2017 Football Preview – Big Ten – Golden Gophers
Looking for 2017 Minnesota Golden Gophers predictions? The Golden Gophers had a good season last year on the field finishing the season at 9-3. But they had a bunch of off-field distractions which led to a complete turnover of the coaching staff. This will be P.J. Flecks first year as the Head Coach of the Golden Gophers.
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2017-18 College Football Preview – Minnesota Golden Gophers
Head Coach: P.J. Fleck
2016 Record: 9-4
Minnesota Golden Gophers Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: +30000
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It’s a new era for Golden Gophers Football? What kind of results will year one deliver?
2017 Minnesota Golden Gophers Predictions: Team Strengths
A crowded backfield: P.J Fleck has kept saying all spring you can never have too many running backs on a team, and for the Gophers that is one position where there isn’t a problem with depth.
The Gophers were led last year by a dynamic duo in Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith.
Rodney Smith finished last season with 1158 yards and 16 touchdowns. He is a speed back that also has some power. He is the type of runner that can get loose at anytime for a long touchdown run.
His counterpart Brooks was injured a lot last season but still ended up 650 yards rushing and five touchdowns. He is a power back that lowers his shoulder and runs people over.
The best part about those two running backs is they are team first guys. If one gets a touchdown, the other is the first to greet them when they get to the sideline.
Lock down secondary: The Gophers did lose a lot in their secondary to dismal and the NFL draft but that still looks like a position that could be a strength this season.
The safety position is loaded with Duke McGhee, Kunle Ayinde Antoine Winfield Jr. They are both guys who have gotten a lot of playing time and have played well.
Antonie Winfield Jr was cleared of any wrong doing in the scandal and that was a huge day for Gophers football, because he is an NFL talent and was already a lock down defender as a freshman.
2017 Minnesota Golden Gophers Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Who’s Under Center?: The biggest question the Gophers had going into Spring ball was who is going to start under center come fall? Coming out of Spring ball it doesn’t look like we are any closer to an answer.
Mitch Leidner graduated this last year after starting the last four years for the Gophers. Although he wasn’t always the best under center, he was usually reliable and his shoes are big to fill.
It seems the competition is down to Senior Conor Rhoda and sophomore Demry Croft. Rhoda is more of a pro style quarterback while Croft can connect on the long ball, but also has a lot more speed.
Whoever ends up getting the starting job is going to have to come up big in this system. Fleck has stressed how important the quarterback position is, and with Fleck liking a high powered offense that quarterback needs to make good decisions.
The quarterback is probably going to be the difference between this team only winning six games, and this team winning ten and finishing high in the Big Ten Conference.
Depth is Key: With the dismissals and people transferring out, the depth is very thin for the Golden Gophers.
If they get too many injuries early on this season could be derailed by nothing more then the injuries. They need to be working hard this off season and make sure they conditioned well to try and prevent those injuries come the regular season.
Minnesota Golden Gophers Prediction
For the schedule they could have gotten from the Big Ten Conference they actually got some gifts with this one.
They miss Ohio State this year and get to play Wisconsin and Nebraska at home. I think they will still rely on their running game but whoever is their quarterback will step up and play well.
This will also be the year they finally get that axe back. They will have bought in and they will use their momentum to beat Wisconsin and get the Axe back in the state of Minnesota.
2017 Minnesota Golden Gophers Football Schedule
- 8/31/17 TBD BUFF
- 9/9/17 TBD @ORST
- 9/16/17 TBD MTU
- 9/30/17 TBD MD
- 10/7/17 TBD @PUR
- 10/14/17 TBD MSU
- 10/21/17 TBD ILL
- 10/28/17 TBD @IOWA
- 11/4/17 TBD @MICH
- 11/11/17 TBD NEB
- 11/18/17 TBD @NW
- 11/25/17 TBD WIS
What do you think about our 2017 Minnesota Golden Gophers predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
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