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We've got a great Big Ten matchup this week as No. 17 ranked Minnesota hosts No. 4 ranked Penn State. Both of these teams are undefeated so this game has huge implications. Minnesota is 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference and leads the West Division, while Penn State is 8-0 and 5-0 in the conference and is tied atop the East Division with Penn State. These two teams haven't played since 2016 when PSU won 29-26. The Nittany Lions are 6.5 point favorites. Game time is 12 noon ET at TCF Stadium in Minnesota.
The Penn State Nittany Lions improved to 8-0 with a 28-7 win at Michigan State. The stifling Penn State defense, which allows under 10 points a game, was the story once again. The Nittany Lions have scored wins over two top 20 teams in Iowa and Michigan and are hanging with Ohio State, who is also undefeated. The Buckeyes loom in two weeks, but first, the Nittany Lions have to get past a tough Minnesota team.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers improved to 8-0 after a 52-10 drubbing of Maryland last Saturday. They have been rolling up Big Ten competition, but they haven't really faced the iron of the conference yet. These next few weeks will obviously be very telling for just how good this Minnesota team is. In the next four weeks, they face Penn State, No. 18 Iowa, and No. 16 Wisconsin. Those games will tell the story of their season and it all starts this weekend against Penn State.
Penn State faces tough testThe Penn State Nittany Lions have met all challenges so far on their way to an 8-0 record. Last week they passed another test, beating Michigan State 28-7. Penn State's suffocating defense gave up only 265 total yards to the Spartans. The defense also forced 4 turnovers including 2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries. Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford had another great game, going 18 for 32 for 189 yards and 4 touchdowns with 1 interception. Wide Receiver pat Freiermuth had 5 catches for 60 yards with 3 touchdowns while running back Journey Brown had 45 yards rushing.
PSU coach James Franklin knows he has his hands full with Minnesota. “They’ve done a great job,” Franklin told 247 Sports. “The way I describe it, I’ve known P.J. (Fleck) for a while, did a great job at Western Michigan obviously done a great job there. They’re a program that knows how to win. I talk to my team all the time, 70 percent of college football teams will beat themselves with penalties and turnovers and lack of discipline. They don’t do that. They’re going to make you beat them."
The Nittany Lions average 38 points per game, which ranks 14th in the country. They average 422 total yards per game, which is 22nd in the nation. That includes 252 ypg in the air, which is 48th, and 170 ypg on the ground, which ranks 61st. But they win games with their defense. They only allow 9.6 points per game, which is 2nd in the country. They allow 280 total yards per game, which is 9th in the country. They give up 211 ypg in the air, which is 49th, and 68 ypg on the ground, which is 2nd in the nation.
Minnesota remains unbeatenThe Minnesota Golden Gophers blasted Maryland last Saturday by the score of 52-10. The win improved their record to 8-0 and 5-0 in the Big ten and set up this showdown of unbeatens with Penn State. Minnesota had almost 500 total yards, including more than 300 on the ground. Running back Rodney Smith had 103 yards rushing on 17 carries with 1 touchdown. Shannon Brooks added 56 yards on the ground. Quarterback Tanner Morgan was 12 for 21 for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception.
Minnesota coach PJ Fleck had high praise for Penn State QB Sean Clifford. "Incredibly accurate. Their quarterback is phenomenal, playing at a high level. The one thing he does really well is if he doesn’t have his first, second, third read, he’s not afraid to pull the ball down and run. He runs like a tailback. He’s elusive, can run, has great vision," Fleck told Centre Daily. "When you have that, you have a guy who doesn’t just take sacks, nor does he throw a lot of incompletions or interceptions."
Minnesota football has its biggest game in 20 years on Saturday. Undefeated Minnesota vs Undefeated Penn State....— WiscoDisco 🇺🇸 (@WiscoSports4) November 4, 2019
Minnesota fans can’t even sell out their stadium of 50,000. PJ fleck is on his knees begging them to fill the stadium.
What a shit fan base.
The Golden Gophers offense has been great. They average 38 points per game, which ranks 14th in the country. They average 429 total yards per game, which is 47th in the nation. That includes 225 ypg in the air, which is 22nd, and 204 ypg on the ground, which ranks 31st. Defensively, they are pretty strong. They allow 20 points per game, which is 22nd in the country. They allow 283 total yards per game, which is 13th in the country. They give up 166 ypg in the air, which is 9th, and 117 ypg on the ground, which is 26th.
Trends are from Covers.com:
- Golden Gophers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
- Golden Gophers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Golden Gophers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win.
- Golden Gophers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Golden Gophers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on fieldturf.
- Golden Gophers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Nittany Lions are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Golden Gophers getting the points. Penn State is giving Minnesota nearly a touchdown and that's too much. This game will be a rock fight between two great defenses. Minnesota is a disciplined well-coach team and they won't beat themselves. PSU will have to beat them and that will be a tough task at home. Look for this game to come down to the final moments and be decided by a field goal. The home team is 3-1-2 against the spread in their last 6 meetings between these two rivals. this is a huge game for the Minnesota program so they will be ready.
Prediction: Minnesota +6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under. Don't let the gaudy offernsive numbers for these two teams fool you. These are both defensive-minded teams and when they meet Saturday, the defenses will win the day. I see this game coming nowhere neat the over-under total. Go with the under. The under is 4-0 in the Nittany Lions last 4 road games and 5-1 in their last 6 games overall. Further, the under is 6-0 in the Golden Gophers last 6 against a team with a winning record and 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.