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2012 Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2012-13 Football Previews – (Big 10) – Minnesota Golden Gophers

Jerry Kill’s first year with the Minnesota Golden Gophers was a tough one, but that was to be expected. Kill experienced health problems that brought several scares last year, but he actually did a very good job with a team that was severely undermanned in the Big Ten.

Big 10 Conference 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Minnesota Golden Gophers
Head Coach: Jerry Kill
2011 Record 3-9
Minnesota Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win BCS Championship: +120,000
Minnesota Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win Big 10 Conference: +14,000

Minnesota Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2012 Schedule –>

The fact that the Golden Gophers were able to win three games with last year’s team speaks to the strength of the coaching staff Kill has put together.

Minnesota ranked dead last in the Big Ten in offense last year. They averaged only 18.4 points and 310.3 yards per game in 2011. The defense allowed 31.7 points per game and 403.1 yards per game. Obviously, this is a team that has tons of weaknesses. Brighter days are on the horizon, but there will be plenty of growing pains getting to that point.

Team Strengths:

MarQueis Gray is one of the best athletes in the Big Ten. Gray is a dual-threat quarterback that is the center of attention for the Minnesota offense. Gray ran for 966 yards and six touchdowns a year ago. He has been inconsistent with the pass, but late in the 2011 season his accuracy seemed to be improving. This is a guy who can make plays out of nothing.

Troy Stoudermire was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA, and that helps Minnesota a great deal. Stoudermire already has the Big Ten record for kick return yardage. He is also a very good cover corner. Stoudermire missed most of last year with a broken arm. With him back in the lineup, the secondary should be improved.[soliloquy id=”82219″]

Team Weaknesses:

Where should we start? There are plenty of weak spots on this team. The biggest glaring weakness for Minnesota is probably the lack of skill players surrounding Gray on offense. Gray is a terrific play maker at quarterback, but he still needs someone to throw it to and someone to hand it off to once in a while. The Golden Gophers leading returning receiver caught just 16 passes last year. Duane Bennett, the leading rusher from last year’s team, graduated at the end of last season. The running back spot is a major question mark. Someone needs to step up and take some pressure off the Golden Gophers quarterback.

Minnesota allowed 186.4 yards per game on the ground in 2011. The front seven is a major concern. Far too often last season, the Golden Gophers missed tackles and allowed a long run to get started. Minnesota lost a couple of their best defensive linemen, and you have to wonder if the Big Ten offensive lines won’t push this group around.

2012-2013 Minnesota Golden Gophers Football Prediction: 4-8

Minnesota’s non-conference schedule is much easier than it was a year ago. In fact, I think Minnesota has a decent chance of winning at least 3 out of 4 non-conference games this year. In the Big Ten, it will be a different story. It’s hard to even see them winning two conference games again this season. Jerry Kill is a very good coach, and because I believe in him and his coach I’ll predict that Minnesota wins four games this year. There just isn’t enough talent here to expect anything more.

2012 Minnesota Schedule

8/30/12 TBD @UNLV
9/8/12 12:00 PM ET NHAMP
9/15/12 12:00 PM ET WMICH
9/22/12 8:00 PM ET SYR
9/29/12 12:00 PM ET @IOWA
10/13/12 TBD NWEST
10/20/12 TBD @WISC
10/27/12 TBD PURD
11/3/12 TBD MICH
11/10/12 TBD @ILL
11/17/12 TBD @NEB
11/24/12 TBD MCHST

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