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Philip Nelson hasn’t started either of the past two games at quarterback, but he has been strong in relief of Mitch Leidner.

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The Call: Gophers at Indiana

  • November 1, 2013 - 9:02 PM

THE OPPONENT

Indiana has the nation’s eighth-ranked scoring offense (42.4 points per game), but ranks 110th in scoring defense (37.1 points per game).

2:30 p.m., Memorial Stadium • TV: BTN • Radio: 100.3-FM

Line: Indiana by 9 • Series: Gophers lead 37-25-3

Gophers offense vs. Hoosiers defense

The way Indiana can score, the Gophers can’t afford many punts or field goals. The Hoosiers rank last in the Big Ten in rushing defense (221 yards per game) and passing defense (277 ypg). The Gophers haven’t said who will start at quarterback, but coach Jerry Kill thought Philip Nelson played his best game last week. Advantage: Gophers

Hoosiers offense vs. Gophers defense

The Hoosiers rely heavily on short passes, and the key for the Gophers will be tackling the dynamic receivers in the open field. Indiana uses two QBs in Nate Sudfeld and Tre Roberson, but Roberson separated himself in the 63-47 loss at Michigan, racking up 338 total yards and four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing). Tevin Coleman averages 6.2 yards per carry. Advantage: Hoosiers

Special teams

Indiana’s Mitch Ewald has yet to miss a kick this year, nailing 36 extra points and five field goals, including a 50-yarder. Gophers senior Chris Hawthorne is 11-for-14 on field-goal tries and 26-for-29 on extra points. The Gophers have been using Derrick Engel more on punt returns because they feel he’s the most sure-handed player on the team. Advantage: Gophers

Intangibles

This is the fourth time this season the Gophers are playing a team coming off a bye week. Opponents are 1-2 in those situations this year, including a win by Michigan and losses by San Jose State and Nebraska. This is a homecoming game for Indiana, which is trying to reach its first bowl game since 2007. Advantage: Hoosiers

Prediction

The Gophers are 2-16 in their past 18 games at Indiana, but the teams haven’t met anywhere since 2008. Jerry Kill beat Indiana at Southern Illinois in 2006, so his staff expects to win this game. The Gophers will do it, using the same ball-control formula they used last week against Nebraska.

 

Gophers 41

Indiana 38

NUMBERS TO KNOW

0

Gophers points scored on their first drives this season.

 

+5

Gophers combined turnover margin in their past two victories.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT …

Martez Sha­bazz The cornerback’s blitz and sack helped seal the victory over Nebraska.

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