GOPHERS OFFENSE VS.
Mitch Leidner will have limited mobility if he plays, but the experience he gained last year could help settle the team. Otherwise, the Gophers will turn to Chris Streveler, hoping the read option works half as well as it did against San Jose State, and crossing their fingers when he passes. Advantage: Michigan
Kicking in the Big House could test Gophers freshman Ryan Santoso, but Peter Mortell gives Minnesota the punting edge over Will Hagerup. Advantage Gophers
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Devin Funchess had seven catches for 151 yards and a touchdown last year vs. the Gophers. He injured a leg three weeks ago at Notre Dame and has said he'll be playing in pain the rest of the year. But the 6-5, 230-pound junior is still a matchup nightmare for the Gophers.
Michigan didn't score an offensive touchdown against Notre Dame or Utah. The offense didn't even move the ball into the red zone against the Utes. QB Devin Gardner has seven turnovers in the past three games. Another loss Saturday could cost coach Brady Hoke his job.
GOPHERS DEFENSE VS.
Whether they start Gardner or Shane Morris at quarterback, the Wolverines need a big game from sophomore Derrick Green, the Big Ten's fifth-leading rusher at 97.8 yards per game. If the Gophers can stymie him, as Notre Dame did, that will force turnover-prone Michigan to pass. Advantage: Gophers
Michigan fans are surly, but the Big Ten opener gives the Wolverines a fresh start. Players will be motivated to quiet Hoke's critics. Advantage: Michigan
Leidner and Streveler both play, but Michigan's defense is too tough. Gardner redeems himself with the third good game of his career against the Gophers.