Time: 6 PM
Spread: MIC -13
Betting odds c/o Bovada
Michigan Wolverine football took a precipitous fall off a nasty cliff last week when it lost to Michigan State, but that disappointment pales in comparison to Minnesota and its retirement of Jerry Kill.
Kill had to announce he was stepping away from the game due to health concerns related to his epilepsy. The Gophers will try to rally in spirit, even as 13-point underdogs, as it hosts No. 15 ranked Michigan at 6 PM CST on ESPN.
In Kill’s absence Tracy Claeys will take over coaching in the interim. He has been one of Kill’s most trusted assistants over the past 21 seasons and will be the HC for the remainder of this year. His task is not an easy one: Minnesota has lost two of its last three and will face Ohio State and Iowa in the next two weeks.
Wolverines’ HC Jim Harbaugh did not let the big loss to MSU sting through the bye week, but rather his efforts were focused on getting his 5-2 club focused on the task at hand with Minnesota who is 4-3 on the season.
The Wolverines had posted three straight shutouts before the loss to the Spartans, but lost 27-23 as a bobbled snap was returned for a TD to give the crushing loss. It was the Wolverines’ first loss in conference play, and it was still just one ‘L,’ it by no means obliterated the team’s season.
Michigan needs to get the life back into its backfield who managed just 62 yards against MSU. The team had averaged 226.4 per game during its five-game win streak, and Harbaugh indicated Drake Johnson will be ready to play this week. De’Veon Smith also struggled against MSU with just 2.4 yards per carry on 19 attempts.
Michigan also surrendered 386 total yards defensively last week, after giving up just 373 total over its three-game shutout streak. Anytime a team gets 10 more yards than surrendered the three weeks total prior, it is going to raise some red flags.
Michigan has really turned it around after last year’s 5-7 debacle, and probably far faster than anyone imagined. The Gophers won 30-14 on the road in 2014, but this has been a change in tides for the two programs.
Gophers OL and Asst. HC Matt Limegrover said simply, “They play a lot harder than they did last year,” which seems contrite for a team that has turned it around on that level. He added, “That’s a testament to the coaching staff…because they had good players last year, I don’t think they always played as hard, but now they play hard.”
The hard play could only further hammer the wedge between the two teams: Minnesota has lost 15 straight at home against Michigan dating back to its last win in 1977.
Wolverines are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss.
Wolverines are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
Wolverines are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 4-0 in Golden Gophers last 4 games following a double-digit loss at home.
Golden Gophers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a bye week.
Golden Gophers are 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Head to Head
Wolverines are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Minnesota.
Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
Wolverines are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings.