Wisconsin vs. Minnesota: Five Big Questions


Nov 12, 2011; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Wisconsin Badgers head coach Bret Bielema looks on with Minnesota Gophers head Jerry Kill during pregame warmups at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Our five big questions for the showdown between the Badgers and Gophers:

1. Will the Badgers crack 50?

After the last two games the offense seems to be building to some kind of explosion. This is probably the game where that explosion will happen. It all sets up right. At home. Offensive line getting it together. Montee Ball finally back on-track after a sluggish start. Joel Stave settling in. Matt Canada getting in rhythm calling plays. Jacob Pedersen becoming a weapon again. The Gophers not being so hot on defense and having an offense that may have trouble staying on the field. If the Badgers can avoid one of their characteristic slow starts, they should break 50. 60 is not out of the question. The Badgers might take possession of the axe at halftime.

2. Seriously, is there anything Minnesota does well?

Okay I’ll give it up to one area of the Gophers’ defense. They can play the pass a little bit. They have some good DBs. Their pass defense is currently ninth in the country. Of course they haven’t exactly played a lot of great passing teams so far this year. In the Big Ten they’ve only played Iowa and Northwestern and neither of those teams air it out. Northwestern only tried 17 passes against them which helps explain why they only got 67 yards. On the ground, Northwestern gained 208 including 182 for Venric Mark. So if Venric Mark can run for 182, Montee Ball should be in line for what? 200 by halftime? I’m not too worried about this allegedly solid Gopher pass defense. Let Montee pound them for a bit then see the play action open up. We’ll see how good those DBs are in downfield coverage against Jared Abbrederis.

3. Gopher fans, how would you like to experience a real college football atmosphere?

The Gophers can’t get a decent crowd into TCF Bank Stadium. And that’s with beer now being sold. The atmosphere there is pretty much non-existent. The students don’t give a crap. The team blows. So if you’re a Gophers fan and you want to experience a real college football atmosphere? You’re going to have to travel to Camp Randall. I know I know. Why make the trip just to see your team get walloped? Think of it as a learning experience. Maybe you can absorb some of the Camp Randall vibe and bring it back to Minnesota. Come to Camp Randall and see how real fans do it.

4. What kind of sorry-ass program coughs up $800,000 to bail on a series against North Carolina?

Jerry Kill was scared of getting embarrassed by North Carolina. So the U of M surrendered $800,000 and now they won’t have to play the Tarheels. Don’t let this complete puss-out get you down too much though Gopher fans. Maybe some day you’ll have a real program that isn’t scared of middle-of-the-pack ACC teams. Wasn’t your whole thing supposed to be sorted out by now? I guess it wasn’t all Tim Brewster’s fault.

5. Who will play quarterback for the Gophers?

Max Shortell? MarQueis Gray? What difference does it make? Neither of them will be able to do anything. Captain Dink-and-Dunk vs. the Poor Man’s Denard Robinson. They both stink. The Gophers haven’t had a real quarterback since Rickey Foggie.

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