The Call: Gophers vs. Syracuse

  • Updated: September 21, 2012 - 11:28 PM

THE OPPONENT Syracuse has tons of athleticism, but something hasn't clicked. The Orange had lost seven games in a row before beating Stony Brook last week.

GOPHERS OFFENSE VS. ORANGE DEFENSE

It's been a long time since the Gophers had as credible a deep passing threat as Max Shortell figures to give them in his first start of 2012, so it's tempting to imagine lots of vertical passing plays. But Syracuse has been terrible at stopping the run, and Jerry Kill would prefer to keep Syracuse's no-huddle off the field, so don't be surprised if the Gophers use lots of tailbacks and running plays. Advantage: Gophers

GOPHERS DEFENSE VS. ORANGE OFFENSE

This side of the ball is the Gophers' real test, heading into the Big Ten season next week. The Orange has a senior quarterback (Ryan Nassib) who completes 66 percent of his passes, a senior receiver (Marcus Sales) who considers 100 yards his minimum, and way more speed than the Gophers have faced. But Minnesota got good experience against a no-huddle offense last week. Advantage: Even

SPECIAL TEAMS

Syracuse kicker Ross Krautman has missed all three field-goal tries longer than 38 yards, and the Orange's return game has been ordinary. Punter Jonathan Fisher's 43.5-yard punting average has been a good weapon, though. The Gophers have been inconsistent in kicking, too; Jordan Wettstein's longest field goal is 32 yards, and he's missed a kick in all three games. Advantage: Even

INTANGIBLES

A full house is expected at TCF Bank Stadium, and with a 3-0 team to root for, the place could be rowdy. Syracuse must feel better after breaking its seven-game losing streak, but nothing has come easy for the Orange this year. Advantage: Gophers.

PREDICTION

Shortell throws a few highlight-reel completions to get the crowd energized, but Donnell Kirkwood and his fellow tailbacks steal the show by turning the Gophers into a ground powerhouse. The Orange moves the ball, too, mostly through the air, but mistakes make the difference in a shootout.

Gophers 37

Syracuse 28

NUMBERS TO KNOW

5

Syracuse receivers with catches of 30 yards or more. The Gophers have allowed no such plays.

77

Average receiving yards by Gophers walk-on A.J. Barker, more than double any teammate

DON'T FORGET ABOUT

Philip Nelson

If the freshman QB, Shortell's backup, enters for even one snap, 2012 will count as a season of eligibility.

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Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
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Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
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(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
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Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
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Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 0 1st Qtr 14:55
UCF 0
Troy 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
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Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Phoenix 85
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

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