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Nebraska @ Minnesota Game Thread (8/31/23)

A significant key for Minnesota playing above their talent level under Fleck has been about limiting mistakes.

Last season, the Gophers ranked 1st in the nation in fewest penalties per game. And 16th nationally in fewest turnovers per game.

With a new QB, three new OL and a RB by committee it will be interesting to see if they can posses the ball as long as they have done in the past. Key will be can they limit penalties and turnovers with so many new faces?

Their WR Corp is very, very good and the strength on offense
 



With a new QB, three new OL and a RB by committee it will be interesting to see if they can posses the ball as long as they have done in the past. Key will be can they limit penalties and turnovers with so many new faces?

Their WR Corp is very, very good and the strength on offense

Hard to believe, 24 hours from now we'll be discussing the game in its entirety. :)

The only thing I expect from this game is that neither team will blowout the other. ;)

Otherwise, either team winning wouldn't surprise me. Straight up, I'd lean toward Minnesota (slight, not strong lean). ATS with NU +7.5 -- I'd take the Huskers (also a slight lean -- and I wouldn't touch it at +7). I kinda hope it's tight and tense heading into the 4th quarter. Great experience for our team.

I do think due to some inexperience in key spots, the Gophers are more vulnerable than typical.

I'd like to believe our d-line can create some chaos against their relatively inexperienced o-line. I won't discount the Gophers o-line still being somewhere between capable and pretty darn good (but a lot better later in the season). Their offensive line coach (also, run game coordinator), Brian Callahan, is one of the best. In his six seasons with the Gophers, he's produced 19 linemen who earned Big Ten postseason honors. He's also had two of his linemen drafted in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. Callahan followed Fleck to Minneapolis from Western Michigan -- strong relationship, which is a big part of the Gophers' success. The o-line will certainly be inexperienced up the middle -- and more vulnerable than last year -- but I doubt they suck as their position coach is too good for that.

They are fairly loaded at WR, as you say. They also have the Preseason 1st Team All-Big Ten TE (Spann-Ford).

IF Athan Kaliakmanis gets time, he has the weapons. I do think the Gophers will open it up more than we're used to -- while still running the ball on a good chunk of plays (I'll guess it'll be fairly balanced). Kaliakmanis isn't truly new. He played 41.8% of the total snaps last season. His numbers were mediocre, but he did get his feet wet as a freshman. There is value in that.

The starting RB will be Sean Tyler -- and likely the bulk of the snaps. He's a speedster, unlike Ibrahim (who was more of a tackle-breaker with good wheels, but not game-breaking speed). He had over 1,000 yards rushing the past two seasons at Western Michigan. Looks capable of burning a lot of defenses, if he isn't wrapped up in short distance. I believe Tyler will also be a kicker returner. He had a 101-yard kickoff return for a TD last season. Speed to burn -- if he gets the room to do it.




Serious speed burst on this kick return:

Truly excited to see how our defense matches up. I have a lot of confidence in Tony White.

So many unknowns for both teams. I dig the mystery. :Biggrin:


Run the ball effectively -- and don't turn it over. Ideally, own the clock as well. That's the simple key for us to win. Pretty obvious, I think. :) It's certainly possible.

I'm excited to watch the Rhule era grow into something we can all celebrate and feel proud of!
 
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IF Athan Kaliakmanis gets time, he has the weapons. I do think the Gophers will open it up more than we're used to -- while still running the ball on a good chunk of plays (I'll guess it'll be fairly balanced). Kaliakmanis isn't truly new. He played 41.8% of the total snaps last season. His numbers were mediocre, but he did get his feet wet as a freshman. There is value in that.

Truly excited to see how our defense matches up. I have a lot of confidence in Tony White.

So many unknowns for both teams. I dig the mystery. :Biggrin:


Run the ball effectively -- and don't turn it over. Ideally, own the clock as well. That's the simple key for us to win. Pretty obvious, I think. :) It's certainly possible.

I'm excited to watch the Rhule era grow into something we can all celebrate and feel proud of!
I agree with many of your takes on Minny except for Kaliakmanis having the weapons. Perhaps there’s not enough data to make a determination on eventually how good or not of QB he will become. Right now he has a long ways to go to prove imo he’s a quality QB. His stats from last season do not look good so we’ll see how he looks tonight. I think he might in fact be a weak link in their offense especially without a very robust running game. Anyway it should be exciting in that either team can certainly win if they play a good game. I believe this is the worst Minny team we’ve seen in probably 5 years.

minny.jpg
 
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With a new QB, three new OL and a RB by committee it will be interesting to see if they can posses the ball as long as they have done in the past. Key will be can they limit penalties and turnovers with so many new faces?

Their WR Corp is very, very good and the strength on offense
Yep, no more 6th-Year QB and killer Ibrahim. Yet Massey composite rankings (49 inputs), Minny #25, Huskers #68.

https://masseyratings.com/ranks
 



I agree with many of your takes on Minny except for Kaliakmanis having the weapons. Perhaps there’s not enough data to make a determination on eventually how good or not of QB he will become. Right now he has a long ways to go to prove imo he’s a quality QB. His stats from last season do not look good so we’ll see how he looks tonight. I think he might in fact be a weak link in their offense especially without a very robust running game. Anyway it should be exciting in that either team can certainly win if they play a good game. I believe this is the worst Minny team we’ve seen in probably 5 years.

View attachment 99854

But as I stated, Kaliakmanis was a freshman last season (he turned 19 at the start of last season -- just a kid). I also said his numbers were mediocre last year. The point I was trying to make is that the experience he got as a freshman (good, bad, or otherwise) could serve him well in his first full year as starter. He's not coming in green, and plenty of players improve quite a bit from freshman year to sophomore year. And to note, take a look at Jeff Sims' numbers from last season -- they were not good (and it was his third year with playing time). Yes, I believe Jeff Sims' can improve -- but if I believe that, I can't discount Kaliakmanis also improving.

My post wasn't to say Nebraska can't or won't win. Instead, I'm showing in greater detail the team we'll be facing (as there really hasn't been much discussion about anything other than who is and isn't returning from last year).
 
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But as I stated, Kaliakmanis was a freshman last season. I also said his numbers were mediocre last year. The point I was trying to make is that the experience he got as a freshman (good, bad, or otherwise) could serve him well in his first full year as starter. He's not coming in green, and plenty of players improve quite a bit from freshman year to sophomore year.

My post wasn't to say Nebraska can't or won't win. Instead, I'm showing in greater detail the team we'll be facing (as there really hasn't been much discussion about anything other than who is and isn't returning from last year).
I completely understand what you’re saying and my only major disagreement is about their QB. I do not believe he demostrated he has the tools to be an excellent QB. I’m not saying he doesn't only that he hasn’t proven anything except playing in some game last season. We all seen freshman look like Heisman candidates (for instance AM) and not pan out for a myraid of reasons. I’m simply suggesting time will tell if Kaliakmanis is the real deal. Lets hope it’s not tonight he picks to be looking good....
 

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