It's a chilly Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium, where the Gophers will face Illinois at 11 a.m. Weather.com is forecasting a kickoff temperature of 21 degrees, and it'll feel like about 11 degrees with the northwest wind.
The record low temperature for a Gophers game in this six-year old stadium was 15 degrees for last year's Ohio State game. It was 18 degrees for the Wisconsin game in 2013.
I think a big key to this game for the Gophers will be the pressure they can get from defensive ends Theiren Cockran and Hank Ekpe. Illinois has used the same starting five offensive linemen all season, and they've allowed just 16 sacks.
For my gameday feature, I wrote about how Mitch Leidner's toughness has helped him change perceptions from the beginning of the year. His dad has been in the concrete business for nearly 24 years, and Mitch is a chip off the old block.
Here's a sidebar on Rashad Still, a true freshman who didn't begin playing football until three years ago and is already making an impact at wide receiver.
And here's The Call, with a look at the matchups and my prediction.
Check back here for other pregame updates. I'll have an eye on Gophers DT Steven Richardson, who is a game-time decision with his calf injury.
Update: Richardson warmed up with the first-team defense. That's a big development for the Gophers, if he indeed plays. And running back Rodney Smith (probable, sprained ankle) seemed to be running well and cutting fine pregame.