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Minnesota Golden Gophers 2013 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2013-14 Football Previews – (Big 10) – Golden Gophers

Jerry Kill has done an amazing job with this Minnesota Golden Gophers program. Someone looking on from the outside may not be terribly impressed by a 6-7 record last year, but those who have followed this team know just how much progress the Golden Gophers have made since Kill took over as the head coach.

After all, this team did make it to a bowl game last season.

Big 10 Conference 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Minnesota Golden Gophers (Team Link)
Head Coach: Jerry Kill
2012 Record: 6-7
Minnesota Gambling Odds (Part of Field) to win BCS Championship: +2,000
Minnesota Gambling Odds to win Big 10 Legends Division: +2,800
Minnesota Gambling Odds to win Big 10 Conference: +7,500

How about Kill’s history of success in his third year at a program? Southern Illinois went 1-10 in year one, 4-8 in year two, and 10-2 in year three under Coach Kill. Northern Illinois went 6-7, 7-6, and 10-3 in Kill’s first three years. Kill also developed the nucleus of the Northern Illinois team that went to a BCS bowl last year. In Kill’s first two years at Minnesota he has gone 3-9 and then 6-7. What can the Golden Gophers do in year three?

Team Strengths:

Phillip Nelson completed just 49 percent of his passes as a freshman in the Golden Gophers offensive attack, but I believe he’ll be much better this year. The coaching staff likes what they see out of Nelson, and he should end up being a solid performer. It helps a lot that he’ll have all five starters back from the offensive line too, so he should have time to throw the ball.

Defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman has the ability to the Golden Gophers most dominant defensive player in years. Hageman will draw a ton of double teams this year because of his explosiveness on the line. Look for his ability to create lots of opportunities for other guys on the team.

The Golden Gophers return 16 starters from a year ago, and they will be one of the most experienced teams in the Big Ten. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Team Weaknesses:

Losing play maker Troy Stoudermire will hurt this team quite a bit. He was the most talented guy in the Golden Gophers secondary, and he was a special teams star. I’m not sure there is anyone on this roster that will be able to step up and do what he did for the 2012 Golden Gophers.

The glaring weakness of the offense is their pass catchers. Who is Phillip Nelson going to throw the football to anyways? There literally isn’t a guy on this roster who is proven as a pass catcher. It’s hard to develop a young quarterback without having some talent on the outside.

The defense was much improved last year, but they still have to get much better against the run. In Big Ten Conference play, opponents ran for 197 yards per game against the Golden Gophers.

2013-2014 Minnesota Football Prediction: 6-7

On talent alone, I would say Minnesota is probably a three or four win team this year. Jerry Kill gets as much out of his team as anyone in college football. Minnesota is likely to start 4-0, and I expect them to pull off a couple upsets in the Big Ten as well. The Big Ten opener at home against Iowa is a big game for this team. Look for a similar record as last year. This will be a scrappy team that doesn’t give up, but their lack of talent holds them back from accomplishing bigger things.

2013 Minnesota Schedule

8/29/13 7:00 PM ET UNLV
9/7/13 8:00 PM ET @NMXST
9/14/13 TBD WILL
9/21/13 TBD SJST
9/28/13 3:30 PM ET IOWA
10/5/13 3:30 PM ET @MICH
10/19/13 TBD @NWEST
10/26/13 TBD NEB
11/2/13 3:30 PM ET @IND
11/9/13 TBD PENST
11/23/13 TBD WISC
11/30/13 TBD @MCHST

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