Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Another look at Saturday's game

Posted by: under College football Updated: October 29, 2009 - 5:51 PM

Greetings

 

Some interesting posts following my blog about how I felt the Gophers would win Saturday.

Some liked it. Some called me a Gophers apologist. I would humbly say that I was just calling it the way I feel it.

So why do I think the Gophers will win without Decker? Against a team that has held three straight conference opponents under 16 points, one that has a good passing game?

Most of it is gut feeling. I had the same feeling last year before the Wisconsin game, the one in which they held Decker out. There was a lot of emotion poured into that game, and the Gophers responded. They played well in Wisconsin before ultimately losing a close game on the road.

This game is at home. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch was talking this week about how things could be different without Weber. To now, much of his effort was figuring out ways to move Decker around to every possible position in the formation in order to make it more difficult for opponents to double up on him. Now, without him, I think the formations will be more streamlined, less complex. I personally believe that will make it easier for both Adam Weber and MarQueis Gray to look for and find receivers.

I look for more short passes and short drops. And I don't mean screens. I mean quick curls and slants where the receiver gets yards after the catch.

I could be wrong. MSU can get to the quarterback and is very stingy vs. the run. That, as we know, has been a bad combination for the Gophers this season. I just have a feeling Weber is due and Gray is on the rise.

For the  Gophers to win they will need a big play on offense, at least one on special teams and an offensive attack that can sustain some -- not all, but some -- drives.

On our gameday preview I picked the  Gophers 21-17. I stand by that. Please remember this so you can all make fun of me -- or laud me -- following Saturday's game.

 

See you Saturday.

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