Game Time: 3:30 PM EST | Golden Gophers vs Wolverines coverage
TV Network: ABC/ESPN 2
Opponent Blog: The Daily Gopher
Series History: 72-24-3
Fielding H. Yost didn't want to drink Minnesota's water, and the jug he brought got left behind after Michigan left the state. That inconspicuous water jug became a trophy that has been living in Ann Arbor since 2006. Minnesota managed to score only seven points against Iowa, which gives pause to the idea that Minnesota might be good. Iowa allowed less than 300 yards to the Gopher offense, and neither running or passing worked to any effect. Unlike MIchigan, the Gophers' quarterback situation is up in the air, and they lack substantial play makers on that side of the ball.
Minnesota also struggled against an Iowa front line because of a size mismatch, so that is where Michigan must assert its ability to push some people around. Worry if Toussaint gets eaten up at or behind the line on at least one carry per offensive series. Defensively, the secondary has to show it can play shutdown coverage against Big Ten receivers -- though UConn's receivers weren't supposed to get that open and they aren't in the Big Ten.
The Brown Jug Game is the type of series where one game out of every handful turns into a nail-biter. Michigan gets a lot of satisfaction out of retaining that trophy, and in order to get the win they've got to show that the off week was used to straighten out the turnover plague and get the cobwebs out of Devin Gardner's helmet.
Just 10 years ago (and almost to the day) Michigan was down three scores in the fourth quarter in the Metrodome to one of the better Minnesota teams it has faced. It was also a game played on a Friday night because of baseball playoffs the following night taking place there. 2005 was when Laurence Maroney and Glen Mason stole the victory in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. Minnesota plays Michigan tough, and it will likely be no different on Saturday.