If you follow a little too closely on Twitter, you're aware that our football guy, TRE, has left DWG to pursue other opportunities. This means that we have no football guy. However, this being HATE WEEK with the HATED Iowa Hate-eyes coming to town means I really need to put something down about the game. I don't follow college football per se, but I do watch most Gopher games and plenty of other games because I'm an avid follower of College Football Spreads and a big fan of gambling. As such, I'm going to try to write something about Saturday's game. Please be gentle.
The hated jerks from Iowa come to TCF as about a one point favorite, which means this could be a hell of an entertaining game as long as the Gophers win. Those dudes are 3-1 which is great because the Gophers are 4-0 which means Minnesota is clearly the better team. Their loss was to Northern Illinois who I thought was supposed to be pretty good because they have that quarterback who I've heard of, but they almost lost to Eastern Illinois who I don't think is a FBS team which means Iowa must be really shitty. Plus I found some power rankings that had Iowa at #72 and Minnesota at #41, so, you know, CHAMPIONSHIP!
One other important thing when evaluating competition is to look at how the team has played, not just the results. Since I have not seen one minute of Iowa football against a non-Gopher team in the last, say, 5-6 years, I'm going to solely have to rely on stats, which seems pretty dumb but I have no other options plus as they say in math "Numbers Never Lie."
The first thing that pops out at me is that Iowa can play some defense, ranking 19th in the country in yards allowed per game. Of course they played Western Michigan and Missouri State as two of their opponents and those teams are terrible, but you know what they say about how those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw shoes. The worst part is they're mostly good at defending the running game (12th) and not as good at defending the pass (46th) but that doesn't matter since the Gophers don't throw the ball nor should they.
Offensively Iowa is pretty terrible which plays into the Gophers' hands because their defense completely sucks. They are god awful at throwing the football, and despite their QB (Jake Rudock) clearly being more of a runner guy than a thrower guy they still like to sling that pill like he was Mox. I'm guessing it's mostly little slants and screens though because I don't really think Kirk Ferentz (he's still the coach, right?) is an idiot, just a jackass. When they do throw it's probably going to Kevonte Martin-Manley (terrible name) who has 20 catches and nobody else has more than 7 thanks to "One Read" Rudock. Their tight end only has seven catches which is weird because Iowa really seems like a team who would use their tight end a lot.
Iowa main running jerk is Mark Weisman who if I remember correctly is white so he's probably not very fast. He averages 4.9 yards per carry which sounds kind of fancy but this is college and all the Gopher running guys are laughing at him, including both QBs. There other two running backs are Damon Bullock (too tall at 6-1) and Jordan Canzeri who is only 5-9 so he's probably really fast and brittle. They are terrible.
As for the Gophers they don't throw the ball unless they have to which is a pretty good strategy I think because I'm not certain they even have any wide receivers. Sticking to running it with David Cobb and Rodrick Williams, both perfectly proportioned to be running backs, and Mitch Leidner who I'm betting will grow up to be a lumberjack or an alligator wrestler or something seems like a solid plan of attack. Unfotunately, like I mentioned before up there, Iowa is pretty decent at stopping the run probably because they're all so fat and ugly. This means at some point Leidner is going to have to throw the ball in the air. Will this be successful? NO ONE CAN SAY! Leidner has never had to throw the ball as far as I recollect because he usually is too busy running people over and stomping on their heads.
Basically what's going to happen is Iowa's shitty offense is going to clash with the Gophers swiss cheese defense and Iowa will probably score about 21 points. Simple enough, right? The Gophers just have to score more, and to score more they'll need to hit on a few passing plays. The difference in the game will be if they can do it, and I'd guess they probably can since they have Mitch Mother Fucking Leidner.
No guarantees, so I'm only going to make one prediction: there are going to be a lot of people running into each other and falling down.
Also if you ask WonderbabyTM what Iowa is like she will answer "it smells like poop." From the mouths of babes. Also it really does smell like poop. And poor people.