate the runners and wear down an SDSU defense that wasn’t bad last season, but got rumbled over a bit too often.
The bigger overall concern for SDSU will be the turnover. The secondary has to replace most of the parts, star QB Taryn Christion is gone, and the coaching staff is undergoing an overhaul after losing a few key assistants. This is still going to be a good Jackrabbit team that, again, should be able to run the ball, but it might not be smooth sailing all the way around.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s going to be what the coaching staff will like – a tough, hard-fought game and a win in the end. SDSU will provide a bit push thanks to its good backs and its all-around attitude, but Minnesota’s offense will take over as the game goes on.
It’s going to be a while before the Gophers put this away, and there will be a few tense moments in the fourth quarter, but in the end, the Gopher run defense that showed up large at times throughout the second half of last year will rise up in a strong win over a great FCS team.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Minnesota 27, South Dakota State 23
Line: No Line, o/u: No Line
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