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Varmint Cong Coming To Town, Will Try To Steal Jug. Carr vigilant - One of the best things about the week leading up to the Minnesota game is the endless Candyshack references that can be made when the Gophers come to town.
Unfortunately for Varmint Cong, their squad has been napalmed this season. Minnesota is dead friggin last in team defense in the NCAA. The Cong are seriously banged up. Five defensive starters (lineman Willie VanDeSteeg, cornerbacks Desi Steib and Cooley and linebackers John Shevlin and Mike Sherels) are nursing injuries and three true freshmen (Kyle Theret, Curtis Thomas and Ryan Collado) will start on Saturday in the defensive backfield.
However the Gophers do have some, er, teeth. Somehow the Cong are ranked 29th in total offense averaging 438.25 a game. It doesn't hurt that they're putting up 180 a game rushing, but I was shocked they were posting 253 a game in the air. In fact, they've only given up 6 sacks all year. What the hell? How is a team averaging 29.7 a game 1-7?
23 turnovers don't help. They're putting their defense, which is really, really bad, in positions they can't possibly succeed.
It won't get easier against Michigan with Minnesota's best running back injured and his backup also nursing some bumps and bruises. Don't expect Michigan to tee off Minnesota quarterback Adam Weber, but do expect Michigan to pick off a couple of passes (Weber's thrown 15 interceptions).
The Cong might burrow their way for a score or two, but it doesn't look like the jug is going anywhere.
All signs point to Henne sitting with a shoulder sprain, Hart playing. Both Hart and Henne will be game time decisions. Expect to see a lot of Mallett, a la Northwestern. Minnesota should also provide the Wolverines plenty of time to work on their return game. Michigan ranks 113 out of 119 in kickoff returns. Better than you thought isn't it? Oh, by the way, more on Carlos Brown.
Minnesota Preview via the Ann Arbor News.
Courtney Sims and Brent Petway Cut, Life Still Unfair - Air Georgia was cut yesterday by the Portland Trailblazers. Petway was invited to Portland's camp as an undrafted free agent with little chance of making the team. The Trailblazers entered camp with the maximum number of guaranteed contracts, so Petway stood little chance of making the roster. Courtney Sims was released a day later by the Pacers. Sims scored 12 points and grabbed 8 boards for the Pacers, playing 28 minutes in his last game before getting the pink slip. Somehow I think Petway will find a team willing to take a chance on his athleticism, and Sims will end up in Europe. Good Luck guys.
Maybe Petway and Sims Can Catch On As A Looper In Tibet.
Please Shut the Hell Up - For some unknown reason, Michigan's faculty and staff have decided to issue a letter opposing the Michigan Stadium renovations, after-the-fact. I have to ask, why do your opinions matter now? You had plenty of time to voice your opinions during the numerous public hearings and during the design process. It shouldn't be a surprise that the renovations went through and what the entailed. Why bother us now, after the fact? Why? This is like the Nader voters in Florida complaining about the Supreme Court declaring Bush the election winner. You had the chance to have your say and you passed on it. Now please crawl back under your rock and grade the papers you've been avoiding since last semester.
Michigan State 5-3, Minus JL Smith - For once Michigan State is actually physically and mentally healthy going into the annual Michigan Michigan State clash on November 3rd. Last year, MSU was fairly dinged up before facing the Wolervines and having Smith at the helm didn't help anything. This year Dantonio is still fighting the demons of coaches past, but has a reasonably healthy football team. Despite the fact the Spartans are 5-3, with as many as 8 conference teams zeroing in on 6 wins, it may take 7 wins for MSU to go bowling. Don't think the Spartans aren't aware of that.
The arrest of SirDarean Adams, T.J. Williams and Jeremy Ware for unarmed robbery will not help that cause. It should be noted all three are maintaining their innocence. In a season that has seen college athletes do some horrid, stupid things, I truly hope they are innocent.
You are not being the ball, Spartans.
Big Ten Draft Fluff - Long prospect No. 1, Hart No. 4.
Speaking of Mike Hart - The Heisman race just got a lot tougher with Matt Ryan's come from behind win. I didn't think Ryan was anything special until the last two minutes. Good job. Ryan has to be the front runner followed by Hart, Andre Woodson, and Tim Tebow. Drew Sharp on Hart's Heisman campaign.
Of Note: Black Shoe Diaries has the latest roundup of the Big Ten Blogger Roundtables. The M Zone previews Minnesota.
Au voir, Gopher