PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The Gophers will play their first game at Rutgers this afternoon, and they are four touchdown favorites over the 1-5 Scarlet Knights.

Temperatures are expected to be in low 60s with blue skies. Beautiful day for college football.

Rutgers has been outscord 165-7 in its first four Big Ten games. The Gophers, ranked No. 20 nationally, are trying to improve to 7-0 for the first time since 1960.

I wrote about the defense's improvement under defensive coordinator Joe Rossi for my game day column. The Gophers allowed only one defensive touchdown in back-to-back wins over Illinois and Nebraska. In today's college football, that's impressive no matter who the opponent is.

Frankly, the Gophers should be able to control this game on both sides of the ball. Rutgers ranks last nationally in scoring offense and 118th in scoring defense.

The Gophers running game behind their tag-team trio of Rodney Smith, Shannon Brooks and Mohamed Ibrahim should wear down a defense that is allowing 209 yards rushing per game, last in the Big Ten.

The Gophers have scored 34-plus points in five consecutive games, their longest stretch with that many points in a game since 2003.

My prediction: Gophers 42, Rutgers 6.

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